The Youth Court Probation department personnel are employees of the State of Montana, under the direction of the State Supreme Court and are supervised locally by the District Court Judges of the Second Judicial District. The Youth Court Probation Office receives referrals primarily from law enforcement agencies for violations of the law by citizens under the age of eighteen. Referrals range from curfew, truancy, and runaway to more serious misdemeanor and felony violations of the law.
The majority of juveniles referred will address allegations against them through an informal process involving their parent / guardian and a Juvenile Probation officer. In some cases, a formal process is initiated whereby the referral is forwarded to the County Attorney and a petition is filed in Youth Court. The youth will then appear before a Youth Court Judge.
Supervision of Juvenile Offenders
The mission of Youth Court is to provide supervision of juvenile offenders in the least restrictive environment through a balanced approach that incorporates community protection, victim empathy, and competency development of the juvenile offender. Youth are referred to a variety of services and the Youth Court Probation Office works with numerous community agencies to develop prevention and diversion programs.