"The Juvenile Justice System can often be overwhelming for those that encounter it. While it is our main function to serve the Courts, in doing so, we aim to help victims of crime, youth, and their families navigate through the process in hopes of balancing the restoration of the victims with the accountability of the offenders."
-Chief Deputy Chris Johnson
Juvenile Court Services - Probation
4100 Branch Center Road • Sacramento, CA 95827 • Phone: (916) 875-6868 • Fax: (916) 876-9128
Juvenile Court - Citation Hearings
4100 Branch Center Road • Sacramento, CA 95827 • Phone: (916) 875-4202 • Fax: (916) 875-4206
Juvenile Courthouse - Hearings before Judges
9605 Kiefer Boulevard • Sacramento, CA 95827 • Phone: (916) 876-7753 • Fax: (916) 876-9016 • website
Probation is an integral part of the Sacramento Superior Courts in both adult and juvenile matters. The Department also prepares the investigative reports for both juvenile and adult offenders, which assist the Sacramento County Superior Courts in making decisions on the disposition and sentencing of offenders. Juvenile Court intake officers conduct an evidence-based detention assessment at the time of booking to determine if a minor will be detained or released.
Using a validated risk/needs assessment and information collected from various sources, officers develop an intake report prior to arraignments or settlement hearings that provide the court valuable information regarding a minor’s home life, schooling and any previous criminal history. In the report, officers make recommendations to the court for disposition (sentencing) based on the youth’s needs and public safety concerns.
Officers serve as presenters in the juvenile courtroom, ushering non-detained minors and families into the courtroom, providing last-minute case information, and researching probation issues at the court’s request. When hearings conclude, probation officers provide families and minors relevant information about the case and next steps.
Juvenile Court Services officers also work with victims of the alleged crimes, to develop the social study reports and seek restitution on behalf of the victims. Probation maintains Juvenile Court Records and manages requests for record seals.
Juvenile Court Proceedings
Probation Department is involved in several aspects of Juvenile Court
proceedings. You and your child will be required to attend all hearings, unless
your appearance is specifically waived by your child's attorney. You will
receive information about hearings either in the mail or by phone.
your child is being detained in the Youth Detention Facility, there will be a
detention hearing in no more than 72 hours from their booking date, counting
only court business days. At the detention hearing, the Judge will determine if
the in-custody minor will be kept at the Youth Detention Facility, released
without restrictions or go home on electronic monitoring or home supervision
while awaiting their trial.
detention hearing also serves as the arraignment for the minor, where the court
will read the charges against your child and appoint an attorney if you cannot
your child is booked into the Youth Detention Facility, a Probation Officer
will tell you and your child the date and time of their detention hearing. If
you don’t know, you can call (916) 875-6996.
child will be arraigned in Juvenile Court if they were not detained at the
Youth Detention Facility and if either the District Attorney has decided to
charge your child with an offense, or if during a citation hearing before a
Probation Officer, it was determined the offense was serious enough that it
needed to be heard by a Juvenile Court Judge.
will receive notification by phone and/or mail from Probation regarding your
child’s court date for their arraignment.
purpose of the arraignment hearing is to appoint an attorney for your child if
you can not afford one and to read the petition containing the charges against
Sacramento County, the next hearing is a Settlement Conference. At this
hearing, the youth’s defense attorney, the deputy district attorney and the
judge attempt to resolve the case without the necessity of a trial. If the
youth admits guilt, a dispositional hearing generally
will be heard immediately, or will be set for 10 days later. If the youth does
not admit guilt the case is scheduled for a jurisdictional
hearing – a juvenile court trial.
the minor does not admit responsibility, the case will be scheduled for a trial
called a jurisdictional hearing. At this hearing, evidence and witness
testimony are presented to the judge. There are no juries in Juvenile Court.
the jurisdictional hearing, the deputy district attorney must prove the
charges. Both the District Attorney and the Defense will have the opportunity
to call witnesses, present evidence and cross examine witnesses.
at the conclusion of the jurisdictional hearing, the judge determines that the
charge or charges are not true, the case is dismissed. If, on the other hand,
the judge determines that the charge or charges are true, the case proceeds to
a dispositional hearing – the time when the judge will impose sanctions and
disposition hearing is equivalent to a sentencing hearing in adult court. If
the judge rules that your child committed the offense, then the judge will
review the minor’s social study report that is prepared by the probation
department in advance of the settlement conference. The judge will hear
comments from both the minor’s attorney and the deputy district attorney. The
judge may then hear comments from the minor’s parent or guardian as well as from
the minor. On some occasions, victims and victims’ family members may make a
judge will decide how the minor will be rehabilitated, how he or she will
repair the harm caused to the victim and the community, and what sort of sanctions
Conditions of Probation
the minor admits responsibility or the judge determines after trial that the
charges are true, dispositions may include community service, home supervision,
electronic monitoring, counseling or treatment, restitution to the victim,
court fines, and foster care. They may also include commitment to the Youth
Detention Facility or the state Division of Juvenile Facilities. These
requirements, along with others – such as attending school, drug testing, and
obeying all laws – are court-ordered conditions of Probation.
Checking in at the Courthouse
for both in-custody and out-of-custody minors must check in at the customer
service window upon arrival to the courthouse. You will receive a pager and be
directed to the appropriate courtroom. The pager will be used to alert you to
any pre-conference with your child’s attorney prior to a hearing. The pager
will also be used to alert you to the start of the hearing. A probation officer
who serves as the court presenter will page you and then escort you into the
courtroom when it is time for the hearing to begin.
is a dress code and code of conduct for everyone who attends a hearing. Both
your clothing and conduct display respect for the Court and show the Court that
you take the case seriously. If attire and conduct are not in compliance with
the Court rules, you will not be allowed in the courtroom, and your case will
check in, you may receive a copy of an intake report on your child’s case to
inside the courtroom all cell phones and pagers must be turned off.
After the Hearing
following the hearing both parents and out-of-custody minors will be directed
to Window 1 – Probation. This is located in the same area as court
reception. The Probation Officer at the window will provide you information on
the outcome of your hearing, answer questions and direct you on your next
For more information on the courts, please visit www.saccourt.ca.gov