97-H 6875
Approved May 7, 1997


It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:

SECTION 1. Purpose. For the purposes of promoting the public health, safety, morals or general welfare, the Town Council of the Town of Cumberland, shall have the power, in accordance with the provisions of this act, within the limits of said Town by ordinance, to pass, ordain, establish and amend an ordinance to establish a Juvenile Hearing Board.

Without limiting the generality of the aforementioned, such ordinance shall include the following provisions:

SECTION 2. Establishment. A juvenile hearing board shall be established in the Town of Cumberland for the purpose of hearing all cases referred to it by the juvenile division of the Police Department or the Chief of Police with respect to persons under the age of eighteen (18), who are charged with violating the laws of the State of Rhode Island, or the Town of Cumberland. Said board shall be called the Cumberland Juvenile Board.

SECTION 3. Membership. (a) The membership of the Cumberland Juvenile Hearing Board (the board) shall consist of seven (7) electors of the Town of Cumberland over the age of eighteen (18) years. There shall be one elector chosen from each of the five (5) council districts and two (2) from at large. The members of the board shall consist of a cross section of the Town's demographic make up.

(b) The members of the board shall be appointed by the Mayor, with the approval of the Town Council.

(c) The term of appointment for members of the board shall be for three (3) years except that the initial appointments shall be for less than three (3) years, thereby staggering said initial appointments. No member shall be appointed for more than two terms.

(d) Appointed members of the said board shall be eligible for reappointment, and upon expiration of their term shall continue to serve until replaced or otherwise re-appointed. In the event of a vacancy on the board, interim appointments of appointed members may be made by the Mayor to complete the un-expired term of the vacant position, with approval of the Town Council.

(e) The composition of the board shall consist of citizens of the Town of Cumberland who have a background in the related fields of education, probation, parole, human services, community youth services, members of the clergy, law enforcement or judicial officials, or a citizen who the council deems has the credentials that would be an asset to the board. No member shall be an elected official in any capacity, or belong or be appointed to any partisan organization in any city or town. No member of the board shall be entitled to receive any compensation by reason of his or her service on the board.

(f) Members of the board are subject to removal pursuant to Town Ordinance section 17-09 and 17-12.

SECTION 4. Referral To The Juvenile Board. (a) Persons who are under the age of eighteen (18) years may be referred to the board, which shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the Rhode Island family court, if the alleged offense is one which if committed by an adult, would be a misdemeanor; provided, however, that this requirement shall not apply in the case of any person:

(i ) who has twice previously been referred to the board or has been once previously referred and refused or failed to abide by the sanctions imposed or make the restitution recommended; and

(ii) who at the time of the alleged commission of such offense is within the custody and control of the Family Court with the exception of guardianship matters.

(b) The juvenile division of the Police Department or the Chief of Police may refer to the board any other juvenile offender where, in the opinion of the juvenile division or the chief of police, such referral would be beneficial to the juvenile concerned and the community at large.

(c) No referral to the board shall be made until such juvenile person, together with his or her legal guardians and/or legal representative, shall have waived in writing the juveniles right to a hearing in the family court with respect to the offense charged, shall have admitted to the alleged offense, and shall have agreed to abide by the decision of the board.

SECTION 5. Duties of the Board. (a) The Board shall be authorized to hear all cases referred by the juvenile division of the Police Department, or the Chief of Police, and to recommend sanctions other than incarceration. The sanctions imposed by the board shall not exceed six (6) months, and may consist of, but are not limited to:

(i) Community Service;

(ii) Referral to counseling services;

(iii) Reasonable curfews;

(iv) Reasonable restitution;

(b) In any such proceedings, the Board, prior to imposing sanctions, shall request that the juvenile offender and his/her parents or legal guardians agree to the sanctions imposed, the amount of restitution and the manner of making the same. In ordering restitution, the Board shall take into account the juvenile offender's ability to pay and the amount of actual damage caused as a result of the commission of such offenses.

SECTION 6. Meetings and Notice. The Cumberland Juvenile Hearing Board shall meet not less than once each month. It shall give written notice of matters to be heard before it to the Chief of Police the juvenile officer, and the juvenile offender and his/her parents. This notice shall be given no less than seven (7) days prior to the date of the hearing.

(a) In its notice to the juvenile, the hearing board shall advise the juvenile of the time and place of the hearing, the nature of the offense, and the juveniles right to counsel before the board.

(b) A majority of the members of the Board shall constitute a quorum, and proceedings shall be closed to the public except that the Juvenile Hearing Board may, with the consent of such juvenile and his or her legal guardians, transact its business in public.

(c) The Juvenile Hearing Board shall elect one of its members as its chairperson, and one of its members as its vice-chairperson. In the event of the absence of the chairperson, then the vice chairperson shall be the presiding officer. A majority of the members present shall be required to take any action.

(d) All meetings of the Board shall be closed to the public. All records of the meetings, as well as dispositions shall be kept confidential. All records of Board shall be destroyed, at such time that the juvenile turns eighteen.

(e) The Juvenile Hearing Board shall have the power from time to time to draft rules governing its proceedings or to amend or repeal any rules therefore adopted. The Board shall compile a yearly progress report and shall forward same to the Mayor, Town Council, and the Chief Judge of the Rhode Island Family Court.

SECTION 7. Applicability. This act shall take effect upon passage and shall apply to all juveniles alleged to have committed an offense after the date of enactment.

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