Curry County Juvenile Department
Juvenile offenders deserve the opportunity for individualized assessment and fair treatment so their best interest and general well being will be served. The Juvenile Department advocates for appropriate treatment by the Juvenile Justice System, and individualized programs and services for youth.
If you have a child under 18 years of age, you should add for following web page to your reading list, especially if you are having any behavorial issues with your child. www.co.curry.or.us/Departments/Juvenile/Questions
Is it possible to have my child placed in detention?
Only the court or the court's designee can
authorize placement of a youth into a juvenile detention facility.
There are strict legal criteria outlining when a juvenile offender is
eligible for detention. A parent cannot have their child placed in
My child uses drugs or alcohol, where can I go to get help?
Of course any illegal drug or alcohol use by a child or adolescent is reason for alarm. Whether it is your child's first attempt or there have been other occasions, now is the time to intervene and get help from a professional. Level of use is broken down into five categories:
1) Experimental use (one time use),
2) Social use (two or more incidents, very irregular use and possibly some negative consequences.),
3) Habitual use (regular use, daily, weekly or monthly and possibly some negative consequences),
4) Abuse (regular use and has experienced negative consequences associated with its use), and
5) Addiction (regular use, has and has experienced significant consequences associated with its use, has difficulty stopping and may be in denial).
The form of help you obtain should depend on
your child's level of use issues. Your first step should be to obtain
a drug and alcohol assessment from a professional who is qualified to
perform drug and alcohol assessments. Our staff regularly responds to
this issue and is quite well prepared to guide you to appropriate
My child is not going to school. What can I do?
Your child's education is important! A good place to start is by scheduling a meeting with your school's administrator. Between the two parties, try to identify and address all reasonable barriers to your child's success. For example, if you find that your child is embarrassed about dressing down for physical education classes, you might ask the administrator for a recommendation, or for options. Your child may be the victim of a bully, explore this option. Communicate regularly, and work closely as a team with your child's school.
A long history of trying to respond to this
problem has taught juvenile counselors that success, if it is going
to occur, requires a commitment from all concerned parties. Engaging
the support of friends, other family members, school authorities,
your local police department and, if a juvenile department counselor
has been assigned for a different reason, is a good place to start.
As you take on this task, commitment, good communication and
coordination is necessary on your part. Some parents go to school-
regardless of their child's age - and attend class on a daily basis
until their child gets the message.
How do I get emancipated?
To be emancipated means that a minor (someone under 18 years of age) has legally been given certain rights which are normally reserved for adults. In order to be emancipated, a minor must be at least 16 years of age and the court must find that the best interests of the minor will be served by emancipation.
To attain emancipated status, juveniles must be fully self-supporting, have an adequate place to live and be able to demonstrate sufficient maturity and sense of responsibility to function on their own without adult supervision.
Prior to Emancipating a Minor the Court Must Consider:
Whether the parent of the minor consents to the emancipation.
Whether the minor has been living away from the family home and is substantially able to be self-maintained and self-supported without parental guidance and supervision.
Whether the minor can demonstrate that he or she is sufficiently mature and knowledgeable to manage his or her affairs without parental assistance.
It is common for the Juvenile Court Judge to expect the minor to come to court prepared with a budget, a stable source of income, a stable residence, and transportation and school issues addressed.
A Decree of Emancipation Serves Only to:
Recognize a minor as an adult for the purposes of contracting and conveying, establishing residence, suing and being sued, and recognize the minor as an adult for purposes of criminal laws of the State of Oregon.
Terminate most parental responsibilities to the emancipated minor.
A decree of emancipation does not affect any age qualification for purchasing alcohol or the requirements for obtaining a marriage license, nor declare the person to have reached the age of majority.
Factors to be Considered:
Below are general guidelines to use as factors the County Judges have identified in verifying appropriate standards for emancipation; the youth shall:Be employed at least 25 to 30 hours per week at minimum wage or more for at least 3 months and be able to furnish a most recent payroll document. (Another source of income, such as a social security trust, may be acceptable.)
