Section 1. Establishment. - Pursuant to Rhode Island General Laws a Juvenile Hearing Board is hereby established in the Town of North Kingstown for the purpose of promoting the public health, safety and general welfare. The Juvenile Hearing Board is authorized to hear all cases referred to it by the Youth Services Bureau of the North Kingstown Police Department or the Chief of Police of the Town of North Kingstown, or his/her designee, with respect to persons under the age of eighteen (18) who are charged with violating the criminal laws and status offenses of the state of Rhode Island, or of the Town of North Kingstown.
Said board shall be referred to as the North Kingstown Juvenile Hearing Board.
Section 2. Membership. - (a) The membership of the North Kingstown Juvenile Hearing Board (the Board) shall consist of five (5) members who shall be qualified electors of the Town of North Kingstown. In addition, there may be two (2) auxiliary members who serve as active members in the event a regular member or members are unable to serve at any hearing or proceeding.
(b) The members shall be appointed by a majority vote of the Town Council of the Town of North Kingstown.
(c) The term of the appointment shall be for three (3) years, except that the initial appoints may be for a term of less than three (3) years in order to stagger the appointments.
(d) Appointed members of the board shall be eligible to be reappointed, and upon expiration of their term shall continue to serve until another be appointed in their place or until reappointed.
(e) The board members should be representative of the community at large. Members should have a diverse background in occupational, life and family experience as well as in terms of their formal education. At a minimum the Board should include as members; one person with professional educational experience, one person with professional medical or mental health field experience, and one person with professional social work experience.
(f) Members of the board are required to attend and successfully complete a training program (approximately sixty hours in duration) organized by the Youth Services Bureau.
(g) One Board member will be so designated by the appointing authority as the “Chairperson”.
(h) Board members are required to sign and strictly adhere to a confidentiality agreement which protects the rights and privacy of juveniles and all other participants involved in Board matters.
(i) Board members are required to consent to a criminal history and background check to be conducted by the North Kingstown Police Department.
Section 3. Referral to juvenile hearing board. - (a) Persons who are under the age of eighteen (18) years may be referred to the Board, which shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the Rhode Island Family Court, provided however, that no referral shall be made in the case of any person:
(i) who shall have been twice previously referred to the Board; or
(ii) who shall have been once previously referred to the Board and refused or failed to abide by the sanctions imposed or to have made the restitution recommended; or
(iii) shall at the time of the commission of the offense be within the custody and control of the Rhode Island Family Court, with the exception of guardianship proceedings.
(b) No referral to the board shall be made until such person, together with his/her legal guardian or legal representative shall have in writing, waived such person's right to an initial hearing in the Family Court with respect to the offense charged, has admitted to the offense and has agreed to abide by the decision of the Board.
Section 4. Duties of the board. - (a) The Board shall be authorized to hear all cases referred to it by the Youth Services Bureau of the North Kingstown Police Department, the Chief of Police of the North Kingstown Police Department, or his/her designee.
(b) Board members are required to deliberate all proceedings in a fair and objective manner, with due regard for the rehabilitation and future development of the juvenile charged as well as for the rights of victims and others effected by the offense.
(c) The Board is authorized to impose and order sanctions other than incarceration. Sanctions may include, but are not limited to:
(i) fines up to a maximum of one hundred dollars ($100.00) for each offense charged;
(ii) community service;
(iii) restitution for any injuries or property damage, where appropriate, resulting from the commission of the offense;
(iv) imposition of a reasonable curfew;
(v) denial of driving privileges for a period of up to two (2) years;
(vi) appropriate counseling and/or approved diversion programs.
In any such proceedings, the Board shall, prior to the imposition of any sanctions, request the juvenile offender and his/her parents, legal guardians and legal representative to agree to the sanctions imposed, the amount of restitution ordered and the manner of making same. In ordering restitution, the board shall consider the juvenile offender's ability to pay and the amount of actual damages caused as a result of the commission of the offenses.
Section 5. Quorum - Rules. - (a) A majority of the Board's regular members shall constitute a quorum and a majority of the members present shall be required to take any action.
(b) The board shall have power from time to time to adopt and publish any and all rules and regulations necessary to carry out its functions under the provisions of this ordinance.
(c) The board shall give notice of the date, time and place (Town or School Department building with limited access) of its meetings to the Youth Services Bureau of the North Kingstown Police Department, the Chief of Police, or his/her designee, the juvenile offender and his/her parents, legal guardians or legal representative not less than seven (7) days prior to the date of the hearing.
(d) Board proceedings shall be closed to the public and the provisions of chapter 42 of title 46 of the Rhode Island General Laws shall not apply to such proceedings. All records of proceedings, including records concerning the arrest, apprehension or detention of any juvenile offender shall be withheld from public inspection but such records shall be available to the parent, legal guardian or legal representative of the juvenile for inspection.
(e) Juvenile offenders may be represented by legal counsel at all Board proceedings.
SECTION 2. This Ordinance shall take effect upon passage and shall apply to all juveniles alleged to have committed an offense after the effective date.