Washington County Attorney’s Office—2017 Annual Report 14 Juvenile Division “Protecting kids is our top priority. ” The juvenile division, led by division chief Tony Zdroik prosecutes all juvenile delinquency cases filed in Washington County Court. The juvenile division seeks to promote public safety through the prosecution of juvenile crimes while taking into consideration the special circumstances of juvenile offenders. The juvenile division also provides legal representation to Washington County Community Services on child protection matters that involve Washington County children who have been abused or neglected by a parent or legal custodian. The number of child protection cases handled in 2017 confirmed that the huge increase in numbers we saw in 2016 is our “new normal.” In 2017 we had an 89% increase in CHIPS (child in need of protection or services) petition referrals (68 referrals) compared to the average number received from 2011-2015 (36 referrals). The number of Termination of Parental Rights petitions also significantly increased in 2017. We filed 17 petitions in 2017 compared our average of 9 petitions filed during the years 2011-2015. The increase in numbers is significant because these cases often continue for years requiring a great amount of attorney and support staff time. For several years, the County Attorney’s office has made it a priority to train and communicate with law enforcement on the investigation of criminal cases. That training and communication continues to pay off as seen in the low number of case declination letters. From 2013-2017 the average number of juvenile prosecution cases declined for prosecution was 75 cases. In 2017 we hit that exact mark again with 75 cases declined for prosecution. By comparison, in the previous 5 years (2008-2012) the number of juvenile cases declined for prosecution averaged 183 cases per year. The County Attorney’s office continues to demonstrate its support for diversion as an effective and efficient tool to address low risk juvenile offenders. In 2017, the County Attorney’s Office diverted 349 juveniles from the juvenile court system. That number amounted to 36% of all cases where there was probable cause the juvenile committed a violation of criminal law. The attorneys in the juvenile division continued to receive requests for training from various agencies in 2017. Training was provided to approximately 900 individuals by attorneys from the juvenile division in 2017. The audience of those trainings included students, parents, law enforcement officers, social workers, school officials, and other prosecutors. Juvenile Division Chief Tony Zdroik