2022 Georgia Code
Title 15 - Courts
Chapter 11 - Juvenile Code
Article 6 - Delinquency
Part 3 - Custody and Release of Child
§ 15-11-503. Detention Decision; Findings

Universal Citation: GA Code § 15-11-503 (2022)
  1. Restraints on the freedom of an alleged delinquent child prior to adjudication shall be imposed only when there is probable cause to believe that such child committed the act of which he or she is accused, that there is clear and convincing evidence that such child’s freedom should be restrained, that no less restrictive alternatives will suffice, and that:
    1. Such child’s detention or care is required to reduce the likelihood that he or she may inflict serious bodily harm on others during the interim period;
    2. Such child has a demonstrated pattern of theft or destruction of property such that detention is required to protect the property of others;
    3. Such child’s detention is necessary to secure his or her presence in court to protect the jurisdiction and processes of the court; or
    4. An order for such child’s detention has been made by the court.
  2. All children who are detained shall be informed of their right to bail as provided by Code Section 15-11-507.
  3. An alleged delinquent child shall not be detained:
    1. To punish, treat, or rehabilitate him or her;
    2. To allow his or her parent, guardian, or legal custodian to avoid his or her legal responsibilities;
    3. To satisfy demands by a victim, law enforcement, or the community;
    4. To permit more convenient administrative access to him or her;
    5. To facilitate further interrogation or investigation; or
    6. Due to a lack of a more appropriate facility.
  4. Whenever an alleged delinquent child cannot be unconditionally released, conditional or supervised release that results in the least necessary interference with the liberty of such child shall be favored over more intrusive alternatives.
  5. Whenever the curtailment of the freedom of an alleged delinquent child is permitted, the exercise of authority shall reflect the following values:
    1. Respect for the privacy, dignity, and individuality of such child and his or her family;
    2. Protection of the psychological and physical health of such child;
    3. Tolerance of the diverse values and preferences among different groups and individuals;
    4. Assurance of equality of treatment by race, class, ethnicity, and sex;
    5. Avoidance of regimentation and depersonalization of such child;
    6. Avoidance of stigmatization of such child; and
    7. Assurance that such child has been informed of his or her right to consult with an attorney and that, if such child is an indigent person, an attorney will be provided.
  6. Before entering an order authorizing detention, the court shall determine whether a child’s continuation in his or her home is contrary to his or her welfare and whether there are available services that would prevent or eliminate the need for detention. The court shall make that determination on a case-by-case basis and shall make written findings of fact referencing any and all evidence relied upon in reaching its decision.
  7. If an alleged delinquent child can remain in the custody of his or her parent, guardian, or legal custodian through the provision of services to prevent the need for removal, the court shall order that such services shall be provided.

History. Code 1981, § 15-11-503 , enacted by Ga. L. 2013, p. 294, § 1-1/HB 242.

Law reviews.

For article discussing due process in juvenile court procedures in California and Georgia, in light of In re Gault, 387 U.S. 1, 87 S. Ct. 1428 , 18 L. Ed. 2 d 527 (1967), see 8 Ga. St. B. J. 9 (1971).

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