Juvenile Probation FAQ's

Where are the juvenile probation offices located?
How do I visit somebody in Juvenile Hall?

Family visitation a vital component of the rehabilitation process and is strongly encouraged by the Probation Department.  Through this process youth are provided an opportunity to engage in private and confidential conversations under the supervision of Juvenile Hall Staff.   Once a youth arrives in Juvenile Hall he/she will be requested to provide a list of relatives including mother, father, legal guardians and grandparents.  During the orientation process each youth is informed of the facility’s visitation schedules, rules and procedures, and is provided a Rules and Rights Handbook, that also stipulates visitation rules and procedures.  Visits are conducted on Saturdays from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM, and on Sundays from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM.  The visitation rules are as follows:

  • Approved visits are limited to parents, legal guardians, or grandparents. A legal guardian must bring verification to the facility to be approved.
  • Youth’s minister, priest, rabbi, or other authorized religious chaplain may visit with authorization from appropriate religious facility coordinator.
  • Visits by persons other than those listed above are considered Special Visits, and require prior permission, that may be obtained via a court, DPO, or facility management.
  • All visitors must be 21 yrs. of age, unless authorized by a court order, which would then be classified as a special visit and would require permission as listed above.
  • Visitors must bring a valid approved form of Identification to be cleared to enter facility and are not permitted to bring any items other than 2 keys on a single key ring and their identification.
  • Once verified all visitors are subject to search.
  • Visitors are not permitted to bring personal items to youth.
  • All visitors are to be appropriately dressed and must wear closed toe shoes.

Who can access juvenile probation records?

Juvenile records are confidential and require a release of information.

My child has been placed on probation, now what?

You must check in with the Los Angeles County Probation Department, Juvenile Services office in your area. All youth with a new grant of probation must complete an orientation and assessment. The assigned probation officer may conduct home or school visits with the youth and schedule meetings with parents to determine how the youth is doing.

What should I bring to our first appointment with the probation officer?

Please bring the juvenile packet that was provided to you in court. Also, please bring the child’s birth certificate and social security card.

How long will my child be on probation?

There are many factors that determine the length of probation, including the seriousness of the offense, the youth’s compliance and progress while on probation supervision and the available custody time for their offense.

How can my juvenile record be expunged or erased?

In order to have records expunged a petition with this request should be filed with the court.

More Information

My child is a Runaway and or Truant, what should I do?

Notify your local law enforcement agency and the assigned probation officer immediately.

What does it mean that my child has been declared a Ward of the Court?

When a youth has violated a criminal law, and the allegations are found true, and formal probation is granted, the Juvenile Court takes primary responsibility for the control and treatment of the youth.

What happens if my child violates their conditions of probation?

The consequences of violating the terms and conditions of probation depend on the seriousness of the violation. Violations may be handled informally with a verbal warning, the probation officer may request the youth have additional terms and conditions of probation be imposed or the youth may appear before the court.

What are my financial responsibilities?

As a parent or legal guardian of the youth, you are responsible for paying restitution, fines and fees that are imposed by the Court.

What happens when my child turns 18?

The Juvenile Justice System may maintain jurisdiction over a case until the youth turns 21.

How do I seal my record?

Upon completion of your probation and upon turning 18 years old, when requested, the probation department will provide the necessary information and paperwork to apply for your record to be sealed.

Do I have to report I was convicted of a felony on my job application?

If you were adjudicated and the crime was found true as a juvenile, you were not convicted of a felony.

If my child is placed on Probation or designated as a High Risk youth will he/she be referred for services?

Once your child has been referred to the Probation Department for supervision, the assigned Probation Officer will work with the family to develop a case plan to address behaviors and risk factors that led to their involvement with the juvenile justice system. The case plan may include referrals for the following services: academic tutoring, counseling for drug and alcohol abuse, family therapy, mental health evaluation and follow-up services, and community services.

Ward of the Court

Any person who is under the age of 18 when he or she violated a criminal law, and receives a grant of formal probation.

Dismissed with Prejudice

Charges contained in a Juvenile Court petition that are dismissed and but cannot be re-filed.

Detention Hearing

The first court appearance for a youth who has been arrested and detained at a Juvenile Detention and Assessment Center.  The purpose of the hearing is for the court to decide whether or not the youth is to remain in custody.

Detention Rehearing

When a minor appears before the court following his/her detention for a new crime or probation violation.

Jurisdictional Hearing

Also known as a prehearing.  The first court appearance for a youth who is not detained.  The juvenile court makes a determination that a youth comes under its jurisdiction based on age, legal residence and the alleged offense.

