Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 12. Preliminary Investigation

Preliminary Inquiry -- Youth Assessment

41-5-1203. Preliminary inquiry -- youth assessment. (1) The juvenile probation officer or assessment officer may perform a youth assessment if:

(a) a youth has been referred to the youth court as an alleged youth in need of intervention with a minimum of two misdemeanor offenses or three offenses in the past year that would not be offenses if the youth were an adult;

(b) the youth is alleged to be a youth in need of intervention or a delinquent youth and the youth or the youth's parents or guardian requests the youth assessment and both the youth and the parents or guardian are willing to cooperate with the assessment process; or

(c) the circumstances surrounding a youth who has committed an act that would be a felony if committed by an adult indicate the need for a youth assessment and the safety of the community has been considered in determining where the youth assessment is conducted.

(2) A youth assessment:

(a) must be a multidisciplinary effort that may include, but is not limited to a chemical dependency evaluation of the youth, an educational assessment of the youth, an evaluation to determine if the youth has mental health needs, or an assessment of the need for any family-based services or other services provided by the department of public health and human services or other state and local agencies. The education component of the youth assessment is intended to address attendance, behavior, and performance issues of the youth. The education component is not intended to interfere with the right to attend a nonpublic or home school that complies with 20-5-109.

(b) must include a summary of the family's strengths and needs as they relate to addressing the youth's behavior;

(c) may occur in a youth's home, with or without electronic monitoring, or pursuant to 41-5-343 in a youth assessment center licensed by the department of public health and human services or in any other entity licensed by the department of public health and human services. The county shall provide adequate security in other licensed entities through provision of additional staff or electronic monitoring. The staff provided by the county must meet licensing requirements applicable to the licensed entity in which the youth is being held.

(3) The assessment officer arranging the youth assessment shall work with the parent or guardian of the youth to coordinate the performance of the various parts of the assessment with any providers that may already be working with the family or providers that are chosen by the family to the extent possible to meet the goals of the Youth Court Act.

History: En. Sec. 49(3)(g), Ch. 286, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 78(5)(c), Ch. 550, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 66, Ch. 2, L. 2009.