Section 12-15-215

Disposition of delinquent children or children in need of supervision generally.

(a) If the juvenile court finds on proof beyond a reasonable doubt, based upon competent, material, and relevant evidence, that a child committed the acts by reason of which the child is alleged to be delinquent or in need of supervision, it may proceed immediately to hear evidence as to whether the child is in need of care or rehabilitation and to file its findings thereon. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, a finding that the child has committed an act which constitutes a felony is sufficient to sustain a finding that the child is in need of care or rehabilitation. If the juvenile court finds that the child is not in need of care or rehabilitation, it shall dismiss the proceedings and discharge the child from any detention or other temporary care theretofore ordered. If the juvenile court finds that the child is in need of care or rehabilitation, it may make any of the following orders or dispositions, subject to the limitations and prohibitions on secure custody contained in Section 12-15-208:

(1) Permit the child to remain with the parent, legal guardian, or other legal custodian of the child, subject to the conditions and limitations the juvenile court may prescribe.

(2) Place the child on probation pursuant to conditions and limitations the juvenile court may prescribe.

(3) Transfer legal and physical custody to any of the following:

a. The Department of Youth Services, with or without an order to a specific institution.

b. In the case of a child in need of supervision, the Department of Youth Services, or the Department of Human Resources; provided however 1. that prior to any transfer of custody to the Department of Human Resources, the case shall first be referred to the county children's services facilitation team, which must proceed according to Article 5; and 2. that the child's commission of one or more status offenses shall not constitute a sufficient basis for transfer of legal or physical custody to the Department of Human Resources. Upon referral to the county children's services facilitation team, the juvenile probation officer shall continue to provide case management to the status offender unless the county children's services facilitation team appoints another person to act as case manager. The juvenile probation officer shall participate in county children's services facilitation team meetings and share records information and reports on the status offender with the county children's services facilitation team. When the juvenile court transfers legal and physical custody to the Department of Human Resources, all requirements which shall be met for a child to be eligible for federal funding shall apply, including, but not limited to, the requirements set out in Sections 12-15-312, 12-15-315, and 12-15-317.

c. A local, public, or private agency, organization, or facility willing and able to assume the education, care, and maintenance of the child and which is licensed or otherwise authorized by law to receive and provide care for children.

d. During the term of supervision, a relative or other individual who is found by the juvenile court to be qualified to receive and care for the child.

(4) Make any other order as the juvenile court in its discretion shall deem to be for the welfare and best interests of the child, including random drug screens, assessment of fines not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars ($250), and restitution against the parent, legal guardian, legal custodian, or child, as the juvenile court deems appropriate. Costs for juvenile court-ordered drug screening may be ordered paid for by the state out of moneys appropriated as "court costs not otherwise provided for." Restitution against the parent, legal guardian, legal custodian, or child shall be governed by the same principles applicable in the Restitution to Victims of Crime Act, commencing with Section 15-18-65.

(5) Direct the parent, legal guardian, or legal custodian of the child to perform reasonable acts as are deemed necessary to promote the best interests of the child.

(6) In any case where a child is adjudicated delinquent for possessing a pistol, short-barreled rifle, or short-barreled shotgun, any pistol, short-barreled rifle, or short-barreled shotgun possessed by that child is forfeited and shall be ordered to be destroyed by the juvenile court.

(b) No child by virtue of a disposition pursuant to this section shall be committed or transferred to a penal institution or other facility used for the execution of sentences of persons convicted of a crime.

(c) No child in need of supervision, unless also a delinquent child, shall be ordered to be placed in an institution or facility established for the care and rehabilitation of delinquent children unless the juvenile probation officer submits a written recommendation and the juvenile court finds upon a further hearing that the child is not amenable to treatment or rehabilitation pursuant to any prior disposition .

In determining if a child is not amenable to treatment or rehabilitation, the juvenile court shall consider evidence of the following and other relevant factors:

(1) Prior treatment efforts, such as, but not limited to:

a. Mental health counseling, if any.

b. Individualized educational plans, if any.

c. Other educational records.

d. Individualized service plans, if any.

(2) The age of the child.

(3) The history of the child being involved with the juvenile court, including, but not limited to, informal adjustments, consent decrees, adjudications, and prior placements.

(4) Other factors contributing to the behavioral difficulties of the child.

The written recommendations of the juvenile probation officer shall include evidence of the foregoing and other relevant factors.

(d) When a delinquent child may be committable to the Department of Mental Health, the juvenile court shall proceed as provided in Article 4, commencing with Section 12-15-401.

(e) Whenever the juvenile court vests legal custody in an agency or department, it shall transmit with the order copies of the clinical reports, predisposition study, and other information it has pertinent to the care and treatment of the child.

(f) When a child is placed in the legal custody of a department, agency, organization, entity, or person as provided in this section, when the parent, legal guardian, or legal custodian of the child has resources for child support, the juvenile court shall order child support in conformity with the child support guidelines as set out in Rule 32, Alabama Rules of Judicial Administration. The child support shall be paid to the department, agency, organization, entity, or person in whose legal custody the child is placed and may be expended for those matters that are necessary for the welfare and well-being of those children placed in the departments, agencies, organizations, entities, or persons. In these cases, the juvenile court shall issue income withholding orders subject to state law.

(g) Whenever the juvenile court commits a child to a state or local department or agency or orders a state or local department or agency to provide services or treatment for a child, that department or agency shall accept the child for commitment, ordered services, or treatment within seven days of the order of the juvenile court. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if compliance with the order of the juvenile court within seven days would place a department or agency in violation of either a state statute or standard, then compliance is not required.

(Acts 1975, No. 1205, p. 2384, §5-131; Acts 1990, No. 90-674, p. 1304, §12; Acts 1991, No. 91-553, p. 1021, §(1), (2); Acts 1993, No. 93-256, p. 367, §1; Acts 1996, No. 96-570, p. 864, §1; Acts 1996, No. 96-769, p. 1355, §§1, 2; Acts 1997, No. 97-621, p. 1087, §1; §12-15-71; amended and renumbered by Act 2008-277, p. 441, §14.)