Shackles no longer sure thing at court

first_imgLANCASTER – A state appeals court has set aside a Lancaster Juvenile Court judge’s blanket policy requiring all minors who appear in delinquency court to be shackled with chains at the ankles. The Second District Court of Appeal ruled that the sheriff’s deputies who provide courtroom security and prosecutors must justify in advance why a particular minor should be restrained. “In our view, the use of physical restraints upon minors who appear in the Lancaster Juvenile Delinquency Court must be based on a showing that such restraints are necessary for each individual minor irrespective of the type of hearing or proceeding,” said the ruling, issued Monday. The three-judge appellate panel ruled in favor of a 16-year-old minor, identified in the decision as Tiffany A., who had challenged the policy of Juvenile Court Judge Richard Naranjo and was denied. The girl was released from custody in September. Prosecutors said they were disappointed with the decision and felt the burden should fall on the defense as to why a minor should be unrestrained, a policy upheld in the federal courts. The Juvenile Court, known as Department 285, has had the policy of putting ankle shackles on all detained minors who appear in court for at least two years, the ruling said. The policy was adopted because of the number of unlocked exits and unsecured hallways in the courtroom and because of the lack of sheriff’s personnel available to monitor the facility, the ruling said. Sheriff’s officials said the risk of minors escaping is significant given the design of the courtroom and location of the courthouse. The Juvenile Court is housed in the former Lancaster Superior Court at 10th Street West and Avenue J that handled adult criminal cases, among other things. The appeals court ruled that courtroom conditions and safety concerns cannot be the only consideration when determining the use of restraints. ” … Any decision to shackle a minor who appears in the Juvenile Delinquency Court for a court proceeding must be based on the nonconforming conduct and behavior of that individual minor,” according to the ruling. The justices also said shackling a juvenile goes against the minor’s right to due process and presumption of innocence. The shackles also create the “very tone of criminality juvenile proceedings were intended to avoid.” [email protected] (661) 267-5744160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

first_imgLANCASTER – A state appeals court has set aside a Lancaster Juvenile Court judge’s blanket policy requiring all minors who appear in delinquency court to be shackled with chains at the ankles. The Second District Court of Appeal ruled that the sheriff’s deputies who provide courtroom security and prosecutors must justify in advance why a particular minor should be restrained. “In our view, the use of physical restraints upon minors who appear in the Lancaster Juvenile Delinquency Court must be based on a showing that such restraints are necessary for each individual minor irrespective of the type of hearing or proceeding,” said the ruling, issued Monday. The three-judge appellate panel ruled in favor of a 16-year-old minor, identified in the decision as Tiffany A., who had challenged the policy of Juvenile Court Judge Richard Naranjo and was denied. The girl was released from custody in September. Prosecutors said they were disappointed with the decision and felt the burden should fall on the defense as to why a minor should be unrestrained, a policy upheld in the federal courts. The Juvenile Court, known as Department 285, has had the policy of putting ankle shackles on all detained minors who appear in court for at least two years, the ruling said. The policy was adopted because of the number of unlocked exits and unsecured hallways in the courtroom and because of the lack of sheriff’s personnel available to monitor the facility, the ruling said. Sheriff’s officials said the risk of minors escaping is significant given the design of the courtroom and location of the courthouse. The Juvenile Court is housed in the former Lancaster Superior Court at 10th Street West and Avenue J that handled adult criminal cases, among other things. The appeals court ruled that courtroom conditions and safety concerns cannot be the only consideration when determining the use of restraints. ” … Any decision to shackle a minor who appears in the Juvenile Delinquency Court for a court proceeding must be based on the nonconforming conduct and behavior of that individual minor,” according to the ruling. The justices also said shackling a juvenile goes against the minor’s right to due process and presumption of innocence. The shackles also create the “very tone of criminality juvenile proceedings were intended to avoid.” [email protected] (661) 267-5744160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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