Ind. Supreme Court Case Illustrates Challenges With Juvenile Justice System

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WFYI Indianapolis on 04/20/2018 by Barbara Brosher

The Indiana Supreme Court heard arguments Friday in a case that raises questions about what avenues juveniles have for seeking relief if they think their cases weren’t handled properly.

The case illustrates larger challenges with Indiana’s juvenile justice system, because kids don’t have the same avenues for relief as adults in the criminal justice system.

Court documents say police took the juvenile, J.W., into custody last year for false informing and delinquency after he gave them and hospital personnel his brother’s name and age when he was treated for attempting suicide.

During the teen’s first court date, his attorney told the judge the juvenile was waiving his right to an initial hearing and admitting to the false informing count. The judge ordered the child be placed at Delaware County Juvenile Detention Center.

When an adult pleads guilty to criminal charges, the adult can’t file an appeal. Attorneys for each side disagree on whether the same rule applies to juveniles.