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     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 supervision, care, rehabilitation, detention, competency development, and community protection for youth before they become adult offenders;
     (c) in appropriate cases, restitution as ordered by the youth court; and
     (d) 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.

     History: En. 10-1202 by Sec. 2, Ch. 329, L. 1974; R.C.M. 1947, 10-1202; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 246, L. 1979; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 528, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 537, L. 1999; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 512, L. 2005.

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