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When Systems Collide: Improving Court Practices and Programs in Dual Jurisdiction Cases

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2004
19 pages
This paper describes promising court-based or court-linked practices and programs that have effectively addressed the challenges presented by juvenile dual-jurisdiction cases.
The cases at issue are those that involve juveniles as both victims of maltreatment and as offenders. In such cases, the juveniles are under the jurisdictions of both child protection agencies and juvenile justice agencies. Often these two kinds of cases proceed separately under different judges; in pursuit of separate goals; and without any coordination, cooperation, or even communication. The child may be represented by different attorneys, and his/her assigned probation officer and child protection worker may have no contact with one another. These circumstances result in conflicting goals and significant costs while undermining effective and timely action on the juvenile's behalf. Based on a court survey, the authors' experience in work with court systems, and a literature review, this paper selected five categories of court practices that have effectively addressed dual-jurisdiction cases. These categories are screening and assessment, case assignment, case flow management, case planning and supervision, and interagency collaboration. Effective practices are described for each of these areas. The authors advise that some of the approaches described have proven their benefits under scientific evaluations, while others seem promising but require further evaluation. They recommend an incremental approach under limited budgets. 23 notes and 25 references

Date Published: June 1, 2004