Be graduated from high school, have received a GED, or attending educational or vocational school full-time.
Have at least one month's salary in a checking or savings account. (Minimum of $800).
Be able to provide own medical insurance or be able to continue under parent's coverage. Must show documentation from health care provider proving eligibility and availability.
If living away from parental home, be established in a residence for two or three months. The residence cannot be with the youth's boyfriend or girlfriend. (Exception: If emancipation is needed to enter into rental agreement, youth must furnish documentation so indicating.)
Maturity and responsibility: Youth must demonstrate the ability to be on his/her own without adult supervision by the following:parental testimony
recommendation from reliable adults
reports from school instructors or employers
development and submission of monthly budget
There shall be no pending law violations involving the youth.
The Emancipation Process:
Prior to filing for emancipation a youth may meet with a juvenile department counselor who can answer questions, guide the youth through the process and counsel the youth on the viability of an emancipation.
Once the youth has decided to go forward with the emancipation application the youth must go to the juvenile department in the county where he or she resides and file an application with the associated fee. The filing fee is nonrefundable. Once the application for emancipation has been filed, the juvenile court will assign a juvenile department counselor who will answer questions, ask questions in order to gather relevant information, and prepare a report which summarizes the significant issues and concludes with a recommendation to the judge. The court will conduct a preliminary hearing within ten (10) days of the date of filing. A final hearing will be held no later than sixty (60) days after filing.
Parents are notified of any emancipation proceeding. At the preliminary hearing the youth is informed of the civil and criminal rights and liabilities of an emancipated minor and an emancipation hearing date is scheduled.
At the emancipation hearing the judge will hear testimony, review materials presented and ask questions. The minor must be prepared with relevant documents and answers to questions at the time of the hearing.
If the minor is emancipated, he or she is provided a copy of the Decree of Emancipation and instructed to obtain an Oregon driver's license or an Oregon identification card through the Oregon Department of Transportation which makes a notation of the minor's emancipated status.
Please be aware that an emancipation, under most circumstances, can not be reversed.
Emancipated minors are subject to jurisdiction of the adult courts for criminal offenses.
It is not unusual for parents to want to emancipate their child, however, this action must be initiated by the person being emancipated.
What do I do if I see a child being abusedd or neglected?
Your response to a situation like this should
depend upon the level of urgency. If there is doubt in your mind and
clearly no immediate danger you can call the State Department of
Human Services and ask how to respond. If, on the other hand, the
child is clearly in danger, do not hesitate. Dial 911 and report the
incident and details to the police. The State Department of Human
Services - Curry Branch can be contacted at (541) 247-4515. Oregon
law states, "Anyone participating in good faith in the making of a
report of child abuse and who has reasonable grounds for the making
thereof shall have immunity from any liability, civil or criminal . .
Official School Bus Stop Policy
My child is out of control. What can I do?
This question is probably the most frequent of all questions at the Juvenile Department. Unfortunately this is probably the one question which is least likely to have a well specified answer. At the Juvenile Department we see a variety of definitions for the phrase "out of control". On one hand some parents complain of defiance and noncompliance and on the other hand some parents report stories where their home has been severely damaged and they are fearful for their lives. If the "out of control" problem roots from the youth wanting to be more independent, your approach is likely to be very different than if the problem stems from a mental health concern, i.e., Conduct Disorder or Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder. It is advisable to talk with a professional, such as a family physician or counselor, as soon as possible. A remedy for this sort of problem will be more successful if it is dealt with in its early development stages.
There are several ways to approach the problem of an out of control child. The following are some ideas which might prove helpful:
1. Reading, (I.e., Back in Control by Gregory Bodenheimer)
2. Support groups, (I.e., Tough Love)
3. Lifestyle issues, (i.e., sleep and eating habits, family conflict issues, etc.)
4. Parent education, (i.e., Classes offered through Community Schools)
5. Counseling, (I.e., Community Family Counseling)
6. Seeking medication, (Talk with your physician)
7. Seeking an out of home placement for the child, (private providers)
8. If a crime has been committed, seeking police involvement
(The above examples are not to be considered endorsements)
Having an out of control child is both
frustrating and humbling. Probably most frustration comes from the
inability to force the child to do what is right and behave in an
acceptable fashion. Be careful how you respond. It is not advisable
that you let your child rule your home or come and go as he or she
pleases. These conflicts, especially with a teen, can have a profound
effect on family relations for years to come. Think through your
family rules. Be sure to know which rules are mandatory
(nonnegotiable) and which ones are negotiable. It is possible that
some form of empowerment may be the "out" your child is looking for.
