The Jackson County State’s Attorney’s office is responsible for prosecuting defendants who are younger than 18 years old when the alleged crime was committed.
Delinquency cases are initiated through a law enforcement report or by arrest and detention. When a minor is taken into custody, a detention hearing must be held within 40 hours – excluding court holidays and weekends – to determine whether the minor shall remain in custody. If a judge finds probable cause and an immediate and urgent necessity to protect the minor or the community, the court may order further detention. Otherwise, the court may release the minor to home detention or to the custody of a parent or guardian.
When a minor is not taken into custody, the case is referred to Jackson County Juvenile Court Services. From there it could be diverted through Juvenile Court Services or be sent to the Juvenile Delinquency Division of the Jackson County State’s Attorney’s Office for prosecution.
A juvenile who has a delinquency petition filed against him or her and is found guilty of a crime can be adjudicated delinquent and can be sentenced to supervision or probation. A juvenile also may be sentenced to up to 30 days in jail or committed to the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice until his or her 21st birthday. In serious cases, such as a murder or attempted murder, a juvenile could be transferred to adult court and be subject to the same penalties as an adult.
Juvenile court hearings are closed to the general public, but members of the media are allowed to attend.
- A juvenile is classified as someone who is younger than age 18 at the time of the alleged crime.
- A parent must be present with the minor in court on every court date. This is true even when the case progresses past the minor’s 18th birthday.
- A minor in court must be represented by an attorney.
- Parents are named on the petitions as “parties” and must be served, even if one parent has not had contact with the minor.
- Most jailed juvenile offenders are held in the Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center. Only family members are allowed to visit juvenile offenders. For visitation hours and days, call the F.C.T.D. at (618) 438-2222.
- Depending on the severity of the crime, the age of the defendant and the age of the victim, some cases are automatically transferred to adult court.
- The law allows the state’s attorney to ask the court to transfer certain juvenile defendants to adult court. If such a request is made, the judge will set a date to hear arguments and then decide whether the juvenile will be transferred to adult court.
- A juvenile offender who is found guilty of a crime can be sentenced to supervision, probation, up to 30 days in jail or imprisonment in the Illinois Department of Corrections’ Juvenile Division until his or her 21st birthday.
- Only parties to the case are allowed access to information on the case because of confidentiality rules.
- A party to the case can appear at the Jackson County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office at, with valid identification, and have access to the court file. The Circuit Court Clerk’s Office is prohibited from giving this information over the telephone. You should consult with your lawyer over any questions or concerns you have.
- Although they are not prohibited from doing so, the media generally does not report the names of juvenile offenders. However, there are exceptions, which vary depending on the newspaper, radio station or television station, and the severity of the crime. The courts and state’s attorney’s office have no influence over what a media outlet chooses to report. Juvenile court records are not open to the media. However, the juvenile courtrooms are open to the media.
- A juvenile defendant can remain in the court system as a juvenile up to their 21st birthday.
- If you wish to report a crime involving a juvenile offender, call your local police department.
The juvenile division pursues petitions against parents of children who have been physically abused or neglected by their parents. Additionally, petitions are brought to assist dependent children who have no one available to adequately care for their well-being. Typically, these matters begin with a shelter care hearing after reports of abuse or neglect have been reported, investigated and substantiated. The cases then proceed through various stages of the court process in an effort to correct the conditions which caused the children to come into protective custody of the State and to reunify the family whenever possible.
Department of Children and Family Services (Murphysboro, IL) 618-687-1733
Department of Children and Family Services (Child Abuse Hotline) 800-252-2873 or 800-25-abuse
Perry-Jackson Child Advocacy Center (Pinckneyville, IL) 618-357-2990
Crimes Against Children
Department of Children and Family Services
1210 Hanson Street
Murphysboro, Illinois 62966
Perry-Jackson Child Advocacy Center
5512 State Route 154
Pinckneyville, Illinois 62274
Prevent Child Abuse Illinois Child Advocacy
Illinois Sex Offender Registry
8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Monday through Friday
Closed on all Federal
and State holidays.
Jackson County Courthouse
1001 Walnut Street
Murphysboro, Illinois 62966