2017 Montana Legislature

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HOUSE BILL NO. 327

INTRODUCED BY K. DUDIK

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT GENERALLY REVISING JUVENILE JUSTICE LAWS; REVISING THE DECLARATION OF PURPOSE OF THE MONTANA YOUTH COURT ACT; REQUIRING A PROBATION OR ASSESSMENT OFFICER TO SCREEN A YOUTH FOR CHILD ABUSE OR NEGLECT DURING A PRELIMINARY INQUIRY IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES; REVISING THE PURPOSES OF THE JUVENILE DELINQUENCY INTERVENTION ACT AND THE CRIMINALLY CONVICTED YOUTH ACT; REQUIRING THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES TO PROVIDE NOTIFICATION TO THE STATE PROTECTION AND ADVOCACY PROGRAM FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES WHEN A CHILD SUFFERS ABUSE OR NEGLECT AT A FACILITY UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES; REQUIRING THAT SANCTIONS AND PUNISHMENT FOR VIOLATIONS OF RULES IN YOUTH CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS MEET CERTAIN CRITERIA; AND AMENDING SECTIONS 41-5-102, 41-5-1202, 41-5-1802, 41-5-2002, 41-5-2502, 52-2-603, AND 52-5-102, MCA."

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:

 

     Section 1.  Section 41-5-102, MCA, is amended to read:

     "41-5-102.  Declaration of purpose. The Montana Youth Court Act must be interpreted and construed to effectuate the following express legislative purposes:

     (1)  to preserve the unity and welfare of the family whenever possible and to provide for the care, protection, and wholesome mental and physical development of a youth coming within the provisions of the Montana Youth Court Act;

     (2)  to prevent and reduce youth delinquency through a system that does not seek retribution but that provides:

     (a)  immediate, consistent, enforceable, and avoidable consequences of youths' actions;

     (b) a program of rehabilitation for youth before they become adult offenders;

     (b)(c)  a program of supervision, care, rehabilitation, detention, competency development, and community protection for youth before they become adult offenders;

     (c)(d)  in appropriate cases, restitution as ordered by the youth court; and

     (d)(e)  that, whenever removal from the home is necessary, the youth is entitled to maintain ethnic, cultural, or religious heritage whenever appropriate;

     (3)  to achieve the purposes of subsections (1) and (2) in a family environment whenever possible, separating the youth from the parents only when necessary for the welfare of the youth or for the safety and protection of the community;

     (4)  to provide judicial procedures in which the parties are ensured a fair, accurate hearing and recognition and enforcement of their constitutional and statutory rights."

 

     Section 2.  Section 41-5-1202, MCA, is amended to read:

     "41-5-1202.  Preliminary inquiry -- procedure -- youth assessment. (1) In conducting a preliminary inquiry under 41-5-1201, the juvenile probation officer or assessment officer shall:

     (a)  advise the youth of the youth's rights under this chapter and the constitutions of the state of Montana and the United States;

     (b)  determine whether the matter is within the jurisdiction of the court;

     (c)  determine, if the youth is in detention, a youth assessment center, or shelter care, whether detention, placement in a youth assessment center, or shelter care should be continued or modified based upon criteria set forth in 41-5-341 through 41-5-343; and

     (d) if the youth exhibits the behavior of running away from home, screen the youth to determine if child abuse or neglect, as defined in 41-3-102, is a cause of the behavior.

     (2)  In conducting a preliminary inquiry, the juvenile probation officer or assessment officer may:

     (a)  require the presence of any person relevant to the inquiry;

     (b)  request subpoenas from the judge to accomplish this purpose;

     (c)  require investigation of the matter by any law enforcement agency or any other appropriate state or local agency;

     (d)  perform a youth assessment pursuant to 41-5-1203."

 

     Section 3.  Section 41-5-1802, MCA, is amended to read:

     "41-5-1802.  Rules. The department shall adopt rules governing:

     (1) licensing procedures for regional and county detention facilities, including the requirement that a youth detention facility provide an educational program for youth in need of that service; and

     (2) allowed sanctions and punishments for youth residing in a youth detention facility. The rules must ensure that punishment and sanctions:

     (a) are structured to reflect the severity and frequency of the violations;

     (b) are consistently and promptly imposed; and

     (c) do not include placing a youth alone in a locked room."