Recognize that most "out of control" youth are engaging in a power
struggle. Think through a plan to prevent a progressive escalation of
this power struggle.
My child ran away. What will happen?
If you are certain your child ran away you can call your local police department to file a runaway report. If you do not live in an incorporated city and live in County, call the County Sheriff's office and ask how to file a runaway report. Some police departments require that your child be away for at least 24 hours before a report will be accepted.
While waiting for your child to return, or be located, you can use this time to educate yourself about your options and counseling resources. You can also use this time to develop a plan to implement when your child returns home.
Please be advised, if your child has only been
taken into custody for runaway he will NOT be placed in detention,
(unless he or she is an out of State runaway). Out of State runaways
can be placed in detention until arrangements can be made to return
the runaway to his or her home State, (ORS 419C.156).
For Parents of a Runaway
I am a runaway. What can I do?
Being a runaway is an indication of turmoil within your home. Sometimes the problems stem from your choices, sometimes from your parent or guardian actions, some combination of the two, or even some other cause. Rather than finding a place for blame, the focus is on trying to solve the problem(s) or at least reduce the tension in the home enough so that it is once again livable. Of course there are some situations where returning a runaway to his or her home is not safe and your safety is our greatest concern.
If you are a runaway and a police report has been filed, you should either return home or turn yourself in. You can turn yourself in to any police officer. If the police find you first, you will be taken into custody. Once you are in custody you will likely either be taken home or taken to the County Shelter Care Center.
Please be advised, if you have only been taken
into custody for runaway you will NOT be placed in detention, unless
you are an out of State runaway. Out of State runaways can be placed
in detention and held until arrangements can be made to return the
runaway to his or her home State, (ORS 419C.156)
What is the curfew for juveniles?
Oregon Revised Statute 419C.680 says: (1) No minor shall be in or upon any street, highway, park, alley or other public place between the hours of 12 midnight and 4 a.m. of the following morning, unless:
(a) Such minor is accompanied by a parent, guardian or other person 18 years of age or over and authorized by the parent.
(b) Such minor is then engaged in a lawful pursuit or activity which requires the presence of the minor in such public places during these hours;
(c) The minor is legally emancipated
Please note that cities have the ability to
enact special ordinances pertaining to curfew in their jurisdiction.
The City of Brookings has such a curfew ordinance of 10:30pm to
What is Measure 11?
Measure 11 is an Oregon law which says if a youth is 15, 16 or 17 years of age, and does any of the following list of crimes in Oregon, he or she must be tried as an adult and must go to prison for a long time.
Why Does Oregon Have this Law?
Measure 11 is a law designed to assure that dangerous juvenile offenders are removed from society. It is designed to make the citizens of Oregon feel safer by taking the most violent juvenile offenders out of circulation and locking them up for a long time.
What are the Measure 11 Crimes?
Following is a list of the Measure 11 crimes and the associated mandatory sentence:
* Under certain circumstances there
may be a less than minimum for this crime.
* Under certain circumstances there may be a less than minimum for this crime.
With Measure 11 crimes probation, parole and early release are not allowed.
Examples of Measure 11 Crimes:
Robbery II: You, alone or with a friend, want someone's baseball cap. You either pretend to have a weapon or threaten to beat the owner up. Upon conviction for Robbery II you and your friend go to prison for 5 years and 10 months.
Assault II: You and a friend get into a fight with another person. Your friend pokes the other person in the eye with the handle of a hairbrush causing serious injury to the eye. You and your friend go to prison for 5 years and 10 months when convicted.
