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Youthful Indiscretions: How the Mississippi Youth Court Works

On Behalf of | Aug 23, 2023 | Child Custody, Visitation, Youth Court

The Mississippi Youth Court is a unique option for juvenile legal cases in this state.  So, let’s go over how it all works.

The Mississippi Youth Court generally deals with cases involving children under the age of 18. The court has jurisdiction over three types of cases:

  • Child in Need of Supervision (CHINS) Cases. These cases involve children who have reached their 7th birthday, and who are in need of treatment or rehabilitation because of habitual disobedience, habitually violating school rules, running away from home or committing acts of delinquency.
  • Delinquent Child Cases. These cases cover children who have reached their 10th birthday and have committed criminal offenses.
  • Neglected and/or Abused Child Cases. These cases involve children who have been harmed or are at risk of harm by their parents or guardians.

For Delinquency and CHINS cases, the Youth Court is intended to be a more rehabilitative setting than the adult criminal justice system. The goal of the court is to help children who have made mistakes get back on the right track.  For Abuse and Neglect cases the goal is to protect children, hold adults accountable and keep families together.

Youth court cases often begin with the issuing of an ‘emergency custody order’, which can come with little to no warning. That’s often quickly followed by ‘shelter hearings’ to determine the temporary custody of the children, pending resolution of the case.  Both children and parents or guardians are entitled to be represented by attorneys in youth court.  If you have a child who is involved in the Mississippi Youth Court system, it is important to get legal help.

And, if you have questions about a Youth Court matter, as always: reach out to our office at 601-825-3124.