 

     Section 4.  Section 41-5-2002, MCA, is amended to read:

     "41-5-2002.  Purpose. The purposes of this part are to:

     (1)  provide an alternate method of funding juvenile out-of-home placements, programs, and services;

     (2)  increase the ability of youth courts to respond to juvenile delinquency through early intervention and expanded community alternatives;

     (3) emphasize the rehabilitation of troubled youth;

     (3)(4)  enhance the ability of youth courts to control costs;

     (4)(5)  enhance community safety, hold youth accountable, and promote the competency development of youth;

     (5)(6)  use local resources for the placement of troubled youth, when appropriate and available;

     (6)(7)  reduce placements in out-of-state residential facilities and programs; and

     (7)(8)  use state youth correctional facilities when appropriate."

 

     Section 5.  Section 41-5-2502, MCA, is amended to read:

     "41-5-2502.  Purpose. The criminally convicted youth act must be interpreted and construed to effectuate the following express legislative purposes:

     (1)  to protect the public;

     (2) to provide for the rehabilitation of youth convicted in district court;

     (2)(3)  to hold youth who commit offenses that may be filed directly in district court pursuant to 41-5-206 accountable for their actions;

     (3)(4)  to provide for the custody, assessment, care, supervision, treatment, education, rehabilitation, and work and skill development of youth convicted in district court; and

     (4)(5)  to comply with the legislative purposes set forth in 41-5-102."

 

     Section 6.  Section 52-2-603, MCA, is amended to read:

     "52-2-603.  Powers and duties of department. (1) The department shall:

     (a)  administer all state and federal funds allocated to the department for youth foster homes, kinship foster homes, youth group homes, youth shelter care facilities, child-care agencies, and transitional living programs for youth in need of care, as defined in 41-3-102;

     (b)  exercise licensing authority over all youth foster homes, kinship foster homes, youth group homes, youth shelter care facilities, child-care agencies, transitional living programs, and youth assessment centers;

     (c)  collect and disseminate information relating to youth in need of care;

     (d)  provide for training of program personnel delivering services;

     (e)  in cooperation with youth care facility providers, develop and implement standards for youth care facilities;

     (f)  maintain adequate data on placements it funds in order to keep the legislature properly informed of the following:

     (i)  the number of youth in need of care in out-of-home care facilities;

     (ii) the cost per facility for services rendered;

     (iii) the type and level of care of services provided by each facility;

     (iv) a profile of out-of-home care placements by level of care; and

     (v)  a profile of public institutional placements;

     (g)  administer all funds allocated to the department for residential alcohol and drug abuse treatment for indigent youth in need of care, indigent youth in need of intervention, and indigent delinquent youth who require treatment; and

     (h)  provide reimbursement for mental health outpatient counseling services for persons who experience the death of a foster child while providing substitute care to the foster child in a youth care facility; and

     (i) if a child suffered abuse or neglect while receiving treatment or substitute care and the person who is the subject of the report is a staff member, employee, or contractor of the facility, treatment program, center, or home, send its documented determination to the state protection and advocacy program for individuals with developmental disabilities as authorized in 42 U.S.C. 15043(a)(2).

     (2)  The department may:

     (a)  enter into contracts with nonprofit corporations or associations or private organizations to provide substitute care for youth in need of care in youth care facilities;

     (b)  accept gifts, grants, and donations of money and property from public and private sources to initiate and maintain community-based services to youth;

     (c)  adopt rules to carry out the administration and purposes of this part.

     (3)  The department shall pay for room, board, clothing, personal needs, and transportation in youth foster care homes and youth group homes for youth who are in the physical or legal custody of the department and who need to be placed in the facilities. Payments for the clothing of a youth placed in a youth foster home must be provided to the extent that the youth needs a basic wardrobe or has a special clothing need. Upon approval by the department, payments under this subsection may continue for a youth up to 21 years of age who remains in substitute care. Payments under this subsection may not exceed appropriations for the purposes of this subsection.

     (4)  The department may provide a subsidy for a guardianship of a child who is in the department's legal custody if the guardianship has been approved by the department pursuant to 41-3-444 and in accordance with eligibility criteria established by department rule."

 

     Section 7.  Section 52-5-102, MCA, is amended to read:

     "52-5-102.  Control and management of youth correctional facilities. (1) The facilities provided for in 52-5-101 shall exercise their functions under the supervision and general management of the department of corrections. Except where otherwise provided by law, the department by rules rule shall establish standards of care and policies of admission, transfers, discharge, and parole supervision in order to provide adequate care for children and adequate service to the courts. Policies of admission may include criteria for medical examinations required under 52-5-108.

     (2) The department shall develop special programs within each facility that are adaptable to the particular needs of its operation.

     (3) Sanctions and punishment for violations of rules regulating the conduct of youth and others in the custody of the department:

     (a) must be structured to reflect the severity and frequency of the violations;

     (b) must be consistently and promptly imposed; and

     (c) may not include placing a youth alone in a locked room."

- END -

 


Latest Version of HB 327 (HB0327.01)
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