Tulsa County Family Center for Juvenile Justice

Court Services

An Introduction

The court services division of the Tulsa County Family Justice Center is comprised of two primary groups, Intake and Probation. These two groups provide a continuum of services to youth and their families involved with the Juvenile Justice system in Tulsa County. Our client centered approach to Juvenile Justice has allowed both departments to provide a high level of case management and supervision to our youth and families in our community.

The Intake Division serves approximately 745 youth per year referred for an alleged delinquent act, and through the course of the coming fiscal year, the department will serve a total of around 1,750 youth who will account for nearly 2,294 referrals. Two times the number of males will be referred as females and ages of those referrals will average 15.8 years. The current average caseload for an Intake Counselor is 61 youth. Intake workers are the first individuals within our system to have contact with youth who have been referred for delinquency and their families. Intake makes filing decisions for misdemeanor offenses and some property offense felonies. They work closely with the District Attorney’s office to make decisions regarding the progression of cases through our system based on analysis and assessment of both the offense details and the youth’s needs. These deductions result in the deferment, filing and subsequent referral to probation if adjudicated. The information provided by the Intake Division is the catalyst for future planning and treatment of our delinquent youth.

Embedded within Intake is our Steno Department. These individuals provide data entry and organization to a youth’s referral. These referrals typically arrive in the form of a police report and the steno division is responsible for entering all details of the allegation in our JOLTS (Juvenile On-Line Tracking System).Steno then creates a file for the youth and forwards the referral information on the Supervisors in the Intake department. The foundation for accuracy and clarity in a youth’s case here at the bureau begins and ends with this very important piece of the Court Services family.

Probation will receive about 450 per year referrals for Probation services during the year and is currently serving 325 youth and families. The demographics remain unchanged for the transition of youth from the Intake level to the Probation level of service. The average caseload of non-specialized Probation Counselors is 24. The average caseload of a Specialized Probation counselor, such as a Dually Adjudicated Probation Counselor or a High Intensity Probation Counselor is 15. These caseloads fall within or beat the recommended ratios of Probation Counselors to youth they serve. Probation has a myriad of responsibilities in regard the youth they serve, both in the courtroom and in the community. Utilizing past assessments, details of the adjudicated offenses and youth and families’ current situation, Probation designs a plan of treatment for the youth with the primary and encompassing goal of ending delinquent behavior from the referred youth. Once the treatment plan is adopted by the court, Probation will supervise the youth in the community, monitor progress with referred treatment providers and attend court with the youth to report the Judge of record the progress, lack thereof and any needed changes in the status of the youth moving forward with the case. Probation prides itself on being respectful, client centered and successful in helping change the course of the youth served.

Under the umbrella of Probation supervision, the Intensive Supervision Program or ISP, is a program designed to be an alternative to detention while providing and high level of accountability and contact while youth are on homebound detention status or have been deemed through behavioral issues or situational threats to be in need of increased community contact. ISP workers make contact with youth at home, in school or at their place of employment if necessary. This contact occurs at all hours of the day and evening, with each youth being seen multiple times during the day. ISP provides after hours assistance and is on call to receive calls from parents or guardians regarding issues or emergencies at the home of the youth. Over the course of the coming year, ISP should receive around 230 referrals for youth with only near 15 being refused the service after evaluation or based on past failures with the program. Minus the ISP program, these youth would likely have found themselves incarcerated in the Detention Home.

The Court Services Division of the Tulsa County Family Justice Center strives to provide the best plan of treatment, referrals for services and community supervision to the youth and families we serve for the purpose helping promote positive change and a safer community for Tulsa County. Being the crux of the juvenile justice system, the division is comprised of 44 professionals working together to provide the best possible services and outcomes to the public. We all look forward to another great year of serving Tulsa County.

Delinquent Court Process

Understanding it can be intimidating and scary to find yourself involved in the legal system as either a juvenile who has found themselves in trouble with the law or a parent of a child who has been arrested or charged with a delinquent act, this document attempts to provide a simple understanding of what could be expected in the normal process of movement through the Tulsa County Family Justice Center when charged as a delinquent.

