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Prosecuting Attorney

Juvenile Division

Madison County Prosecutor’s Office is committed to juvenile issues throughout the community. If your child is detained, the next step is a detention hearing. This normally takes place within 48 business hours of your child’s arrest. A probation officer will notify you of the time, date, and location of this hearing. Probation officers serve as a liaison between the school and the Juvenile Court.


The Madison County Juvenile Probation Department supports the belief that a good education surrounded by positive influence and early intervention is an important part of crime prevention. For more information regarding our juvenile division, please refer to our frequently asked questions:

Who is a juvenile?

For juvenile delinquency purposes, a juvenile is a person who has not reached the age of 18, nor has been waived to adult court or committed an offense over which the juvenile court does not have jurisdiction.

My child was picked up by the police and detained. Where were they taken, and will they stay in detention until his case is resolved?

The Madison County Probation Department will tell you where your child was taken and how to contact your child and the facility. Most children are released at the detention hearing; however, some children that are picked up for offenses that are more serious, or children that have no safe place to stay, may be detained for longer periods of time.

Will my child be provided an attorney?

Yes. Indiana law provides that a child facing a juvenile delinquency petition is entitled to an attorney at no cost, regardless of financial standing of the child or parent. That attorney will be provided at either the detention hearing or the initial hearing when your child meets with the juvenile court judge.

What are the typical or more common consequences that a child faces if found to have committed a delinquent act?

The most typical consequence or sanction is “informal adjustment”. This sanction is usually reserved for low risk and first time offenders, and consists of supervision through probation for a period of time. The child does not appear in court and completes the probationary period with some minimal conditions. Other sanctions can include regular probation, short term detention, and commitment to a treatment facility. Commitment to the Indiana Department of Corrections or waiver to adult court is possible; however, this is reserved for juveniles who commit a serious offense.

What is the difference between a Child in Need of Services (C.H.I.N.S.) case and a delinquency proceeding, and why do I have to appear in both?

A “C.H.I.N.S.” proceeding is a Child in Need of Services case and can be instituted by the Department of Child Services for a number of reasons. A delinquency proceeding is instituted by the prosecuting attorney upon information that the child has committed either an act that would be a crime if committed by an adult or a status offense (truancy, runaway, or incorrigibility). These are separate proceedings, even if they originate from the same set of circumstances; therefore you must appear as directed by the court.

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