Juvenile Division

The Allen County Juvenile Justice System seeks to balance the interests of the community by acknowledging criminal activity and protecting the community while understanding the unique circumstances that accompany a juvenile offender. Conforming to the law is not a fully developed behavior since a juvenile offender is not fully developed mentally, emotionally, and physically. Due to the continuous development of a juvenile offender they may also be more open to rehabilitation services.

The Allen County Juvenile Justice System tends to move quickly once a case has been filed by the Allen County Prosecutor’s Office in order to swiftly respond to a child’s action. Indiana statute requires that when a child is held in custody, the Fact Finding – which is the equivalent of a trial in the Juvenile Justice System – be held within twenty (20) days of the State’s Petition to Adjudge Delinquency being filed. This translates into an offense occurring, a child being arrested, a preliminary inquiry taking place with the Allen County Juvenile Probation Department, the State’s Petition to Adjudge Delinquency being filed, and a Fact Finding taking place all within a thirty (30) day time period.

The Juvenile Justice System does not convict a child, but rather adjudicates delinquency if a child is found to have committed an offense. Once a child is adjudicated, the Court may place a child in the Allen County Juvenile Center (located at 2929 North Wells Street in Fort Wayne, Indiana), the Department of Corrections, placed on formal probation, ordered to participate in counseling and/or a variety of other social services programs, all in hopes of assuring that the needs of the juvenile offender are being met while the safety of the community is maintained.