The Juvenile Section is responsible for the screening, filing, and prosecution of three kinds of cases involving juveniles:
Cases where a child, under the age of seventeen (17), violates a criminal law. La.Ch.C. art. 801, et seq. If a Petition for Delinquency is filed, the case is allotted to one of two divisions of court and proceeds towards adjudication.
In some instances the juvenile may qualify for entry into the Informal Adjustment Program where he or she is supervised by a Juvenile Probation Officer. If the program is completed successfully, the charges are refused or dismissed.
Cases where a juvenile is truant, runs away or is unruly and ungovernable beyond the control of his parents. La.Ch.C. art. 726, et seq. These cases are prosecuted under the Family In Need of Services (F.I.N.S.) section of the Children’s Code. The family will be provided services and supervised by a F.I.N.S. Probation Officer employed by the court.
Truancy matters are referred by schools in Plaquemines Parish when a child exceeds five (5) unexcused absences or tardies in a semester. La.R.S. 17:233. These matters are screened by the Assistant District Attorney and referred to F.I.N.S. or the Truancy Hearing Officer who will schedule a conference at school with the parents and child. Following the meeting and the recommendation of the hearing officer, the Assistant District Attorney will screen the case and decide the course of action which may include, refusal, diversion, or prosecution. Parents may also be prosecuted for failure to send their children to school pursuant to La.R.S. 17:221.
Cases where a juvenile is the victim of neglect or abuse. La.Ch.C. art. 601, et seq. These cases are worked in conjunction with the Office of Community Services (O.C.S.). Once a Petition for Child in Need of Care is filed, the case is allotted to one of two divisions of court and will proceed towards adjudication.
The District Attorney’s Office works in conjunction with the following agencies to provide services to the children and families of our parish:
Plaquemines C.A.R.E. Center
115 Keating Drive
Belle Chasse, LA 70037
(504) 393-5760 (Fax)
Plaquemines Behavioral Health – (504) 394-1200
Metropolitan Human Services District – (504) 568-3130
Office of Child Services – (504) 361-6083