Disposition of a juvenile to the ADJC is governed by statute and the Arizona Code of Judicial Administration Part 6, Chapter 3, Section 6-304. ARS Section 8-342 (A) provides “A child under the age of fourteen years shall not be committed to the department of juvenile corrections nor shall a dependent or incorrigible child be awarded to the department of juvenile corrections.” ARS Section 8-246(C), as amended, mandates:
- The use of risk and needs assessment to determine the appropriate disposition of juveniles
- Development of commitment guidelines for use by juvenile court judges for dispositions of juveniles to the ADJC
- Development of length of stay guidelines consistent with treatment and public safety concerns
The primary purpose of the commitment guidelines is to define factors the court must consider, in addition to other relevant facts, when committing youth to the care and custody of the ADJC. The legislative intent was to reserve commitment to juveniles whom the court believes need placement in a secure care facility for the protection of the public and who are unsuitable for JIPS.