Sexual Abuse I: You are on a date and touch your partner in the buttock, crotch or breast. In spite of being told to stop, you touch the person again. When convicted of Sexual Abuse in the First Degree you go to prison for 6 years and 3 months.
Kidnapping II: You are mad at another person and go to their house to confront them. You force the person outside to beat him up. You go to prison for 5 years and 10 months if convicted.
Will the Judge Give You a Break if You Have Never Been in Trouble?
No! The law says the judge MUST send anyone to
prison who is 15 or older and guilty of a Measure 11 crime.
What is a Violation, Misdemeanor and Felony?
Generally, an offense is a "violation" if, (a) the offense is designated as a violation in the statute defining the offense, (b) the statute prescribing the penalty for the offense provides that the offense is punishable by a fine but does not provide that the offense is punishable by a term of imprisonment, (ORS 153.008)
A "crime" is an offense for which a sentence of imprisonment is authorized. A crime is either a misdemeanor or a felony, (ORS 161.515). Generally misdemeanor crimes are considered less serious than felony crimes.
A crime is a misdemeanor if it is so designated in any statute of Oregon or if a person convicted thereof may be sentenced to a maximum term of imprisonment of not more than one year, (ORS 161.545). A fine can also be imposed.
Misdemeanor crimes are classified for the purpose of the sentence into the following categories:
Misdemeanor Crimes Misdemeanor Classification
Prison Term Maximum
Fines for Misdemeanors
Class A misdemeanor 1 year $6,250 Class B misdemeanor 6 months $2,500 Class C misdemeanor 30 days $1,250
Theft in the second and third degree (shoplifting), harassment, and some criminal mischief crimes are examples of misdemeanor crimes.
A crime is a felony if it is so designated in any statue of Oregon or if a person convicted under a statue of this state may be sentenced to a maximum term of imprisonment of more than one year, (ORS.161.525). A fine may also be imposed.
Felony crimes are classified for the purpose of the sentence into the following categories:
Felony Crimes Felony Classification Prison Term Maximum Limittion Fines for Misdemeanors Class A misdemeanor 20 years $375,000 Class B misdemeanor 10 years $250,000 Class C misdemeanor 5 years $125,000
Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle, Theft in the First Degree, Burglary, Robbery and some Assaults are Felony crimes.
What is a status offense?
A status offense is a law violation, (not a delinquency, crime or violation) which only applies to juveniles. For example, curfew is a status offense. A juvenile can commit the status offense of violating curfew but adults, (those over 18) can, all things being equal, stay out all night long if they so wish. Other examples of status offenses include:
Youth who commit status offenses are not
thought to be "delinquent" youth.
What is a delinquent act?
A delinquent act is a law violation which if
done by an adult (someone 18 years old or older) would be a crime.
For example, if an adult steals a car and is convicted he or she is
thought of as someone who has committed a crime and to be a criminal.
A juvenile who steals a car and is convicted is thought of as someone
who has committed a delinquent act, (an act which would be a crime if
he or she were an adult.), and to be a delinquent.
My daughter's ex-boyfriend is stalking her. How do I handle it?
Stalking orders are obtained through civil
court. If you go to the State Court Clerks Office - Civil in
the Curry County courthouse, you can ask for stalking forms to
complete. Clerks are available to assist you and they will set a
court hearing for the judge to rule on the stalking motion.
What do I need to know about wilderness survivval programs before I send my child?
A parent should call the State Department of Human Services and ask for the licensing department. Once connected, ask if the State has licensed the program you are interested in. They can tell you information in their files concerning the program.
If the program is not licensed with the State, ask the program director for staff credentials. Does the staff have college degrees? What certifications do their staff carry? What work experience does staff have in serving adolescents? Ask if there are pending law suits against the program? Ask for professional and previous client references. A good program should be eager to share this information. Ask for their philosophy on managing resistive, out of control youth. Ask to see their staff's training records for first aid, CPR, physical and mechanical restraints.
You might also ask to see any reports the
program may generate addressing performance measurements. How many
clients successfully complete the program? How has the program
measured long term impact?