The principle goal of a dispositional hearing is to protect the community while also serving the best interests of the juvenile. Thus, juvenile court emphasizes the balanced and restorative justice approach as opposed to simply punishing the offender.
Restorative justice recognizes three principles within the justice system, all of which must be emphasized equally: the victim, the offender, and the community. By focusing upon all three components, restorative justice attempts to heal the broken relationships resulting from a crime rather than simply disciplining the offender. In order to accomplish this goal, the victim as well as community members may be offered the opportunity to become involved in the juvenileís rehabilitation through programs such as mediation.
If the charges brought against the juvenile were proven to be true, the probation department will provide the judge with a dispositional report containing sentencing recommendations. Based on this information, the judge will make his or her decision concerning what to do next. Possible outcomes include:
- Restitution to pay back the victim for any financial loss resulting from the crime.
- Community service or participating in a special program.
- Probation or protective supervision. Probation may involve restrictions concerning school, curfew, the possession of contraband, drugs, or weapons as well as individualized supervision and intensive tracking.
- Revoking or suspending the juvenile's driverís license.
- Ordering detention time. Time stayed or served immediately. Time stayed means if the juvenile does what is ordered, s/he will not have to go to detention.
Read Utah Rule of Juvenile Procedure 44 about the findings and conclusions of the court.
Quick Fact: Approximately 10% of these cases will go to the Department of Youth Corrections which will place the juvenile in either secure confinement or supervision and community placement according to the order of the court.