Michael Bates, Director
455 W. Rose Street
PO Box 1754
Walla Walla, WA 99362


Contact Information
Phone  509-524-2800
Phone 509-382-2200
Fax 509-524-2836

imageWalla Walla/Columbia County

Department of Court Services


Juvenile Justice Center

Court: What to expect

  • What happens after my child is arrested?
    • If your child has been arrested and held in detention at the time of arrest, you can expect to attend a telephonic hearing (Columbia County only), or detention hearing (Walla Walla County only) within 72 hours (excluding weekends and holidays). This hearing will determine whether your child will be released or remain in detention. Your child will also have a “first appearance” at this time.
  • What happens when my child is summoned to court for an offense(s)?
    • If your child has been summoned to court s/he will have a “first appearance.”   Prior to this court date, you and your child should expect to meet with a community supervision officer so the paperwork can be explained to you, and your questions answered.
  • First Appearance

At the “first appearance” the Judge will read your child his/her rights and the child will be asked to sign a copy of these rights. The judge will also read the offense(s) and the standard range sentence (consequences) for each. The Judge will appoint an attorney if you have not already hired one. If your child is not going to remain in detention, the Judge will sign an “Order of Release” requiring your child to follow certain rules during the court process.

  • Do I have to pay for an attorney?
    • If you hire your own attorney, Yes.
    • If the court appoints an attorney, No.
  • Arraignment

Arraignment, or plea, usually occurs on the next Thursday court date following the “first appearance.” At this time, a “fact finding” date will be set. If your child has remained in detention, this date will be within 30 days. If your child is not in detention, this date will be within 60 days. 

For Walla Walla Couny, court will be held on Fridays — For Columbia County, court will be held on Thursdays.

Fact Finding

A “fact finding” is similar to a trial in adult court, but there is no jury. The verdict is determined by the Judge only. If your child is found not guilty, the process stops here. If your child is found guilty, you can expect to attend a “Disposition” hearing in approximately two weeks.

  • Guilty Plea

If your child chooses to plead guilty, a hearing will be set for this to take place. You can expect to attend a “Disposition” hearing in approximately two weeks.

  • Disposition

If your child is sentenced to probation, s/he will be notified of the term of probation, the number of days to be served in the Juvenile Justice Center, the hours of community service to be performed, and the amount of court costs, crime victims compensation, and restitution to be paid. The remainder of the conditions will be explained in detail during a visit with the probation officer.

If your child is sentenced to an institution, s/he will be notified of the term of incarceration, and the amount of court costs, crime victim’s compensation, and restitution to be paid.

  • How will I know when my child has Court?
    • You will either receive a summons, be notified by your attorney, or a court date will be stated at a prior hearing.

    Courtroom Etiquette

  • The courtroom is located on the third floor of the Dayton Courthouse at 341 E. Main Street, Dayton, WA.
  • The Walla Walla courtrooms are located on the third floor of the Courthouse at 315 West Main in Walla Walla, WA
  • You will be required to clear a metal detector — you and your personal items are subject to search.
  • All pagers and cell phones must be turned into security prior to entering the courtroom.
  • You must be dressed appropriately to enter the courtroom.
  • You will not be allowed to enter the courtroom if your clothing is: ~ unclean ~ obscene ~ sleeveless ~ see-through ~ gang identifying ~ shorts ~ sandals
  • When it is your child’s turn, his/her name will be called and s/he will need to come forward and sit at the table.
  • While in the courtroom you (and your child) will not be allowed to chew gum or tobacco, eat or drink, read newspapers, magazines, or books, or engage in other distracting behaviors.


Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the detention center...

  • Does the Juvenile Justice Center (JJC) have a doctor and/or mental health professional to evaluate my child?
    • Yes. JJC contracts with the Family Medical Center for a health professional to come in weekly.
  • Can my child see his/her own Dr., dentist, counselor, etc.
    • Usually, yes. Make arrangements with your child’s probation officer.
  • What are the visiting hours and who can visit my child?
  • If your child’s last name begins with A-L, visiting is Tuesdays from 6:30-7:30 PM.
  • M-Z is Thursdays 6:30-7:30 PM. All youth have visitation on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00 AM.
  • Parents and legal guardians are allowed to visit. You must bring picture identification. All other visitors must be approved by the probation officer and/or detention manager.
  • Can my child send and receive mail?
    • Yes. Send your letters to the JJC address.
  • Can my child make and receive phone calls?
    • Your child is allowed to make two free calls when s/he enters detention. After that, all calls are collect. Your child cannot receive calls.
  • Does my child attend school?
    • Yes.
  • How does my child get homework from his/her regular school?
    • The detention teacher requests homework from child’s regular school and they are allowed to work on it during class.
  • Do I have to pay when my child is in detention?
    • Yes. If an information (charge) is filed and your child is held at the Justice Center,  you will be assessed a booking fee.
  • Can this fee be waived?
  • Possibly. You may come to JJC and request a financial packet. If you qualify, your fee may be waived.