To further help understand the process, it is important to understand some key terms that differ from the criminal courts. The purpose of the difference is to separate adult proceedings and the language they use from juvenile proceedings and the language used in their reporting to help ensure that there is no confusion about the status of the youth.

  1. Delinquent Act – any criminal act committed or allegedly committed by a juvenile. In adult court this would be referred to as only in terms of misdemeanors and felonies. Juvenile court also differentiates between felony and misdemeanors, but refers to the charge as a delinquent referral, not a charge or crime.
  2. Adjudicated – in adult court, this would be the same as being found guilty. In juvenile court a youth is not found guilty, but adjudicated a delinquent.
  3. Disposition – in adult court, this would be the sentencing phase of the process. This refers to specific orders made by the Court affecting the liberties of and providing consequences to the youth and family following adjudication.
  4. Referral – would be a charge if in adult court. Means that contact with law enforcement has occurred and an incident is being looked at for filing by our Intake Department and the District Attorney’s office.
  5. Stipulation- admission by a Juvenile of ones participation in a delinquent act.
  6. Deferred Adjudication- Occasionally, a child will plead guilty to the petition and the intake counselor will recommend to the District attorney and the court a deferred adjudication. If the Judge and District attorney are in agreement on a deferred adjudication, the judge will withhold the finding of delinquency for a period of three to six months, during which time the child will fulfill a deferred adjudication contract. If the child completes the deferred adjudication contract successfully, the Judge will dismiss the charge at the deferred adjudication review.
  7. Dispositional Study and Individual Treatment and Service Plan – This is a document prepared by the probation department prior to the Dispositional hearing that contains a social and legal history of the child and family, exploring what may be the root causes of the delinquent behavior and identifying particular treatment needs that will help reduce the likelihood of re-offense. When this document is presented to the Court, it will contain a specific treatment plan for the juvenile and family to follow, and the Court can either modify it or adopt it as an order at the Dispositional hearing.

The Court Process

  1. The juvenile is, either through investigation or arrest, referred to the Family Justice Center intake department through a police report. If arrested and placed in detention, see (link to detention process and contact numbers).
  2. The intake department (link for intake process and contact numbers), in the event it is a misdemeanor first time offense and the youth is not already involved in the system, determines the merit of the charge and meets with the family to evaluate the current circumstance. The referral is either sent to the DA for approval or sent for dismissal as information only. Felony offenses are sent to the DA for approval or dismissal after the police report is received and the family is set for a meeting with an Intake Worker.
  3. If the report is sent to the DA for approval, the DA can either decline to file which would end the case or could file a delinquent petition against the youth.
  4. If a delinquent petition is filed against a youth, the youth and/or parents are notified by intake of the filing and the date to appear in court. Oftentimes an attorney is required at this hearing and if you believe you may qualify for a Public Defender, arrangement should be made to fill out the paperwork to acquire one free of charge.
  5. At the initial hearing after filing, the normal process is to identify the juvenile’s desire regarding the case. A juvenile may either “stipulate” (offer a plea of guilt to the facts of the petition) or ask for either a trial by judge or a trial by jury.
  6. Should the child stipulate to the petition, the case would be referred to the Probation Department (see link for probation process and contact).
  7. Should the child deny the facts of the petition and request a trial, the court date will be set for an appropriate time for both sides to prepare a case and a trial be held to determine if a finding of innocent or delinquent will be found.
  8. Should the juvenile be found innocent, the case will be closed and the juvenile finished with the delinquent court for that charge. Should the juvenile be found delinquent, the youth and family would be referred to probation for assessment and preparation of a dispositional study and individual treatment and service plan.

This process is reduced to the simplest terms and represents what would be the normal course of a delinquent referral and its course through our system up to the involvement of our Probation Department.Some cases are more complex resulting in different situations occurring. You are encouraged to ask questions and get clarifications when needed during any part of this process.