What does incorrigible child mean?
- Incorrigibility may apply to children from ages 10 through and including age 17 who are found to be "incorrigible" as defined in the Michigan Compiled Laws (MCL).
- As stated in MCL 712A.2(a)(3), incorrigible means that:
- The juvenile is repeatedly disobedient to the reasonable and lawful commands of his or her parents, legal guardian, or custodian, and
- The court finds on the record by clear and convincing evidence that court-accessed services are necessary.
Is incorrigibility a misdemeanor?
- No. Incorrigibility is a status offense. Status offenses are not misdemeanor or felony charges against a child. Status offenses are prohibited under the law because of the youth's status as a minor. Status offense behaviors include, but are not limited to:
- School truancy
- Running away from home
- Curfew Violations
Are there any interventions offered in Van Buren County to get help for my child before asking for an Incorrigible Petition?
- Yes. Van Buren Community Mental Health (VBCMH) offers a Youth Intervention Program. A parent, legal guardian, legal custodian, or youth can contact the agency at (269) 657-5574. The Youth Intervention Screener is a master's level clinician who will assist the youth in completing a mental health screening. The results of the screening will be shared with the youth, parents, caregivers, or legal guardians. The Youth Intervention Screener will then help link the youth with appropriate services and follow up. The topics addressed in the screening are Substance Use, Trauma, Suicidal Thinking, Anxiety, Depression, Emotional Distress, Anger, Irritability, School Performance, and Behavioral Issues.
- A child whose behavior problems are due to serious mental health issues and/or severe developmental delays will generally not be considered incorrigible because court-accessed services would not be appropriate for these children.
How can a parent, legal guardian, or custodian ask for an Incorrigible Petition against a child?
- Before seeking a petition, the parent or caretaker should try to find and exhaust other services such as counseling or family therapy, the youth intervention screening described above, and any other supports the family may have.
- All requests for Incorrigible Petitions start at the Prosecuting Attorney's office. Contact the Prosecuting Attorney's office at (269) 657-8236 and ask about completing and submitting the Juvenile Incorrigible Information Form.
- The Prosecuting Attorney's office will review the Juvenile Incorrigible Information Form within two weeks to determine whether an Incorrigible Petition will be submitted to the Juvenile Court.
- If an Incorrigible Petition is submitted by the Prosecutor and is accepted by the Juvenile Court, you will be contacted by Juvenile Court staff for further instructions or you will receive a notice to appear with the child for a hearing.
Will my child go to detention for being incorrigible?
- No, the court generally does not place a youth in detention for a status offense, including incorrigibility.
What will I have to do as a parent when an Incorrigible Petition is filed against my child?
- As the child's parents, legal guardians, or custodians, you must commit to active involvement in the Juvenile Court case if an Incorrigible Petition is accepted by the court. The court strives to provide support for the youth and family to improve the caretaker's ability to assist the child in changing the behavior that led to the request for the incorrigible Petition.
- You may be required to:
- Arrange and transport the youth to assessments, court appointments, or other services as directed by the court or caseworkers.
- Participate in therapy or counseling as recommended by the therapists, attend school meetings, or participate in other activities meant to provide supportive services for the youth and the family.
- Pay for or contribute to the cost of any court-ordered services, including, but not limited to:
- Court appointed attorney fees if an attorney is appointed to represent your child.
- Costs or fees involved with any court-directed services, probation or other supervision, or court-ordered family and/or individual counseling or treatment.