Following a sustained petition in Juvenile Court, the Judge may refer the youth and his/her parents to the Probation Department for preparation of a disposition report focusing on the minor’s social history and behavioral patterns. This report must include the circumstances and gravity of the offense, the age of the minor and any prior involvement in the Juvenile Justice System. In addition, the report will include a statement from the victim, youth, and his/her parent(s)/guardian(s), information about educational status, and any mental health or substance abuse issues that need follow-up. Also addressed are issues of dependency and involvement with Child Protective Services.
The Probation Officer utilizes a validated risk assessment tool, called the Positive Achievement Change Tool (PACT) to help determine the youth’s risk to re-offend, needs and strengths. This information helps guide the Probation Officer’s recommendations and individualized case plan developed with the youth and family. Recommendations to the court are made taking into consideration what is in the best interest of the minor, as well as community safety and victim impact. The youth and his/her parent(s)/guardian(s) are provided the dispositional report prior to the court hearing.