A N A C T
RELATING TO THE TOWN OF LINCOLN -- JUVENILE HEARING BOARD
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. For the purposes of promoting the public health, safety, morals or general welfare, the town council of the town of Lincoln shall have the power, in accordance with the provisions of this act, within the limits of said town, by ordinance, to pass, ordain, establish and amend an ordinance to establish a juvenile hearing board.
Without limiting the generality of the aforementioned, such ordinance shall include the following provisions:
SECTION 1. Establishment. -- There is hereby established within the Town of Lincoln, a Juvenile Hearing Board with the powers set forth in this article for the purpose of hearing all cases referred to such a Board by the Chief of Police, or his designee, that such persons from the Town of Lincoln under the age of eighteen (18), who are charged with violating the criminal laws of the State of Rhode Island including wayward, misdemeanor and status offenses and violations of local Town Ordinances.
The Chief of Police or his designee will make referrals to the Juvenile Hearing Board. Referrals to said Juvenile Hearing Board shall not be offered to any juvenile:
(a) Who has been charged with any offense which has a penalty greater than one year period of incarceration and/or where the Legislature has determined the charge to be a felony as defined under the Rhode Island General Laws.
(b) Who has been referred to the Juvenile Board within the last eighteen months or who has been referred twice before to the Hearing Board.
(c) Who, at the time of commission of such offense, was within the custody and control of the Family court pursuant to a Petition of Delinquency and Waywardness, as defined in Family Court Rules of Juvenile Procedures and Title 14, Chapter 1 of the Rhode Island General Laws or where the Juvenile Hearing Board determines that it is in the best interest of the juvenile to be referred to Family Court.
SECTION 2. Powers and Duties. -- (a) The Chief of Police or his designee shall refer to the Board any juvenile offender whose offense falls within the criteria as defined in Section 1.
(b) No referral to the Board shall be made until the person, together with his/her legal guardian and/or legal representative shall have in writing waived such person's right to a hearing in the Family Court with respect to the offense charged, has admitted to the alleged offense, and shall have agreed to abide by the decision of the board. Once the Board determines that the person should be disciplined it shall recommend sanctions (other than incarceration) and shall direct restitution, including without limiting the generality of the foregoing, an attempt to provide with cooperation of the Town Administrator or the Superintendent of Schools, suitable employment by the Town of Lincoln. In any such proceeding the Juvenile Hearing Board, prior to imposing sanctions, shall request the juvenile offender and his or her parents/guardians to agree to the sanctions imposed, and the amount of restitution and manner of making the same. In ordering restitution, the Juvenile Hearing Board shall take into account the juvenile offender's ability to pay, and the amount of actual damage caused as a result of the commission of such offense.
(c) Sanctions imposed by the Board shall be for a period of time not to exceed six (6) months and may consist of, but not be limited to: community service, reasonable restitution, direct work services for the victim, letters of apology, curfews, referrals for counseling and intervention services, alternative dispute resolution programs, driving license restrictions, etc. The sanctions or conditions set forth shall be in writing; clearly understood by the juvenile and his or her parents/guardians and a signed copy provided to him or her. The specific sanctions shall be completed within sixty (60) days except with regard to school related and counseling issues. If sanctions are not agreeable to the juvenile or parents/guardians, the offense complaint shall be returned to the referring person, which in turn may refer to Family Court. If a referral is made to Family Court under such conditions, a notation shall be included to inform the court of the action of the Juvenile Hearing Board to try to resolve the matter and the reasons why this was unsuccessful. Likewise if a juvenile fails to comply with the agreed upon sanctions, without good cause, the action of the Juvenile Hearing Board may be vacated and the matter referred to Family Court with a notation to that effect. The Juvenile Hearing Board shall provide the Chief Judge of the Family Court with an annual report as to their activity.
SECTION 3. Administration -- The membership of the Lincoln Juvenile Hearing Board shall consist of five (5) persons and two (2) alternates over the age of eighteen (18) all of whom shall be a resident of Lincoln for at least three (3) years. The selection process is as follows:
(a) The positions will be advertised for prospective members with backgrounds in the related fields of education, probation, parole, human services, community youth services, members of the clergy, law enforcement or judicial officials, or a citizen who the Council deems has the credentials that would be an asset to the board. No member of the board shall be entitled to any compensation by reason of his or her service on the board. All positions of the Juvenile Hearing Board will be filled without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, veteran status or disability.
(b) Resumes will be received by the Chief of Police, or designee, who with the Screening Committee shall submit up to fifteen (15) qualified candidates to the Town Administrator, or designee, who in turn will certify and submit the names to the Town Council for final appointment. Each Town Council member shall have one appointment from the list presented by the Screening Committee beginning with District One and proceeding through District Five. The representatives on the Juvenile Hearing Board do not have to be appointed by district. The Council as a whole shall select the two alternates from the list submitted by the Screening Committee. If there is a resignation from the Board, the Screening Committee shall submit a new list of not more than five (5) names to the Council including, but not excluding the names of the two alternates who would be eligible for appointment to the Board. The Town Councilor whose appointee resigned shall replace the resigned.
(c) The Screening Committee will be comprised of the following persons:
The Chief of Police of the Town of Lincoln, or his designee.
A representative of the Lincoln School Department: The Superintendent, The High School Principal, or designee;
The Lincoln Substance Abuse Prevention Council Coordinator.
The Lincoln Police Department Juvenile Officer.
(d) In order to stagger the initial terms, a random drawing will be held so that three (3) members will serve for three (3) years and two (2) members will serve for two (2) years. Thereafter, the length of term will be three (3) years. No member shall serve more than two (2) full terms.
SECTION 4. Confidentiality -- Due to the Confidentiality Rights of the juveniles presented before the Board, all members shall be required to sign an Agreement of Confidentiality.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage and shall apply to all juveniles alleged to have committed an offense subsequent to the date of enactment.