Spokane County
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Spokane, WA 99260
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Juvenile Court Services FAQs

The following FAQs are listed by Juvenile Court Services.




Can anyone be a Court Appointed Special Advocate?

CASA/GALs are ordinary citizens. No certain background is required. However, volunteers are screened carefully for objectivity, competence and commitment. CASA/GAL volunteers must be at least 21 years old and successfully complete a police background check. Volunteers should have good oral and written communication skills.


Do lawyers, judges and social workers support Court Appointed Special Advocates?

Yes, juvenile judges support the CASA program in their courtrooms and appoint the volunteers. Court Appointed Special Advocates of Spokane County is endorsed by the Judges of the Spokane County Court of Common Pleas, Division of Domestic Relations and Juvenile Branch, Spokane County Children Services, Spokane County Board of Commissioners, and the Washington Attorney General’s Office.


Does the federal government support Court Appointed Special Advocates?

CASA is a priority project of the Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. The office encourages the establishment of new Court Appointed Special Advocate programs, assists established CASA programs and provides partial funding for the National Court Appointed Special Advocates Association.


How does the Court Appointed Special Advocate relate to the child he/she represents?

CASA/GAL volunteers are not service providers, nor are they best friends, for the child. The CASA/GAL might interview the child if she is old enough to talk. If not, the CASA/GAL observes the child’s interactions with the various people involved in her life. Court Appointed Special Advocates offer the child trust, advocacy, and stability during complex legal proceedings. The volunteer explains the events that are happening and the roles of the judge, lawyers and social workers. The CASA/GAL volunteer also encourages the child to express his/her own opinions and hopes.


How effective are Court Appointed Special Advocate programs?

Preliminary findings show that children who are assigned a CASA volunteer tend to spend less time in the court system and less time within the foster care system. Judges observed that Court Appointed Special Advocate children also have better chances of finding permanent homes than non-CASA children.


How many CASA programs are there?

Currently, there are 898 CASA programs in all 50 states, with more than 58,620 CASA volunteers serving more than 229,090 abused, neglected and dependent children.


Is there a "typical" Court Appointed Special Advocate?

CASA/GALs come from all walks of life, with a variety of professional, educational and ethnic backgrounds. The program is composed of both male and female volunteers who are employed, retired, at-home parents, students or full-time volunteers.


What is a Court Appointed Special Advocate/Guardian ad litem (CASA/GAL)?

A CASA/GAL is a trained community volunteer who is appointed by a judge to advocate for the best interests of an abused, neglected or dependent child in court.


What is the role of the CASA/GAL?

A CASA/GAL provides a judge with a carefully researched background of the child to help the court make a sound decision about the child’s future. Each case is as unique as the child involved. The CASA/GAL must determine if, based on the investigation, it is in a child’s best interest to stay with the parents or a family member, to be placed in foster care, to be freed for permanent adoption or some other appropriate option. The CASA/GAL makes a recommendation on placement and services to the judge and, most importantly, monitors the case until it is resolved.


What is the role of the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (NCASAA)?

The National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association is a non-profit organization that represents and serves the local Court Appointed Special Advocate programs. It provides training, technical assistance, research, news and public awareness services to members. NCASAA is located in Seattle, Washington, and is funded through a combination of private grants, federal funds, memberships and contributions.


What training does a Court Appointed Special Advocate receive?

CASA/GALs undergo a thorough training course. During the free forty hour training, volunteers learn about courtroom procedure from the principals in the system—judges, lawyers, social workers and court personnel. Court Appointed Special Advocates also learn effective advocacy techniques for children and are educated about specific topics ranging from child sexual abuse to how to give a report in court. Trainings are scheduled four times a year. The culmination of the initial training is the swearing-in ceremony with a Juvenile Court Judge.


Do you do U/As?

On-site urinalysis tests are given to youth for multiple substances for immediate results and immediate consequences, including immediate detention, if appropriate. We can test for THC (marijuana), amphetamines, methamphetamines, opiates and cocaine.


