Current Status Bill Number:
1033Ratification Number: 364Act Number: 334Type of Legislation: General Bill GBIntroducing Body: SenateIntroduced Date: 19960118Primary Sponsor: JacksonAll Sponsors: JacksonDrafted Document Number: res9867.djCompanion Bill Number: 4613, 4900Date Bill Passed both Bodies: 19960507Date of Last Amendment: 19960502Governor's Action: SDate of Governor's Action: 19960520Subject: Youth Mentor Act
Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ _______________________________________ _______ ____________ ------ 19960530 Act No. A334 ------ 19960520 Signed by Governor ------ 19960514 Ratified R364 Senate 19960507 Concurred in House amendment, enrolled for ratification House 19960503 Read third time, returned to Senate with amendment House 19960502 Amended, read second time, unanimous consent for third reading on the next Legislative day House 19960501 Committee report: Favorable with 25 HJ amendment House 19960410 Introduced, read first time, 25 HJ referred to Committee Senate 19960409 Read third time, sent to House Senate 19960404 Amended, read second time Senate 19960403 Committee report: Favorable with 11 SJ amendment Senate 19960118 Introduced, read first time, 11 SJ referred to CommitteeView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
(A334, R364, S1033)
AN ACT TO AMEND SUBARTICLE 7, ARTICLE 9, CHAPTER 7, TITLE 20, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE DISPOSITIONAL POWERS OF THE FAMILY COURT, BY ADDING SECTION 20-7-1331, SO AS TO ENACT THE "YOUTH MENTOR ACT", TO REQUIRE THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TO ESTABLISH A YOUTH MENTOR PROGRAM FOR NONVIOLENT OFFENDERS, CONSISTING OF A CHURCH MENTOR PROGRAM AND A COMMUNITY MENTOR PROGRAM, AND TO PROVIDE THAT PARTICIPATION IN THE PROGRAM MAY BE REQUIRED AS A PRETRIAL DIVERSION OPTION BY A SOLICITOR OR AS AN OPTIONAL, ALTERNATIVE DISPOSITION OF A CASE BY A FAMILY COURT JUDGE; AND TO AMEND SECTION 20-7-1330, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO DISPOSITION OF CASES INVOLVING CHILDREN WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF THE FAMILY COURT, SO AS TO ADD AS A DISPOSITIONAL POWER OF THE COURT THE POWER TO ORDER A CHILD TO PARTICIPATE IN A COMMUNITY MENTOR PROGRAM AS PROVIDED IN SECTION 20-7-1331.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Youth Mentor Act
SECTION 1. Subarticle 7, Article 9, Chapter 7, Title 20 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 20-7-1331. (A) This section may be cited as the `Youth Mentor Act'.
(B) The Attorney General's Office shall establish a Youth Mentor Program to serve juvenile offenders under the jurisdiction of the family court. The program shall consist of a church mentor program and a community mentor program. Participation in the program may be required as a pretrial diversion option by a solicitor or as an optional, alternative disposition by a family court judge. The circuit solicitor may charge a juvenile offender who participates in the Youth Mentor Program a fee to offset the actual cost of administering the program; however, no juvenile offender is barred from the program because of indigence. This program must be available for juveniles who commit nonviolent offenses. For purposes of this subsection, nonviolent offenses mean all offenses not listed in Section 16-1-60.
(C) When a child is charged with a nonviolent offense which places him under the jurisdiction of the family court and the solicitor is of the opinion that justice would be better served if the child completed a church mentor program, the solicitor may divert the child to such a program. Upon completion of the program, the proceedings in family court must be dismissed.
Participation in the church mentor program is voluntary, and the child or his parents or guardians may refuse to participate based upon their religious beliefs or for any other reason.
The Attorney General must establish guidelines for the program, the mentors, and the churches, mosques, masjids, synagogues, and other religious organizations that participate in the church mentor program.
