City Attorney Juvenile Programs
In 1992, the City of Norman initiated a juvenile offender program to complement the prosecution efforts of the Cleveland County District Attorney's Office and to become more proactive in reducing juvenile crime in Norman. Since that time, the number of cases referred to the City for prosecution has grown to the point that weekly juvenile dockets are held in Municipal Court. Additionally, all juveniles alleged to be in violation of an ordinance of the City of Norman appear at a pre-arraignment conference with their parent or guardian to discuss the circumstances of their violation with the Assistant City Attorney handling juvenile offenders and determine the appropriate course of action to address their situation. The juveniles may be required to perform community service or attend a variety of programs developed by the City Attorney’s Office to address specific areas. Additionally, the juveniles and their families are often referred to other resources and required to write letters of apology to parents, victims or the Court.
In June, 2002, in response to an increased number of Possession of Tobacco citations being issued, the City Attorney’s Office began a Juvenile Smoking Cessation Program. This program is currently offered to first time tobacco offenders only, involves attendance at a 3-hour program based on material provided by the American Lung Association. This program focuses on educating the juvenile offenders about tobacco rather than merely punishing them.
Additionally, in 2003, the City Attorney’s Office initiated a Juvenile Community Service Program that offers juvenile offenders opportunities to perform supervised community service. Juveniles and their families would often request opportunities to do community service and research indicates community service is often a deterrent for future offenses. Local agencies have indicated a willingness to have the community service work performed by juveniles, but were unable to take on the burden of supervising, scheduling and tracking these juveniles, particularly those under the age of 16. Through our program, the City Attorney’s Office provides supervision, as well as tracking and reporting information to the Court for juveniles assigned community service hours. This Program is partially funded by a grant provided through Office of Juvenile Affairs. Since the Program’s inception in October, 2003, over 5,000 hours of community service have been performed by the juvenile offenders.
Juvenile offenses that may be prosecuted in municipal court include:
- Age Misrepresentation
- Public Intoxication
- Possession of Alcohol
- Attempt to Purchase Alcohol
- Outraging Public Decency
- Possession of Tobacco Products
- Disturbing the Peace
- Molesting Property (under $100)
- Petty Larceny
- Interference with Official Process
- Failure to Appear
- Contempt of Court