About the Juvenile Justice System in Monroe County
The Juvenile Deputy Prosecutor handles all cases referred to the Juvenile Justice System, and also participates in the Educational Compliance Court, formerly known as Truancy Court.
Contact: Rich Hansen, Juvenile Deputy Prosecutor
Monroe County Prosecutor Chris Gaal is committed to juvenile issues throughout the community. Prosecutor Gaal was instrumental in the establishment of a truancy court to reduce the risk that habitual truancy will result in dropping out of school, and is an active participant in other community partnerships to address dropout prevention. Gaal serves on the Foundation for Monroe County Community Schools Board of Directors, and the Advisory Board of the Bloomington Chamber’s Franklin Initiative.
If your child has been arrested:
If a juvenile has been arrested or interacted with law enforcement for what would be a crime if committed by an adult or a status offense (truancy, runaway, or incorrigibility), Indiana Statute dictates that certain procedures must be followed.
You may first learn of the arrest (or what the juvenile authorities sometimes call a referral) from the police agency. The police may release your child, release your child to your care, or detain your child. If your child is released to you, the next step is usually an interview with the probation department. This statutorily required step is essential in order to provide the court and the prosecutor with needed information that helps determine what should happen in the event your child was found to have committed the offense.
If your child is detained, the next step is a detention hearing. This normally takes place within 48 business hours of your child’s arrest. A probation officer will notify you of the time, date, and location of this hearing.
After these steps, if charges are filed, you will be notified of a date and time to appear in court.
Victims of crimes committed by juveniles:
If you have been a victim of a crime where the police have apprehended a juvenile and charges have been filed, you should receive a notice from the Monroe County Probation Department asking for your input. Please promptly fill out the forms you are sent and return them as soon as possible. If you have not received anything from the probation department, you may wish to contact them to ensure that they have your correct address.
Please keep in mind that the juvenile delinquency court only has the ability to hold the juvenile accountable for restitution that they have the ability to pay. As a victim, you may have the right to institute a civil suit for damages against the child’s parents. If you have questions, you should consult an attorney.