The Jackson County District Attorney’s Office is committed to protecting children from abuse and neglect. We partner with many agencies in the community to ensure children are living in safe stable homes. When a child’s life is endangered by a parent the Department of Human Services (DHS) must investigate. DHS gets a report of child abuse or neglect with in the familial context. This may or may not be in conjunction with a criminal investigation. If the report meet the threshold criteria for possible abuse or neglect it is then assigned to an intake caseworker who does an assessment on the family. At the end of the assessment it is determined if abuse or neglect is occurring. Petitions are filed in the Jackson County Juvenile Court if DHS believes in order to protect the child(ren) from abuse or neglect the state needs to take wardship over the child(ren). Each parent is given a separate attorney and the child(ren) are represented by an attorney. Petitions contain allegations of abuse or neglect perpetrated by the parents that endanger their child(ren). The Jackson County District Attorney’s Office represents the state when petitions are filed through the court taking jurisdiction of the child(ren) either after a trial or admissions by the parents. Our office is responsible for handling all legal aspects of the case and representing the best interest of the child(ren) Once jurisdiction is established and the child(ren) are wards of the court, the Oregon Attorney General’s Office works with the Department of Human Services to establish permanency for the child(ren).
The Jackson County District Attorney’s Office represents the state in Juvenile court when the Juvenile services department files a delinquency petition in court. A juvenile delinquency case happens when a person who is under 18 years of age violates a law in which an adult could be charged with a crime in the state of Oregon. The Deputy District attorney assigned to the Juvenile delinquency caseload works closely with the juvenile services department regarding charging decisions, files any legal motions necessary, communicates with victims, and appears at court hearings representing the state. The goal of the juvenile court process is to promote rehabilitation of the youth offender and to ensure public safety.