Glossary of Terms
Terms Used In Pennsylvania's Juvenile Justice System
Below is a list of common terms used in Pennsylvania’s juvenile justice system which may be used regarding your child.
|Accountability||The responsibility a child has for repairing the harm caused by the crime that they committed.|
||A hearing in juvenile Court where the District Attorney/Prosecutor, as a representative of the Commonwealth, presents their case to
prove that a child committed the offense he/she has been charged with.
|Adjudication of Delinquency
||When a child is found by the Court to have broken the law and is in need of treatment, supervision or rehabilitation.|
||Taking a child’s case to a higher Court to review the trial Court’s decision.|
|Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ)
||The approach that believes justice is best served when the community, the victim and the offender (child who commits an offense) receive balanced attention.|
||A Court order allowing the police or a juvenile probation officer to physically take a child into custody and bring the child before the judge.|
|Community Protection||Keeping the community safe from harm.|
|Community Service||Volunteer work that a child does to benefit the community and to repair harm she/he has caused.|
|Competency Development||Teaching skills that allow youth to be productive members of the community.|
|Court Order||A document signed by a judge, directing somebody to do something. Anything that is written in the order must be abided by.|
|Detention Center||A locked facility where children are temporarily housed.|
||If the judge finds a child guilty of committing a crime, a disposition hearing is held to decide what services the child will be Court-ordered to
complete (such as probation supervision, community service hours, counseling, and/or commitment to a residential treatment facility).
||A program that diverts children from going to Court.|
|Expungement||The process of legally destroying criminal records.|
|Felony||A crime, typically one involving violence, regarded as more serious than a misdemeanor.|
||A criminal offense that is less serious than a felony.|
||Financial compensation that may be ordered by the court to compensate a victim for their losses and to repair the harm caused. Review Hearing – A Court hearing that is held to review a child’s progress.|
||Consequences that are imposed on children when they break the rules of probation. These consequences may include community service, electronic monitoring, increased probation supervision and/or curfew restrictions.|
|Subpoena||A Court order requiring a person to appear in Court at a certain date and time.|
|Victim Impact Statement||A written form that a victim has a right to complete and
have presented to the Court explaining the emotional and financial impact a child’s
crime has had on them.
|Violation of Probation||When a child under probation either commits
an illegal act or violates other conditions or rules laid out by the Court the Court can respond with sanctions.
|Youth Level of Service Inventory (YLS)||A research-based assessment tool used by the probation office to objectively determine a child’s risk of reoffending and the level of needed intervention.|