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  Moving through the JJC System  
Moving through the System
The Family Court / Court Process
Classification and Placement
  The Family Court / Court Process  
  The Family Court is required to hold hearings for juveniles charged as delinquents, with specific mandated time limitations, particularly regarding juveniles held in secure detention. (N.J.S.A. 2A:4A-38).   
  In sequential order, they are as follows:  
  1. An initial detention hearing is to be held within 24 hours of admission.
  2. For juveniles remanded to detention, the initial probable cause hearing and second detention hearing are to be held within two court days. If probable cause is not found, the juvenile is released from detention pending an adjudicator hearing.
  3. Review hearings are held for detained juveniles at intervals of 14 and 21 court days. At each of these hearings, the juvenile's detention status is reconsidered by the judge.
  4. At the adjudicator hearing, the court makes a determination on the delinquency charges. A juvenile may be adjudicated delinquent on one or more of the charges; the other charges are dismissed. After an adjudication of delinquency (at that time or at a separate disposition hearing), the judge will order a disposition.
  5. In detained cases, the disposition hearing is to occur within 60 court days of admission to detention unless extended by the court for good cause.
  Disposition Hearings and Options  
  The Juvenile Code allows judges a wide array of dispositions in adjudicated cases. The most common disposition is probation supervision. Probation is often ordered along with other dispositions requirements such as performing community service or paying financial restitution. In addition, probation is ordered along with more restrictive requirements such as entering a residential program or undergoing counseling. Probation is a major resource to the Family Court and the juvenile justice system.  
  Short of waiving juveniles to the adult system, commitment to the JJC for incarceration is the most severe disposition available to the Family Court. The average sentence in committed cases is two years, although terms range from 30 days to 20 years or more. In cases where commitment is suspended, adjudicated youth are often placed on probation and, in addition, ordered into a JJC non-institutional residential program.  
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