Pre-Trial Hearing

A hearing which is scheduled for the District Attorney (DA) and defense counsel to attempt to negotiate a plea.

Dispositional Hearing

Prior to disposition, the probation officer conducts an investigation and then submits a dispositional report to the court. The report includes circumstances of the offense, the youth’s statement, school information, family information and a recommendation to the Court. The Dispositional Hearing is the proceeding used to consider the dispositional report, recommendation and to impose court sanctions.

Review Hearing

A hearing to review a youth’s progress or status under probation supervision.

W&I 707 or Fitness Hearing

A hearing where suitability for juvenile court is determined.  Under certain circumstances, when charged with a serious or violent crime, a youth 14 years of age or older can be found unfit for juvenile court and may be tried in adult court.

Harvey Waiver

When allegations are dismissed but subject to discussion in the dispositional report.

Willie T. Waiver

In a Willie T. Waiver, the Court orders a youth into placement and then stays that order, allowing the youth the opportunity to remain in the community with terms and conditions of probation for a period of 60-90 days.  The youth waives the right to contest the placement order if the stay is lifted and the placement order is imposed.


In Juvenile Court, youth are not convicted of a crime, they are adjudicated.

Maximum Confinement

The maximum term of physical confinement set by the court for the offense or offenses the youth is charged with.


When a ward of the court is removed from the home and ordered to reside in a rehabilitative program.

Detention Services Bureau (DSB)

DSB is comprised of three (3) Juvenile Halls, Intake and Detention Control (IDC), Community Detention Program (CDP) and Transportation.  The following briefly summarizes each DSB operation:


Juvenile Hall
Juvenile Hall serves as an institutional setting that temporarily houses youth for primarily two reasons:  prior to their court dates and/or after their adjudication, pending transitional placement/services.  The three (3) Juvenile Hall locations in the County of Los Angeles include:  Central Juvenile Hall (Los Angeles), Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall (Downey) and Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall (Sylmar).


Intake and Detention Control (IDC)
IDC is responsible for screening youth for admittance into Juvenile Hall in accordance with established procedures and legal requirements for detention.

Upon arrival at Juvenile Hall, the Admissions Intake officer shall notify IDC who will then come and interview the law enforcement agency that is bringing the youth in.  IDC officer will assess and determine if the youth will be detained, released on house arrest, or released with a citation.  The IDC officer will conduct an interview with the youth and contact the youths’ parent/legal guardian to inform their youth is at Juvenile Hall. If youth is detained, the parent(s) is informed on visiting hours and future court appearance(s).

Detention Hearing

The first court appearance for a youth who has been arrested and detained.  The purpose of this hearing is for the court to decide whether or not the youth is to remain in custody.  This hearing must occur prior to the expiration of the next judicial day after the filing of a Juvenile Court Petition.  The outcome is ultimately the decision of the judge. The youth could be detained, released forthwith or released on the House Arrest Program (HAP) with electronic monitoring.  Also occurring at this hearing is the appointment of defense counsel and the entering of admission or denial to the allegations.

Jurisdictional Hearing

Also known as a prehearing.  The first court appearance for a youth who is not detained.  The court makes a determination that a youth comes under its jurisdiction based on age, legal residence and the alleged offense.  Defense counsel is appointed and an admission or denial to the allegation(s) occurs.  The court may order a Dispositional Report from the probation department and may make certain restrictions which will be noted on the Court Action Slip/Minute Order, such as no contact with victim, co-participants, etc.  There may be additional court dates for your child to attend.  These dates allow the court to be notified as to the status of the youth and their performance on probation.

Pre-Trial Hearing

A hearing which is scheduled for the district attorney and defense counsel to attempt to negotiate a plea.

Contested Jurisdictional Hearing

A trial; also known as a Juris.  Youth are not entitled to jury trials, therefore, a judge or commissioner will hear all trials in juvenile court.  The standard of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt.

Dispositional Hearing

Essentially the same as sentencing in adult court.  Prior to disposition, the probation officer conducts an investigation and then submits a report to the court. The report includes circumstances of the offense, restitution, the youth’s statement, school information, statements of parents and other interested parties, and the probation officer’s evaluation or assessment of the youth.  The report concludes with a recommendation to the court for a proposed disposition.

Review Hearing

A future hearing to review the progress of the youth under probation supervision.  This may be a Non-Appearance Review (NAR) where the youth does not have to be present during the hearing, or an Appearance Review (AR) where the youth is required to be present during the hearing.

