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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any forum members aware or know what chapter and section covers juvenile age limits for arrest?
I brought in 2 juvies last week for affray and disorderly and was informed by the watch commander that juvies 12 and under should not be cuffed, But he was not able to recall witch chapter or section it was covered by and I've had no luck researching it on my own.
 

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The minimum age for prosecuting a juvenile in juvenile court is 7 years old in MA. Kids under the age of 7 are presumed incompetent. Not sure if that helps or not!
 

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I thought they just couldn't be handcuffed to a stationary object i.e. some small deparments may do this in the absence of a holding cell while more than one prisoner is being booked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
2 different supervisors told me the same thing (Juvies under 12 can not be handcuffed) But niether could give me a source. My main concern is to avoid having this thrown in my face in court.
 

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2 different supervisors told me the same thing (Juvies under 12 can not be handcuffed) But niether could give me a source. My main concern is to avoid having this thrown in my face in court.
I'm pretty sure theyre correct. We have it posted in our station I believe. I will check tomorrow night and let you know if someone else hasnt answered it yet.
 

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MGL Ch 119 § 34 - Cannot ride in patrol wagons to court (all Juvi)
MGL Ch 119 § 66 - No child <7 can be held in lockup, jail, HOC pending arraignment


Couldn't find anything on handcuffs, but I didn't buy the specialty juvi book
 

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Taking a

Child into
Custody
When officers take a CHINS youth into custody, they are advised to:
·


Be as understanding as possible. These are young kids who often do


not think they have done anything wrong. Many come from difficult home

situations that they may be trying to escape. If youths can sense that the
officers are non-judgmental, if they can make a human connection with the
officers, then they are more likely to cooperate.
·


Explain why you are taking them into custody. It helps children deal


with the situation when officers explain why they are being taken into

custody. At a conscious and certainly a subconscious level, children find it
easier to accept the officers' action when they know there is a legal basis for
it, not simply the officers' arbitrary decision. However, officers should
avoid giving children the impression that it is useful for them to debate the
underlying merits of the case with the officers!
Taking a Child
into Custody
Continued
·


Use handcuffs and frisk any status offender taken into custody, but


be sure to explain why you use handcuffs.


To be consistent and safe,

handcuff and properly frisk all status offenders taken into custody. But be
sure to point out that the use of handcuffs is standard procedure, not a
personal decision about the particular child. This explanation may go a
long way toward diffusing any resentment on the part of the child for
being "treated like a criminal." Finally, as with prisoners of any kind, it is
best if an officer of the same sex conducts the frisk and transport. If that is
not possible, take precautions by maintaining contact with dispatch as to
exact times of scene departure and station arrival, and the mileage used for
transport.
·


Charge Resisting Arrest pursuant to G.L. c. 268, § 32B if necessary.

Although this charge is usually brought in the context of a criminal arrest, a
careful reading of the statute shows that its application need not be limited.
§ 32B simply speaks about preventing an officer from "effecting an arrest."
And it covers resistance by the arrestee or by someone else interfering on
behalf of the arrestee.
Detention
Restrictions
·


Source of law. Guidance on the proper procedures for detaining status


offenders comes mainly from federal law - specifically the Juvenile Justice

and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDP), 42 U.S.C. 5601. It is important to
comply with JJDP procedures because jurisdictions that do so are eligible to
receive much-needed federal funds. These funds have helped and continue
to support innovative programs, which remove the burden of care for
juveniles from law enforcement officers. Also, non-compliance creates a
risk of civil liability for officers and departments. Aside from federal law,
Massachusetts statutes add important restrictions.


See, for example, G.L. c.

119, §§ 39H and 67.
·


Five requirements. There are five requirements for the non-secure


custody of status offenders under CHINS:

1.


An unlocked, multi-purpose area. The juvenile must be held in

an unlocked, multi-purpose section such as a report writing room
or office.
2.


No residential area. The space must not be designed in any way

for residential use (e.g., no bunks or toilets).
3.


No handcuffing to any stationary object. At no time is the

juvenile to be handcuffed to any stationary object. Some
departments handcuff the juvenile to a rolling chair, or simply leave
the child in cuffs unattached to any stationary object.
4.


Hold long enough to complete processing and transfer. The

juvenile should be held only long enough to complete identification,
investigation and processing -and then must be released to
parents, guardians or other responsible adults, or transferred to an
alternative juvenile facility or court.
Detention
Restrictions
Continued
5.


Under continuous visual supervision. The juvenile must be

under continuous visual supervision until released from the station.
[


According to the Division of Programs of the Executive Office of Public

Safety (EOPS): "Departments use several options for supervising status
offenders. Some have the juveniles sit in the front lobby under the
supervision of the officer at the front desk. Other stations seat the child on
a chair in view of the dispatcher. A patrol or juvenile officer may oversee
the juvenile until the parents arrive or transportation is provided home.
Police cadets with special training in relating to . . . juveniles and . . . a
private security firm may also be utilized."]
·


Failure to cooperate may necessitate placement in a secure area. If


officers give clear instructions and a valid reason to stay, and the juvenile

leaves a non-secure area, EOPS guidelines state that "the juvenile can be
brought back into the station and placed in a locked area. All separation
requirements still apply. The apprehension order should relate to being
unwilling to follow the instructions of an officer, not to being a runaway."
Be sure to document the reason for this action.
·


Extreme misconduct may justify disorderly charge. As a final point,


the charge of disorderly conduct is applicable to fighting, or threatening, or

"tumultuous behavior," or to physically offensive conduct with no
legitimate purpose within the police station.


See Comm. v. Collins, 36 Mass.

App. Ct. 25 (1994) (raucous behavior by defendant in the area of the police
station booking desk was sufficiently "public" to fall within the coverage of
disorderly conduct).
Notification
Rules
Beyond rules pertaining to proper detention, G.L. c. 119, § 39H requires that
officers notify certain authorities once a CHINS child is in custody.
·


Notify a probation officer; and

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A representative of the appropriate state agency, if the officer has


reason to believe that the child is or has been in the care of DSS, DYS,

Department of Mental Health (DMH), Department of Mental Retardation
(DMR).


All these agencies have hotline numbers.

Placement
Pending
Court
Then, § 39H mandates that officers make "all reasonable diversion efforts" so that
the child is delivered to the following placements


in order of preference:

·


Child's parents or guardian;

·


Temporary shelter licensed or approved by the Office for Children. And


any agency must:

·


Execute a written statement that it will bring the child to the next


court session


; and

·


Furnish transportation (unless the police agree to do so).

·


DSS facility. A child may no longer "be securely detained in a police station


or town lockup." Under the old law, police were permitted to detain a child

for a limited period of time.
Transport
Restrictions
Under G.L. c. 119, § 34, the police may not bring a child in a police wagon to
court.



 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks to all for the help, It seems I was not being told anything I was not already aware of, not being able to find the source was getting me aggravated.
 

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The watch commander was probably thinking of MGL Ch. 119, s. 54, which deals with what the court is supposed to do when presented with a complaint application against a child under 12 years of age.

http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/119-54.htm

Essentially the court is directed to issue a summons rather than a warrant unless there is reason to believe the child won't respond to a summons or the child has not appeared previously when summoned.
 
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