The Juvenile Section prosecutes juveniles (individuals under the age of 18) for criminal offenses that occur in the District of Columbia. The United States Attorney’s Office prosecutes selected juveniles in the adult system from a small statutory list of certain serious offenses. In addition to violations of criminal statutes, the Juvenile Section also handles cases involving offenses that can only be committed by a juvenile, for example, truancy and runaway offenses, through the PINS (Person in Need of Supervision) program. The section also prosecutes adults who are responsible for the truancy of their children. Prosecutors in the Juvenile Section work with law enforcement agencies throughout the city, including the Metropolitan Police Department, the United States Park Police, the Metro Transit Police Department, and United States Capitol Police. Juvenile Section attorneys strive to balance the need to protect the community’s safety with the need to rehabilitate juvenile respondents. Our office’s goal is to protect the citizens of the District of Columbia by prosecuting juveniles charged with delinquent acts while seeking to rehabilitate the juvenile offenders and to advocate for victims to ensure their rights are protected.
Victim rights and services are of utmost concern for Juvenile prosecutors. Victims and Eye Witnesses are essential to the prosecution of juvenile’s charged with delinquent acts, as they provide information necessary for trials and case resolutions. In addition to testimony at trial, victims provide valuable information in the rehabilitative process through their victim impact statements. Prosecutors coordinate with the Victim Witness Specialists, who are also members of the Public Safety Division, to assist victims throughout the life of a case. Juvenile prosecutors also work with other city agencies on the unique challenges that face juvenile prosecution and work to develop and to implement effective measures to safeguard the community and to rehabilitate youthful offenders.
The Juvenile Section participates in numerous multi-agency task forces, including but not limited to:
- Human Trafficking Task Force
- Juvenile Competency Task Force
- Gallery Place China Town Task Force
- Forensic Science Task Force
Members of the Juvenile Section attend community meetings, such as Police Service Area meetings and Advisory Neighborhood Commissions meetings.
- District of Columbia Superior Court (DCSC)
- United States Attorney’s Office (USAO)
- Department of Mental Health (Access Help Line)
- Crime Victims Compensation Office
- Metropolitan Police Department, Districts and Commanders
- Neighborhood and Victim Services Section, Office of the Attorney General