What is Citation Diversion?

Diversion is a way of dealing with youth who are charged with an offense where the youth does not go to court and there is no trial. Instead of having the case tried in a formal courtroom setting before a judge, the youth and his or her family meet with a Probation Officer; the officer makes no findings of innocence or guilt. By appearing before the Probation Officer, the youth is able to take responsibility for his or her actions without obtaining a criminal record. After participating in diversion, a youth may truthfully say that they have not been convicted of a crime.

What are the differences between diversion and court?

Juvenile Court
Hearings may be open to the public
Lawyer is appointed or parents have to hire one
Appear before a judge
Held during the day.
The court process may take 3-8 months or longer
If found responsible, the matter stays on the record
A fee and fine can be  charged

Citation Diversion
Proceedings are confidential and private
No lawyer is appointed
Appear before a Probation Officer or Probation Hearing Officer
No conviction or criminal record
Administrative Fee may be charged

What if I do not want to go through citation diversion?

If you choose not to participate in citation diversion or if you fail to respond to your diversion letter by the response date, your citation will be set to meet with a probation officer or hearing officer.  You could have your driving privileges suspended or put in abeyance until you resolve the citation.

How many times can I go through citation diversion?

You may be allowed to participate in citation diversion on multiple infractions or misdemeanor offenses. However, the police officer may decide to not use a citation and write a report that would require the case to be heard in probation where it could go before the court and a judge.

Who can I call to ask questions about citation diversion?

If you have questions about citation diversion that are not answered by this web page, you may call the following numbers between 9:00am and 3:30pm, Monday through Friday: (818) 901-3001 or (818) 901-3002. Or email by clicking on the button below and someone will respond to your questions.


Do my parents have to come with me to meet the Probation Officer?

Yes. Your parent or guardian must accompany you.

What will happen at my citation diversion meeting?

The Probation Officer will first speak with you and your parent(s) or guardian(s) together.  If you agree to participate in citation diversion, a Diversion Agreement will be written. This agreement may require you to complete one or more of the following sanctions:

  • Perform community service hours
  • Pay an administrative fee
  • Pay restitution to a victim
  • Attend counseling
  • Attend an educational or informational session (class)
  • Obey a curfew
  • Attend parent-teen mediation.

What if my parents have already punished me?

Parental discipline at home does not excuse you from your responsibility to be accountable for your actions the community when a citation has been submitted. You will have the opportunity to share whatever consequences your parents may have imposed with the Probation Officer. They may take this into consideration when deciding what to include in your Diversion Agreement.

When will I be contacted by Probation about my case?

Sometimes police departments do not file the citation right away and there may be a delay. Once Probation has received the citation and enters it into the citation diversion data  system you will receive a letter that explains the options you can chose from to help you work toward completing a sanction on your citation.

How long after I receive the letter will I have to decide about how I want to handle my case?

Once you receive the letter with the options related to your case you will have TEN (10) DAYS to return your response.

What if I don’t make any choice and/or don’t return the letter?

If you do not make any choice or if you don’t return the letter within the TEN (10) DAY period DMV will be notified and it may affect your driver’s license or the ability to get a license until the case is completed by you.

What if I did not do what the citation said I did, the citation is wrong or I believe I am not guilty?

You have a right to challenge the citation and explain what happened. You can indicate that on the letter you receive and you will be given a date to appear and explain what happened.

How long will I have to complete the community service?

You will be given 60 days to finish the community service work hours if you were given that option or if you chose to do that to take care of the citation.

If I don’t do the Community Service hours what happens?

If you do not finish the community service hours you will have to show proof of the number of hours you finished. If there is a valid reason for not completing the hours you may be given one extension to finish the remaining time.  If you have done nothing within the required time you may be charged an administrative fee you will have to pay and it may affect your driving privileges or your ability to get a license.

What happens if the citation was for drugs or alcohol?

If the probation officer, you and your parents agree the charge is true you may be assigned to a program to help deal with the use of drugs or alcohol or to get assistance with possible problems for these issues. If you complete the program successfully the citation can be closed. If you want to meet with a hearing officer or probation officer on the citation one will be set for you upon request. If you want to pay an administrative fee indicate that on your letter and return it to the address listed on the letter.  In some cases your parent may have obtained counseling for drug or alcohol use.  In some situations, driving privileges can be suspended or placed in abeyance for the use of drugs and/or alcohol.

If my license is suspended, how do I get it reinstated?