(D) When a child is adjudicated delinquent for a nonviolent offense in family court, the family court judge may order the child to participate in the community mentor program. When a child is ordered to participate in the community mentor program, he must be assigned to a community organization which shall assign a mentor to the child. The mentor shall monitor the academic and personal development of the child for a minimum period of six months and a maximum period not exceeding one year as ordered by the court. Failure to complete the program shall result in the child being brought before the family court for appropriate sanctions or revocation of suspended commitment.
The Attorney General must establish guidelines for the program, the mentors, and the community organizations that participate in the community mentor program."
Court may order participation in community mentor program
SECTION 2. Section 20-7-1330 of the 1976 Code, as amended by Act 181 of 1993, is further amended to read:
"Section 20-7-1330. When a child is found by decree of the court to be subject to the provisions of Section 20-7-400, the court must in its decree make a finding of the facts upon which the court exercises its jurisdiction over the child. Following the decree, the court may, by order:
(a) place the child on probation or under supervision in the child's own home or in the custody of a suitable person elsewhere, upon conditions as the court may determine. A child placed on probation by the court remains under the authority of the court only until the expiration of the specified term of the child's probation. This specified term of probation may expire before but not after the eighteenth birthday of the child. Probation means casework services during a continuance of the case. Probation must not be ordered or administered as punishment but as a measure for the protection, guidance, and well-being of the child and the child's family. Probation methods must be directed to the discovery and correction of the basic causes of maladjustment and to the development of the child's personality and character, with the aid of the social resources of the community. As a condition of probation, the court may order the child to participate in a community mentor program as provided for in Section 20-7-1331. The court may impose restitution or participation in supervised work or community service as a condition of probation. The Department of Juvenile Justice, in coordination with local community agencies, shall develop and encourage employment of a constructive nature designed to make reparation and to promote the rehabilitation of the child. If the court imposes as a condition of probation a requirement that restitution in a specified amount be paid, the amount to be paid as restitution may not exceed five hundred dollars. The Department of Juvenile Justice shall develop a system for the transferring of court-ordered restitution from the child to the victim or owner of property injured, destroyed, or stolen.
(b) as a condition of probation impose upon the juvenile a fine not exceeding two hundred dollars when the offense is one in which a magistrate, municipal, or circuit court judge has the authority to impose a fine. A fine may be imposed when commitment is suspended but not in addition to commitment;
(c) commit the child to the custody or to the guardianship of a public or private institution or agency authorized to care for children or to place them in family homes or under the guardianship of a suitable person. Commitment must be for an indeterminate period but in no event beyond the child's twenty-first birthday;
(d) cause a child concerning whom a petition has been filed to be examined or treated by a physician, psychiatrist, or psychologist and for that purpose place the child in a hospital or other suitable facility;
(e) order the child to participate in a community mentor program as provided in Section 20-7-1331;
(f) order other care and treatment as it considers best, except as otherwise provided in this section. In support of an order, the court may require the parents or other persons having custody of the child, or any other person who has been found by the court to be encouraging, causing, or contributing to the acts or conditions which bring the child within the purview of this chapter, to do or omit to do acts required or forbidden by law, when the judge considers the requirement necessary for the welfare of the child. In case of failure to comply with the requirement, the court may proceed against those persons for contempt of court;
(g) dismiss the petition or otherwise terminate its jurisdiction at any time, on the motion of either party or on its own motion.
No adjudication by the court of the status of a child is a conviction, nor does the adjudication operate to impose civil disabilities ordinarily resulting from conviction, nor may a child be charged with crime or convicted in a court, except as provided in Section 20-7-430(6). The disposition made of a child, or any evidence given in court, does not disqualify the child in a future civil service application or appointment.
Whenever the court commits a child to an institution or agency, it must transmit with the order of commitment a summary of its information concerning the child, and the institution or agency must give to the court information concerning the child which the court may require. Counsel of record, if any, must be notified by the court of an adjudication under this section, and in the event there is no counsel of record, the child, its parents, or guardian must be notified of the adjudication by regular mail from the court to the last address of the child, its parents, or guardian."
SECTION 3. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
Approved the 20th day of May, 1996.