Delinquency

Law/Status Violations Unit Frequent Questions


Where is the Greene County Juvenile Office located?
What age does the Juvenile Office (Delinquency Unit) serve?
How long am I responsible for my child?
Do you have a "Scared Straight" program or "Boot Camp" for Juveniles?
What are some of the general rules on how to get emancipated in Missouri?
What is a Status Offense?
What is a Delinquent Act?
What can I do to get help for my child if he/she is beyond my control?
What can I do if my child runs away or will not stay home?
What can I do if I believe my child is on drugs or alcohol?
Is my child going to be placed in detention/locked up?
When is my court date?
I can't make it to court today...can you change/reschedule my court date?
Why will I be assessed a court fee?
Where do I make restitution payments?
I have moved. What do I need to do?
What should I know about the check-in process and requirments before coming to the juvenile office?

Where is the Greene County Juvenile Office located?
The Juvenile Office is located at 1111 North Robberson Street in Springfield, just north of City Utilities and the Greene County Courthouse.

What age does the Juvenile Office (Delinquency Unit) serve?
Deputy Juvenile Officers within the unit are assigned referrals concerning youth who while less than 17 years of age committed or are suspected of committing an offense.

How long am I responsible for my child?
You are responsible for your child until that child reaches the age of 18 years old. However, in the state of Missouri, a 17 year old will be prosecuted in the adult system if a law violation is comitted.

Do you have a "Scared Straight" program or "Boot Camp" for Juveniles?
No. Programs like 'Scared Straight' involve organized visits to prison facilities by juvenile delinquents or children at risk for becoming delinquent. The programs are designed to deter participants from future offending by providing first-hand observations of prison life and interaction with adult inmates. Results of a recent review indicate that not only do these programs fail to deter crime, but it actually leads to more offending behavior.

What are some of the general rules on how to get emancipated in Missouri?
When a child becomes emancipated they are asking the judge to grant them authority to do the same things as a person who has reached the Age of Majority in the state of Missouri. Before a child gets emancipated he or she must be able to provide for themselves, handle their own money and have a legal way to make money. All these conditions at a minimum must be met before the judge will make a ruling in favor of the child.

  • The child must be a resident of Missouri
  • The child has to be at least 16 years of age
  • The child must be living separate and apart from the parents or guardian
  • The child must be capable of supporting himself or herself financially and managing his or her own affairs
  • Each parent or guardian must consent (although there are certain exceptions)
  • Not a ward of the state

Just because a child becomes emancipated there are still certain responsibilities the child must take care of themselves:

  • Cannot drink alcohol until the legal age in that state
  • Must attend school
  • Cannot get married unless he/she has parents permission
  • Cannot vote until the age of 18
  • Cannot purchase cigarettes or alcohol
  • Cannot purchase or possess firearms

What is a Status Offense?
Status offenses are activities that are deemed offenses when committed by juveniles, because of their age at the time of the activity. In short, these offenses are not illegal if done by an adult. Examples of status offenses include not attending school, breaking curfew laws and/or running away from home.

What is a Delinquent Act?
A child (16 or younger) who has committed a "delinquent act" has violated a state law or municipal ordinance. (Examples include shoplifting, stealing, assault, possession of drugs and property damage.) The same law violations committed by an adult would be considered a criminal act.

What can I do to get help for my child if he/she is beyond my control?
Parents can complete a Juvenile Complaint Form regarding their child which is available at the Juvenile Office. (Parents should be aware that if it is a case that can come under the jurisdiction of the Juvenile Court a fee of $30.00 may apply.) The completed Juvenile Complaint Form will be assigned to a Deputy Juvenile Officer (DJO) who will schedule a conference to meet with the parent and child. Based on information gathered from the parent, child, and initial screenings or assessments, the DJO will develop a plan for intervention which may include one or more of the following:

  • Refer the child to various community resources (i.e. anger management classes, drug/alcohol intervention programs, tutoring services, individual and/or family counseling)
  • Refer the child to a Probation Officer for Informal Supervision. If your child is referred to Probation, the officer will set up a schedule of supervision to make regular contact with your child and make referrals to community resources.

