Juvenile Justice Needs Assessments

The Juvenile Justice Needs Assessment helps ensure that each child who is facing arrest or court involvement, be provided with the most appropriate services at the appropriate time.

The NH Juvenile Justice needs assessment system was created with the passing of the 2021 NH Senate Bill 94

Assessment referrals must be initiated by local law enforcement when they are considering bringing a child or youth to court under a delinquency petition. However, participation by the youth and his or her parent(s) or guardian(s) is voluntary.

During and after the assessment, law enforcement can use their discretion to proceed in a manner they determine to be consistent with protecting public interest, promoting a child’s acceptance of responsibility, or providing a child with counseling, supervision, treatment, and rehabilitation.

A delinquency petition may be filed with the Court at any time during the needs assessment process if law enforcement determines that an order from the Court for immediate detention or non-secure placement is necessary to protect the needs of the child and the community.

The parent(s), the child, and the referring law enforcement agency will each get a copy of DCYF’s written report, which includes a summary of the child’s strengths and needs.

The report will also include recommendations on whether court intervention is necessary or if other community supports could meet the needs of the child.

For more information about JJ Needs Assessment, please contact: