Investigation Units I and II provide various services to the Juvenile Court. All referrals generated by law enforcement in Kern County are referred to Investigations for assessment. Many are evaluated using a risk/needs assessment tool which is evidence-based and proven to effectively evaluate a youth’s risk to re-offend. Based on the nature of the crime and the youth’s risk level, numerous services could be provided including but not limited to diversion through a warning letter, referral to Traffic Court, referral to community agencies for services, or submission to the District Attorney for the possible filing of a Petition in Juvenile Court.
When a Petition is filed in Juvenile Court, investigators complete an in-depth individual social study, which includes gathering information regarding the offense, the youth’s home environment, school records and history, prior delinquent history, and statements from the youth, parent, and victim (if applicable). Officers use this information to make a recommendation to the Court which appropriately addresses the youth’s needs, holds them accountable, and provides them with the opportunity for rehabilitation.
Investigations has other related responsibilities which include but are not limited to: Transfer of Jurisdiction hearings to determine a youth’s suitability to be rehabilitated in the juvenile setting; Record Seals; Information Requests; and Emancipations.