NOTE: If your child is violent toward you, others, or themselves you should call 911 and make a report to the Juvenile Office.

What can I do if my child runs away or will not stay home?
If your child is under 17 years of age and has run away from home or will not stay home, contact your local municipal police department or the Greene County Sheriff's Office to make a report and/or fill out a missing persons report. Those reports will be forwarded to the Greene County Juvenile Office and will be assigned to a Deputy Juvenile Officer to follow up with you regarding the report. If you believe your child is in immediate danger, call 911.

What can I do if I believe my child is on drugs or alcohol?
If a parent locates alcohol, drugs, and/or paraphernalia (such as a lighter or pipe used for smoking the drug), the parent can call 911 and the Police or Sheriff's deputies will make a report that will be forwarded to the Juvenile Office. A Juvenile Officer will contact the family to schedule a conference and begin the process of gathering information that will help develop a plan for intervention and services for the child. If a parent suspects but has no evidence their child is using drugs or alcohol, they can make a referral to the Juvenile Office by filling out a Juvenile Complaint Form.

Is my child going to be placed in detention/locked up?
There are a number of factors that determine if a juvenile will be placed in detention. The factors may include the seriousness of the alleged offense, additional presenting offenses, prior referrals, current legal status, flight risk, etc. A juvenile is placed in detention if they are deemed a threat to the community, themselves or others. Detention may also be utilized to ensure that a juvenile is present for their court hearing. If detention is not utilized, the Juvenile Office may refer your child to a detention alternative program, such as the Evening Reporting Center (E.R.C.), electronic monitoring, day treatment, mental health placement, shelter care or other placement/program.

When is my court date?
If a petition has been filed against your child, you will both receive a summons to appear at the Juvenile Office for a court date. The Greene County Sheriff's Department usually delivers the summons. Your court date will appear on the front page of the summons. If your date is continued or changed by the Court, you will be notified in writing of the new date. If you are unsure of your court date you may ask the Juvenile Officer handling your case.

I can't make it to court today...can you change/reschedule my court date?
The Juvenile Office cannot change your court date. You will need to contact the attorney representing you or your child who can request a change in the court date.

Why will I be assessed a court fee?
You may be assessed a $30 court fee on cases that come under the jurisdiction of the court. This is pursuant to Section 488.2300 RSMo. In juvenile proceedings under chapter 211, a judgment of up to thirty dollars may be assessed against the child, parent or custodian of the child, in addition to other amounts authorized by law, in informal adjustments made under the provisions of sections 211.081 and 211.083, and in an order of disposition or treatment under the provisions of section 211.181. The judgment may be ordered paid to the clerk of the circuit where the assessment is imposed.

Payment is to be made to the Deputy Circuit Clerk's Office, Juvenile Division, 1111 N. Robberson, Springfield, MO 65802. Payment may be made by cash, cashier's check, or money order. Checks and money orders should be made payable to the Family Service and Justice Fund. Payments may also be made by credit card at the Greene County Juvenile Office or online.

Where do I make restitution payments?
Payments must be made in cash or by money order. Money orders should be made payable to the Family Services Justice Fund. You can make payments in person at the Juvenile Office or mail your payment to:

Greene County Juvenile Office
Family Services Justice Fund
1111 N. Robberson
Springfield, MO 65802

Payments may also be made by credit card at the Greene County Juvenile Office or online.

I have moved. What do I need to do?
You are responsible for contacting your Juvenile Officer as soon as possible to let them know your new address and/or phone number.

What should I know about the check-in process and requirments before coming to the juvenile office?

  • Office and Court check in process: All persons entering the Juvenile Court will be subjected to security screening. All personal belongings will be subject to search by security personnel prior to entering the Juvenile Court building.
  • Formal Court hearing dress code: The dress code at Juvenile Court is strictly enforced. Shorts, tank tops, bare midriffs, flip-flops and bare feet are NOT permitted.
  • Cell phone, pages, and other electronic devices: All individuals are required to turn off or set to silent all electronic devices that emit sounds that may interrupt court proceedings.
  • Juvenile Court: Upon entering the Juvenile Office Building for your scheduled Intake appointment or hearing, you must first check-in with the reception desk.