The Disposition Hearing (also referred to as the "sentencing hearing " in adult court) is the final step in the juvenile justice process. This is only held if the juvenile has pleaded guilty to a crime or is found guilty by the judge. This hearing is designed to determine the most appropriate way to hold the juvenile accountable for his or her crime and to prevent future violations of the law.
To assist the judge in his or her decision, a probation officer will have investigated the case thoroughly and prepared a written report. The purpose of this report is to recommend to the judge the conditions of probation which will provide restitution for the victims, rehabilitate the juvenile and provide protection to the community. This report will include the following:
Brief statement of the offense
Prior delinquency history
School academic and attendance record
Gang involvement and drug/alcohol history
Social history of the family
Statements from the victim, the juvenile and the juvenile's parents
Prior to sentencing the juvenile, the judge will hear the recommendations from the Deputy Public Defender and Deputy District Attorney who were involved in the trial.
In sentencing the juvenile, the judge has many options: