2017 Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations
Chapter 938. Juvenile justice code.
938.01 Title, legislative intent and purposes.

Universal Citation: WI Stat § 938.01 (2017)

938.01 Title, legislative intent and purposes.

(1)Title. This chapter may be cited as “The Juvenile Justice Code", and shall be liberally construed in accordance with the objectives expressed in this section.

(2)Legislative intent. It is the intent of the legislature to promote a juvenile justice system capable of dealing with the problem of juvenile delinquency, a system which will protect the community, impose accountability for violations of law and equip juvenile offenders with competencies to live responsibly and productively. To effectuate this intent, the legislature declares the following to be equally important purposes of this chapter:

(a) To protect citizens from juvenile crime.

(b) To hold each juvenile offender directly accountable for his or her acts.

(c) To provide an individualized assessment of each alleged and adjudicated delinquent juvenile, in order to prevent further delinquent behavior through the development of competency in the juvenile offender, so that he or she is more capable of living productively and responsibly in the community.

(d) To provide due process through which each juvenile offender and all other interested parties are assured fair hearings, during which constitutional and other legal rights are recognized and enforced.

(e) To divert juveniles from the juvenile justice system through early intervention as warranted, when consistent with the protection of the public.

(f) To respond to a juvenile offender's needs for care and treatment, consistent with the prevention of delinquency, each juvenile's best interest and protection of the public, by allowing the court to utilize the most effective dispositional option.

(g) To ensure that victims and witnesses of acts committed by juveniles that result in proceedings under this chapter are, consistent with this chapter and the Wisconsin constitution, afforded the same rights as victims and witnesses of crimes committed by adults, and are treated with dignity, respect, courtesy, and sensitivity throughout those proceedings.

(3)Indian juvenile welfare; declaration of policy. In Indian juvenile custody proceedings, the best interests of the Indian juvenile shall be determined in accordance with the federal Indian Child Welfare Act, 25 USC 1901 to 1963, and the policy specified in this subsection. It is the policy of this state for courts and agencies responsible for juvenile welfare to do all of the following:

(a) Cooperate fully with Indian tribes in order to ensure that the federal Indian Child Welfare Act is enforced in this state.

(b) Protect the best interests of Indian juveniles and promote the stability and security of Indian tribes and families by doing all of the following:

1. Establishing minimum standards for the removal of Indian juveniles from their families and the placement of those juveniles in out-of-home care placements that will reflect the unique value of Indian culture.

2. Using practices, in accordance with the federal Indian Child Welfare Act, 25 USC 1901 to 1963, this section, and other applicable law, that are designed to prevent the voluntary or involuntary out-of-home care placement of Indian juveniles and, when an out-of-home care placement is necessary, placing an Indian juvenile in a placement that reflects the unique values of the Indian juvenile's tribal culture and that is best able to assist the Indian juvenile in establishing, developing, and maintaining a political, cultural, and social relationship with the Indian juvenile's tribe and tribal community.

History: 1995 a. 77; 2005 a. 344; 2009 a. 94.

The due process standard in juvenile proceedings is fundamental fairness. Basic requirements are discussed. In Interest of D.O.H. 76 Wis. 2d 286, 251 N.W.2d 196 (1976).

Time Ripe for Change. Barry & Ladwig. Wis. Law. Apr. 1996.

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