What is the level system?

The Level System is made up of 5 levels: Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, Honor Level (4), and Senior Honor Level (5).

The moment that you are assigned a bed in detention, you are a Level 1. You will remain a Level 1 until you have received Orientation, seen the nurse, and completed an entire day without any behavior problems or rule violations. You will then move up to a Level 2 for 4 days and then a Level 3 for 5 days. After 5 days as a Level 3 is completed without any zeros, you will become eligible for Honor Level status. Eligibility does not guarantee Honor Level Status (Refer to Honor Level Packet and/or your Group Leader for more information). As long as you follow staff instructions and stick to the rules (avoiding Special Programs and Zeros), you will move quickly through the level system.


What supplies does my child need in Detention?

Youth’s clothing and personal hygiene items are provided by the facility. During intake your child will be given a toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, soap, paper and pencil (pencil may not be issued because of prior misuse). Other hygiene supplies will be given as needed. Deodorant will be given at shower times. Your parents/guardians are not allowed to bring you any personal hygiene supplies.


Where are you located?

The Juvenile Court Services building is located at 1208 W Mallon Avenue, Spokane WA 99201-2091. Our main telephone number is 509-477-4742 .


Where is the Detention Center located?

The Juvenile Court Detention Center is located in the Juvenile Court Services building (see above).


Who do I contact about Detention information?

The Juvenile Court Detention Center is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The control booth telephone number is 509-477-2462.


Who do I contact to find out when my child can be released?

Parents or guardians may call the Juvenile Court Detention Center (509-477-2462) to find out a release date and time. If the youth is going to be released to an adult other than the parent or guardian, arrangements must be made and approved prior to the release.


Who do I contact with a suggestion, concern or compliment about the Detention Center?

Marie Studebaker, Detention Manager 509-477-2420 MStudebaker@spokanecounty.org


Are there any financial obligations if my child is detained?

Detention Fees

Pursuant to RCW 13.16.085. parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of a minor child may be held responsible for reimbursement of secure detention costs.


Are there any legal negotiations or plea bargaining?

Scheduling Conference

A scheduling conference is a meeting between the juvenile's attorney and the prosecuting attorney to discuss legal and factual issues of the case. Plea negotiation information is exchanged and resolutions are discussed. The defense attorney will then discuss this information with the juvenile, who must be present for the scheduling conference. A decision is then made to either enter a plea of guilty or schedule the matter for trial.


Are there any requirements if my child is released from Detention?

Pretrial Release Conditions

When a juvenile is released from detention, the court sets conditions of release, which the juvenile must follow. House arrest, one of the more restrictive conditions, requires 24-hour supervision of the juvenile by the parent or guardian until the charges are resolved. The parent or another court-approved adult must supervise the juvenile at all time. The court may order exceptions to house arrest, such as school and /or employment. The juvenile must return home directly after school or work and cannot leave the home again without the parent or supervising adult.


Do I have any obligations while my child waits for their Court hearing?

Parental Responsibility During Pretrial Release

If a juvenile violates any condition of the pretrial order, the parent or guardian must immediately report the violation to the probation officer, who either schedules the matter for a court hearing or requests a bench warrant. If the court finds that any condition of the order has been violated, the court may order the juvenile's detention pending trial or disposition.


Do you have any volunteer opportunities?

Yes, visit the Juvenile Court site for more information.


How do I obtain information and assistance regarding Sealing and Destruction?

Visit the Sealing and Destruction of Juvenile Court Records page for information and assistance with Sealing and Destruction of Juvenile Court Records.


How do I obtain information regarding Juvenile Records?

Such a request must be made through the County Juvenile Clerks Office since Social Files are Confidential.


What about legal representation?

All youth who allegedly commit offenses are automatically appointed a lawyer prior to all legal proceedings including detention hearings. If the youth/family chooses to retain their own lawyer, the assigned Public defender will withdraw from the case.


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