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Juvenile Services

Juvenile Services

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Welcome to Saline County Juvenile Court. Juvenile Court is responsible for adjudicating matters regarding minors.  Crimes committed by children and minors are treated differently and deferentially regarding the same crimes committed by adults to give young, impressionable youth a second chance.  Cases generally fall into two major categories:  Delinquency and Family In Need of Services (FINS).  

Intake is the first step in the Juvenile Court process.  When a juvenile is cited with a delinquent charge, the juvenile comes in for an Intake appointment.  The purpose of the Intake is to advise the juvenile of their rights and to gather background information on the family to ensure the Court order the appropriate services during the adjudication.  The possible services the Judge will order include the following:  Probation, community service, counseling, drug and alcohol classes, electronic monitoring, house arrest, detention in a juvenile detention facility, commitment to the Division of Youth Services (DYS).  Intake services also includes at the discretion of intake officer and juvenile prosecutor diversion programs for select, first time, non-violent offenders.  Diversion programs include, but are not limited to: Teen Court, Aftercare classes, and Mediation.

Delinquency cases may be filed when a juvenile ages 10-17 commits an act that would be a crime (not including traffic and game and fish violations) if committed by an adult, or minors in possession of handguns.  The prosecuting attorney files a petition with the court and the juvenile and his/her parents are made defendants and must answer to the court.

Family In Need of Services (FINS) cases may be filed when a child’s behavior includes such acts as running away, being truant or being disobedient to his/her parents and it is brought to the attention of the juvenile authorities, often by parents or school officials.  The goal of a FINS case is to work out a course of action to stop these problems.  FINS cases also include kids who commit crimes who are under 10 and kids who have mental health and alcohol and drug related problems.

Truancy FINS cases are referred by the schools to the Truancy Prevention Officer when a juvenile has had excessive unexcused absences.  The Truancy Officer works through the community based mental health provider, and refers Truancy cases to Juvenile Court when a Truancy FINS may need to be filed.  Saline County conducts monthly Truancy FINS court to meet with clients who have been referred for a court involved Truancy FINS.

Juvenile Drug Court was established in December 2007.  The purpose of the juvenile drug court program in Saline County is to reduce drug-related juvenile delinquency, protect our community from the effects of drugs and drug use, to reduce the number of delinquent juveniles re-entering our juvenile court system and ultimately to protect Saline County as a whole from the effects of illicit drugs.  The focus of Saline County Juvenile Drug Court is to guide juveniles and their families toward substance abuse recovery by using a method of phase graduation, each involving sanctions and incentives.  The Juvenile Drug Court Program is only available to non-violent offenders that are approved by the Juvenile Drug Court Team.

Juvenile Court Staff
102 S. Main St
Benton, AR  72015

Phone: 501-303-5730
Fax: 501-303-5665

Carol Childs  Juvenile Court Director
Jay Gwatney  Deputy Director/Intake
Jennie Standridge  Intake Officer
Kendra Turbyfill  Intake Officer
Roshunda Foreman  Probation Officer
Lisa Robertson  Probation Officer
Hunter Baldwin  Probation Officer
Brandon Balding  Probation Officer
Chris Runnells  Probation Officer
Megan Johnson Drug Court Coordinator
Karla Hughes  Case Coordinator