Louisiana's Juvenile Probation Rules
- Louisiana Law requires the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections to oversee and manage juvenile probation and parole services. The department provides juvenile intake and assessment to any court or district attorney. It also examines and evaluates reports of child delinquency and determines if the child is in need of supervision. If the department advises the District Attorney that the child's best interests would be served by initiating a juvenile proceeding, it can refer the case to the Department of Social Services or any other authorized public agency. The Department of Public Safety and Corrections doesn't assume any prosecutorial functions in this process.
- Juvenile probation can be imposed by a court in misdemeanor and felony cases. Whenever probation is imposed, the court enters orders with which the juvenile must comply. In all probation cases, the juvenile must not possess drugs or alcohol and must not commit any further crimes. If he does, this is grounds for immediate revocation of probation. The courts may also issue any additional terms deemed appropriate to ensuring the child's best interests as well as those of the community, including the following: school attendance, court-approved community service, restitution, psychological or medical counseling and restrictions of driving privileges.
- As with probation, Louisiana courts can order diversion in juvenile cases. While probation is imposed by the court after a juvenile has been sentenced, diversion is a process through which the district attorney arranges for informal adjudication of the juvenile case. After a juvenile petition has been filed, the court can allow the District Attorney's office to enter into an informal agreement with terms similar to probation. The juvenile must comply with the terms of a diversion just as she would those of a probation sentence, but the case remains pending while the juvenile is on diversion. Once the diversion is successfully completed, the District Attorney drops the case. However, if the diversion is not successful, the case formally proceeds before the court.