Michael Bates, Director
Walla Walla/Columbia County
What is Probation?
“Probation” is a supervision program created by law, which is ordered by the court in cases involving a youth who has been found guilty of having committed a delinquent act. Probation is a legal status in which the freedom of the youth’s activities and lifestyle are restricted. When a youth is placed on probation, s/he must complete court-ordered sanctions and services. In addition to the general conditions of probation, the youth will need to comply with all special conditions deemed appropriate by the court with mandatory sanctions that relate to the offense, For example, the youth mat be ordered to work community service hours and/or may be ordered to pay money to the victim, if the victim was harmed or suffered losses as a result of the crime. The youth mat also be ordered to submit to an evaluation and/or attend counseling, or if the offense warrants, submit a biological specimen for DNA testing. As a a special condition of probation the youth may be ordered to abide by curfew and/or to attend a probation day treatment program. Day treatment programs provide additional monitoring of juveniles and typically offer and alternative educational setting. they also provide additional services, such as anger management classes, social skills building and substance abuse education.
It is expected that the parent/guardian assist and encourage the youth to fulfill the sanctions of Probation.
Violation of Probation
When a youth is placed on probation, he or she is assigned a Juvenile Probation Officer (JPO), who monitors compliance with the court-ordered sanctions and services. The court order also specifies that the child’s parent/guardian “shall report violations of this order by the child to the JPO and to the court”. Therefore, the Juvenile Probation Officer and the parent/guardian will work together to enforce the court order.
If the youth violates the conditions of probation or fails to complete the sanctions imposed by the court, a Violation of Probation will be filed. If the court finds that a violation of probation occurred it may revoke probation and impose a sentence that could include incarceration in Juvenile detention for up to 30 days.
“The Juvenile Court Process”
- Investigation: The police and prosecuting attorney investigate the allegations of criminal activity to determine if they have probable cause to make an arrest or file an information to summon a person to court.
- Arrest of Notice to Appear in Court: If your child has been arrested a detention hearing will be held within 48 hours (excluding weekends and holidays). If your child has been summoned to court s/he will likely meet with a community supervision officer to explain the court process and go over paperwork prior to the court date.
- Detention Hearing Occurs: within 48 hours of a youth’s detention (excluding weekends and holidays) and the case is reviewed to determine if there was probable cause to believe a crime was committed. Youth are entitled to an attorney from this stage forward. Parents are required to attend this and all hearings.
- Declination and Capacity Hearing: In two instances, a special hearing is held after the State has mane a decision to file charges.
- Decline Hearing: A hearing to determine whether the juvenile court will decline jurisdiction and the adult court system will assume jurisdiction. If a case is declined, the youth is charged and sentenced under the adult sentencing standards. If a decline hearing is mandatory or requested, the juvenile court does not have jurisdiction to accept a plea until after the hearing and an order retaining jurisdiction is entered in juvenile court.
- Capacity Hearing: A hearing to determine capacity must be held within 14 days from the time the Prosecutor files the information, separate from and prior to arraignment. Children under the age of 12 are presumed to be incapable of committing crimes. This presumption can only be overcome by a hearing to determine if the 11 year old or younger child has the capacity to understand the act to know if it was wrong.
- Arraignment: Arraignment is when you are formally charged in court with an offense.
- Detention Review Hearing: This may be set at any time for a detained youth by the P.O. or defense attorney. this hearing is so that arguments can be made for the release of the youth until trial, plea, or sentencing court dates.
- Fact Finding: takes place within 30 days of the Arraignment if the youth is in detention and 60 days if the youth is not in detention, unless the youth specifically waives their 60 days to a speedy trial. If the youth is found guilty, a disposition or “sentencing” court date is set for a later date although on occasion sentencing will occur on the same date as the trial.
- Disposition: usually takes place within 14 days of the change of plea, regardless of custody status. There are exceptions for special circumstances. General sentencing options include:
- Community Supervision: the youth will be supervised for a certain length of time by a Probation Officer.
- Community Service: the youth will do unpaid work for the community.
- Restitution: the youth will pay the victim for damaged or stolen property.
- Court Costs: the youth will be required to pay a fee of $110
- Crime Victims Compensation Assessment: The youth will be required to pay a fee of $75-$100, depending on the case.
- Detention: the youth will be held up to 30 days per charge.
- Commitment: the youth will be held for a certain amount of time in one of the state’s juvenile rehabilitation facilities. the length depends on the crime and criminal history.
The sentence can last up to age 21, except for restitution, which can be collected up to age 28. If the youth doesn’t complete his/her sentence, disposition is subject to modification if violated.
9. Special Sentencing Alternatives
- Deferred Disposition: requires a paternal consultation prior to the hearing. It applies mainly to minor or first offenders and certain lesser offense categories. To be eligible, a youth must enter a guilty plea and waive trial rights if the deferred disposition is not successfully completed. The sentence may include a fine, restitution, community service and/or probation. A review hearing is set a few days prior to the end of the time constraint; the charges are dismissed (and cannot be counted as criminal history) if the youth has completed with all of the conditions of the deferred disposition and has paid all fines/restitution. Deferred disposition may be revoked if the youth fails to comply with the conditions; the standard range sentence may then be imposed with no credit for time on probation for the period of the deferred disposition. A deferred disposition may also include detention time.
- Manifest Injustice (MI): This option allows for a sentence to be outside of the standard range normally given to a youth. A manifest injustice can go either way up or down. In other words, a youth can be given less time than the standard range or more time depending on his/her individual situation.
- Special Sex Offender Disposition Alternative (SSODA)
Chemical Dependency Disposition Alternative (CDDA) : if the juvenile offender is subject to a standard range disposition of local sanctions or 15-36 weeks of confinement and has not committed a category A- or B+ offense, the court, under a finding that the offender’s chemically dependent and amenable to treatment, may suspend and Option A (standard range) disposition and impose a disposition outside the standard range. The court may place the offender on community supervision for one year and, as a condition the court:
- Must require the offender to undergo available inpatient/out[patient drug or alcohol treatment
- May require up to 30 days in confinement, 150 hours of community service, and/or payment of legal financial obligations and restitution.
The combination of inpatient treatment and confinement may not exceed 90 days. The treatment provider must submit monthly progress reports and the court may schedule treatment review hearings. The suspension may be revoked and the disposition executed (with credit for confinement time served on the same offense) for violating conditions or failing to make satisfactory progress in treatment.
10. Other Court Hearings
- Probation Violation: A youth is taken to court when they have violated the conditions of their community supervision or release conditions.
- Motion to Revoke Hearing: Held when a youth has violated their terms of Deferred Disposition or SSODA.
- Declination or Decline Hearing: This hearing occurs before arraignment to determine juvenile or adult status of the offender.
Decline is automatic and youth is remanded to adult jurisdiction and will be tried in the adult court system. this happens when:
- Youth is at least 16 years old and the current offense is Assault 1, Rape 1, Murder 1,Homicide by Abuse, Murder 2, Kidnapping1, Assault of a child, and Manslaughter 1.
In addition, there must also be at least one prior felony or misdemeanor, or any violent crime committed with a firearm.
- The youth is 15,16, or 17 years old and the current offense is a class A felony, an attempted class A felony, or a solicitation to commit a class A felony.
- The youth is 17 years old and the offense is Assault 2, Extortion 1, Indecent Liberties, Child Molestation 2, or Robbery 2.