The Juvenile Division handles both Abuse/Neglect and Delinquency cases. For criminal purposes, a "juvenile" is anyone under the age of eighteen. The purpose of the juvenile division is accountability mediation, corrections and intervention. The State's Attorney's Office always considers the best interest of the minor and also security to the public.
A criminal offense in juvenile court is called a "delinquency" and can include anything from armed robbery to disorderly conduct. These cases are handled confidentially, as the intent of juvenile court is to rehabilitate youthful offenders. Charges in the juvenile system are modeled after the criminal system as minors are charged with the same types of cases, however, they are normally handled in juvenile court. Certain, more serious crimes, such as murder, call for the automatic certification of a minor as an adult. Additionally, the State can also petition the court to certify a minor as an adult should circumstances warrant. Cases where a minor is certified as an adult are handled in adult court.
The Division also works closely with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to ensure that children reside in an appropriate and caring environment. As a last resort, the State's Attorney's Office initiates proceedings that call for the termination of parental rights.
SPECIAL PROSECUTION UNITS