Prosecuting Juveniles in Nicollet County
The Attorney’s Office is responsible for all juvenile prosecution in Nicollet County, from petty offenses like curfew violations to very serious offenses such as homicides and criminal sexual conduct. The prosecution of juvenile offenders promotes public safety in our community, and the Attorney’s Office works to prosecute those juveniles who commit crimes and help them take responsibility for their unlawful behavior.
Dispositions, Sentences & Rehabilitation
Most juvenile cases remain in the Juvenile Court, and the Attorney’s Office seeks dispositions, or sentences, that focus on maintaining public safety through appropriate sanctions and juvenile programming. In Juvenile Court, the disposition is handled where the juvenile resides. It is important to ensure that the juvenile receives proper programming to promote rehabilitation and prevent future delinquent behavior.
The rehabilitation tools available within the juvenile justice system include:
Community service hours
Drug abuse education
Imposition of fines
Sex offender treatment
Taking away cellular phones
Taking away driver’s licenses
Treatment for chemical dependency or abuse
Treatment for mental health issues
Juveniles Certified as an Adult
The seriousness or the violence of the offense as well as the juvenile’s prior delinquent behavior can result in the prosecutor filing a motion for the juvenile to be treated as an Extended Jurisdiction Juvenile or to be certified as an adult.
Drug & Alcohol Use
One of the challenges facing the juvenile justice system is the increase of drug and alcohol use by juveniles. The juveniles seen in Juvenile Court increasingly are chemically dependent, either on alcohol, on street drugs (marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine), or prescription drugs (traded between students or found in family member’s drug cabinets). The juvenile system focuses on intervening as soon as possible for these juveniles.
Michelle M. Zehnder Fischer
County Government Center 501 S. Minnesota Ave. St. Peter, MN 56082