If you did not do community service or did not complete a program or did not appear on your citation and the license is suspended or you cannot obtain it you must pay an administrative fee which is associated with the citation. If the violation was for drugs or alcohol or vandalism DMV was notified about the violation. You should contact DMV and get a print out of the information related to the suspension.

What if I drive while my license is suspended?

You can be given a citation for driving while your license is delayed or suspended.

What if I have an old court case?

Contact DMV and get a copy of your information from them and then contact the Citation Diversion Program and they will set an appointment to help with that.

What is happening to my child and is she/he safe?

When you child first arrived at the juvenile facility she/he underwent what is referred to as the Intake procedure. During Intake, your child was asked to provide additional information to the Intake Officer who uses this information to determine which housing unit your child will be placed in, if your child is eligible to attend school and also understands about any medical or other special needs your child may have (for example, if your child is physically disabled or hearing impaired). Additionally, your child was asked to provide relation information regarding relatives, such as: mother, father, legal guardianship and grandparents. In most cases, you should have already received a telephone call from the Intake Officer during this process.

What if my child needs to take medication is disabled or has other medical needs? Who will take care of those needs?

While your child is detained in the juvenile facility, all of his/her needs will be take care of by Juvenile Court Health Services staff. Each minor is screened for mental health, medical and educational needs. Your child will be fed, clothed, and provided with a place to sleep. Your child will also undergo a complete physical examination. If your child has been prescribed with medication, he/she will be given access to this medication by Juvenile Court Health Services staff. You will not need to bring any medication to the juvenile facility. However, if there are special circumstances, you will be contacted by the Juvenile Court Health Services staff. If you need to make us aware of any medication(s) or any special needs your child may have, please contact Juvenile Court Health Services. After hours, you can always call Movement Control.

Can I call my child on the telephone or leave a message for them to call me?

No. For security reasons, your child is not able to receive incoming calls or messages. We have no way to verify who is calling and perhaps representing themselves as a child’s parent or guardian. If you have an emergency situation such as a death in the family or other legitimate emergency that requires that you communicate with your child, you should call Movement Control, identify yourself as a parent/guardian and ask to speak to the OD or the Director on duty and explain the situation.

How can I contact Movement Control?

Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall: 818-364-2011

Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall: 562-940-8681

Central Juvenile Hall: 323-226-8611

Can my child call me?

Yes. Telephones are provided for outgoing calls that your child can use at certain times during the day (typically in the early evening hours). In order to allow time for all minors to make calls, the amount of time your child may speak with you is limited.

Who can I call if I’m worried and want to make sure my child is okay “just because?

If you have any concern about your child you can call Movement Control, ask for the OD, identify yourself as a parent/guardian and explain the situation.

What if my child returns to the juvenile hall after visiting hours are over?

In some cases your child may have a court appearance at a court that is offsite. Your child may arrive back at the juvenile facility after visiting hours, so it is best to call and see if your child has in fact arrived at the juvenile facility before you visit. Please call Movement Control identify yourself as a parent of a child who had an offsite court appearance and ask if your child has returned to the juvenile facility. If your child is not returned or is not anticipated to be returned before visiting hours are over you can visit the following day during regular visiting hours. If your child has returned to the juvenile facility and visiting hours are still in effect, you can visit your child that day.

Can I visit my child?

Yes. Please be aware that your child may be transferred to another facility without prior notice to you. In order to avoid any confusion, you are advised to verify his/her location by telephone prior to visiting. Call Movement Control, identify yourself as the parent and tell the person you need to verify if your child is still at the facility.

When can I visit my child?

You may visit on Saturday from 1:00 pm until 3:00 pm, and on Sunday from 1:00 pm until 4:00 pm. During the week after court hearing you may visit from 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm for twenty (20) minutes.

Can other family members visit, such as an uncle, brother or sister?

Yes. Visits by persons other than those on the approved visiting list are referred to as “Special Visits”.

How many people can visit at one time?

Visits are typically limited to two (2) people at one time, although you are allowed to have more than two visitors a day. For example, if the parents visit from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm and leave, the child’s grandparents can enter at 2:00 pm and stay until visiting is over. Exceptions may be made in special circumstances, such as a grandparent who uses wheelchair that may need assistance from a family member.

Are there any other times I can visit my child?

Yes. You may request a special visit.

Can I bring my child things from home or other things like food or snacks when I visit?

No. Your child’s dietary needs will be met by Morrison’s (food services staff) at the juvenile hall.

Can my child send and receive mail?

