The Humboldt County Juvenile Justice And Delinquency Prevention Commission is a product of both the State Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC, Sections 225 – 231) and Ordinance of the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors. The WIC mandates counties to create a Juvenile Justice Commission and dictates the size, composition and duties of the Commission and its commissioners.
The Commissions are composed of up to 15 members, at least one of whom must be under the age of eighteen. Juvenile Justice Commissions were placed under the direction of Superior Court, whose presiding judge appoints all commissioners.
Duties include the annual inspection of the Juvenile Hall, and any jail or locked facility within the county that was used in the preceding calendar year for the confinement for more than 24 hours of any minor, or, any police holding facility in which a minor was held in secure custody. The Commission may also inspect other facilities such as group homes. The Commission may also conduct formal and informal hearings regarding the administration of juvenile justice, and may issue subpoenas with the consent of the Juvenile Court Judge.
Additionally, the Commission actively assists in the county’s effort toward preventing and reducing juvenile delinquency. The WIC says that counties may create Delinquency Prevention Commissions and affords some discretion regarding composition and duties. The Board may appoint Delinquency Prevention commissioners.
In 1973 the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors authorized the Juvenile Justice Commission to act as the newly created Delinquency Commission. Most counties in California have done likewise. Thus we wear two hats. Prevention activities run the gamut from providing letters of support for preventive activities to conducting town hall meetings to address community concerns. The Commission places a strong emphasis on promoting interagency collaboration. We serve as a forum where those involved with preventing efforts, including government and non profit agencies can share information and ideas.
It is the intent of the Humboldt County Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Commission to exercise the powers and duties set forth in the Welfare and Institutions Code and to improve the quality of life for children, youth, families and the Community. The Commission will promote and sanction programs for the prevention of delinquency and monitor services to youth within the County. The Commission will actively advocate, in collaboration with others, for grass roots community support systems and a full range of coordinated and cost effective services.
The philosophy and commitment expressed in the current Mission Statement of the Humboldt County Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Commission has governed the activities of the Commission since our inception.
In addition to a Chair and Vice Chair, the Commission has three sub-committees. The Juvenile Justice Committee has responsibility for carrying out state and county juvenile justice mandates. The Delinquency Prevention Committee helps coordinate and support prevention efforts throughout the county; and the Community Relations Committee promotes public awareness efforts and facilitates interaction among various groups and agencies in the Humboldt community.