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Home and Community Juvenile Probation Supervision Emergency Declaration Resolution of 1998
PR 12-701

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Chairman Linda W. Cropp, at the request of the Mayor

A PROPOSED RESOLUTION IN THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

To declare the existence of an emergency with respect to the need to permit the Director of Social Services for the Family Division of the Superior Court to take into custody children who are under his supervision and who have violated a condition of their probation.

RESOLVED, BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, That this resolution may be cited as the "Home and Community Juvenile Probation Supervision Emergency Declaration Resolution of 1998".

Sec. 2. (a) There exists an immediate crisis regarding the need to supervise and protect juveniles who are on probation in the District of Columbia. Currently, when a juvenile is placed on probation, one condition of probation may be the imposition of a curfew. These curfews are designed to keep juveniles off the streets during time periods when the temptation to commit a delinquent act may be the highest, and to protect juveniles from any harm that may come their way during those time periods. However, because there is no effective method available to the Division of Social Services to enforce these curfews in a prompt, efficient manner, juveniles on probation often disobey their curfews, confident that they will not be punished, thus rendering the curfew ineffective as a means of controlling behavior.

(b) To combat the problems identified in subsection (a) of this section, the Director of Social Services for the Family Division of the Superior Court has proposed that he be permitted to take into custody those juveniles who are under his supervision and who he has reasonable cause to believe have violated the terms of their probation, including any curfew requirements. However, there is currently no clear legal authority for him to do so. His inability to take these juveniles into custody has seriously impaired the ability of the Superior Court to convince juveniles that court orders should be taken seriously, and has resulted in many juveniles who are on probation violating the terms of the probation, which poses a risk to the juveniles themselves, and to the community at large.

Sec. 3. The Council of the District of Columbia determines that the circumstances enumerated in section 2 constitute emergency circumstances making it necessary that the "Home and Community Juvenile Probation Supervision Emergency Act of 1998" be adopted after a single reading.

Sec. 4. This resolution shall take effect immediately.

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