It’s a little closer look at how the justice system works in Minnehaha County and the City of Sioux Falls when it comes to the handling of youngsters who get in trouble.

In the aftermath of a Sioux Falls teen who allegedly stole a car and lit things on fire at Lutheran Social Services before being shuttled to the Juvenile Detention Center, Sioux Falls Police Public Information Officer Sam Clemens explains that there is a process for the placement of younger offenders.

"Anytime we arrest a juvenile, we always call JDC and (notify) them who is being charged and what those charges are. They've got some criteria that they go through and they (instruct) the officer to turn them over to their parent, take them to a different facility or keep them at JDC."

Even before the placement of the offender, Clemens says the officer has to determine if there is a probable cause to arrest the juvenile.

"The decision whether or not to charge somebody is made by the officer but the placement of that child is made by an intake officer at JDC."

Lutheran Social Services is an option for law enforcement because they have a youth center designed to be a safe place until a parent or approved adult can pick them up. The center is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Meanwhile, the Juvenile Detention Center is a more secure facility for youth who have committed more serious crimes or need to be closely monitored.


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