Attorneys in the Juvenile Prosecution Division serve as liaisons to all high schools in Hennepin County, and are also available to assist at middle and junior high schools. They partner with school staff and local law enforcement, such as the Minneapolis Police Department’s school resource officers, to respond appropriately.
For many minor behavioral issues, schools are the best place to address the situation. The juvenile justice system does not get involved unless it is necessary.
When more significant incidents occur, school staff and resource officers refer the case to our juvenile division for review and possible charges. Prosecutors typically file charges against a student if an incident is serious or if the school's repeated attempts to resolve the behavior have not been successful.
Attorneys seek resolutions that protect schools, neighborhoods and community.
For less serious first-time offenders, diversion and intervention services will often be offered.
For those with more serious offenses, the prosecutors will work with the juvenile justice system to return the student to law-abiding behavior through a combination of consequences and programming. These may include probation supervision, restitution, community service, counseling, loss of a driver’s license or other options.
Violent juvenile offenders and any threats to school safety are prosecuted aggressively. In those most serious incidents, prosecutors may seek placement at a residential juvenile facility or at the state juvenile correctional facility in Red Wing. Under some circumstances, they may request adult certification to try the juvenile in adult court with the possibility of more significant penalties.