Yes. Parents are encouraged to send their children letters and photos from home. For security reasons, items are checked prior to being given to the detainee. Items must not be offensive in nature (for example, sexually suggestive or explicit). Your child can get mail and send mail. Your child cannot write to another hall, camp, or the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). Your child cannot write to anyone in jail or prison unless it is your guardian or parent.

Can I send my child anything other than letters through the mail?

No. For security reasons your child may not receive anything other than mail.

Note: Remember that you cannot hand deliver anything for your child, even if it is something that would normally be allowed to be sent via the mail. This is for security reasons.

I heard that my child will be attending school while she/he is detained. Is this correct?

Yes. Your child will normally go to school 5 (five) days a week (Monday through Friday). Refer to “Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE).

If I wasn’t to talk with someone about my child’s schooling, whom do I call?

If you have any other questions, please call Movement Control. During normal business hours (8:00 am to 3:00 pm), identify yourself as a parent/guardian and ask to be transferred to the school.

What will my child’s daily schedule be like? Will she/he just be locked up all day alone?

Your child will be assigned housing based upon age, maturity level and the seriousness of the offenses. Additionally, considerations are given to disabilities and security concerns. Your child will be housed in a room by himself and will follow a daily schedule routine.

Are there religious services provided for my child?

Yes. Catholic and Protestant services are held every Sunday morning.

What if I have legal questions about my child’s case?

For legal issues you should contact your child’s attorney (if your child does not have a private attorney, then she/he will be represented by a county appointed attorney called a public defender.

Who is Juvenile Court Health Services?

We are the healthcare providers (Doctors, Nurses, Dentists, Pharmacists, Laboratory staff, and Health Information Management staff) for all youth who are placed in any of the Probation juvenile detention facilities.  We are employees of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services.

Services provided include:  medical examinations and follow-up for identified health issues, dental examinations and treatment, eye examinations and prescription for eye glasses if needed, assessments for any health concerns a youth may have, administration of prescribed medications and treatments, immunization updates, and initial response to any health-related emergencies.

My child has a medical issue or problem. Who do I contact to give this information to continue care for my child?

Healthcare staff is available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week at the juvenile halls.  Any medical information can be provided to the nurse team leader at the facility where you child is located.  This information will be given to the physician for review.  When calling, please provide your child’s name, your name, and the best way to contact you so that the physician or nurse can call you in case we have further questions about your child’s health, medications, or treatment.

My child is on medication. Will it continue to be provided? Do I need to bring in the medication?

When the information is relayed to the physician, this medication can be ordered and administered to the youth.  Usually, the medication is readily available.  If it is a special medication that isn’t readily available, you may need to bring the medication to the facility until we can obtain a supply from the Central Pharmacy.

How do I obtain a copy of my child’s medical record?

You need to provide a signed “Release of Health Information” consent form to the Health Information Management (HIM) Department.  HIM staff are located at each of the juvenile halls to collect this form.  You may also contact Heidi Mittwer at 323-226-8764 or 323-226-8723 for any requests or further questions.

In accordance with protected health information regulations, certain health issues, such as a youth’s reproductive health care, will not be released to a parent or other designated person without the youth signing a “Release of Health Information” consent form specifying that this type of health information can be given out.

For any mental health information, the request will need to be given to the Department of Mental Health HIM department.

Can I bring in my child’s retainers or night guards?

Yes, it is possible.  The JCHS Dentists can evaluate the condition and fitting of the appliances before they are given to the youth.

How do I provide care at home to my child if he/she has a wired jaw?

Written instructions will be given including meal preparation and upcoming appointments with the surgeon at the hospital clinic.

Do JCHS Dental Clinics provide orthodontic (braces) treatment to the youths while they are in the halls/camps?

JCHS Dentists are not specifically trained to provide orthodontic treatment.  They can provide emergency services to the youths with existing orthodontic appliances that may be causing pain or irritation within the mouth (e.g. wire is poking the inside cheek, loose brackets or bands).  Inactive orthodontic appliances can be removed only after obtaining permission from the parent or youth (if 18 years or older).

My child wears eyeglasses or contact lenses but they did not have it with them when they were admitted to the juvenile hall. Can I bring it to them?

Yes, it is possible to bring them to the juvenile hall. You may hand them over to the Probation or Nursing staff to evaluate and provide them to the youth.  Health Services will also be providing the contact lenses solution for washing and storage.

My child has just been released and has a follow-up appointment at a Los Angeles County Hospital Clinic. Is it still possible to go to that appointment?

Yes. Upon discharge from the juvenile hall or camp, the appointment date, time and location will be provided.