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SECTION 1.-Definition.-This act shall apply only to children under the age of sixteen (16) years, not now or hereafter inmates of a state institution, or any training school for boys or industrial school for girls, or some institution incorporated under the laws of this state, except as provided in sections twelve (12) and eighteen (18.) For the purpose of this act the words “dependent child” and “neglected child” shall mean any child who for any reason is destitute or homeless; or abandoned; or dependent upon the public for support; or has not proper parental care or guardianship; or who habitually begs or receives alms; or who is found living in any house of ill-fame with any vicious disreputable persons, or whose home, by reason of neglect, cruelty or depravity on the part of its parents, guardian or other person in whose charge it may be, is an unfit place for such child; and any child under the age of ten (10) years who is found begging, peddling or selling any article, or singing or playing any musical instrument upon the street, or giving any public entertainment, or who accompanies or is used in the aid of any person so doing. The words "delinquent child" shall include any child under the age of sixteen (16) years who violates any law of this state or any city or village ordinance; or who is incorrigible; or who knowingly associates with thieves, vicious or immoral persons; or who is growing up in idleness or crime; or who knowingly frequents a house of ill-fame; or who knowingly patronizes any policy shop or place where any gaming device is or shall be operated. The word “child” or “children” may mean one or more children, and the word "parent" or "parents" may be held to mean one or both parents, when consistent with the intent of this act. The word "association" shall include any corporation which includes in its purposes the care or disposition of children coming within the meaning of this act.

SEC. 2.Jurisdiction. The circuit and county courts of the several counties in this state shall have original jurisdiction in all cases coming under the terms of this act. In all trials under this act any person interested therein may demand a jury of six or the judge of his own motion may order a jury of the same number to try the


SEC. 3.Juvenile Court.—In counties having over 500,000 population, the judges of the circuit court shall, at such times as they shall determine, designate one or more of their number, whose duty it shall be to hear all cases coming under this act. A special court room, to be designated as the juvenile court room, shall be provided for the hearing of such cases, and the finding of the court shall be entered in a book or books to be kept for that purpose, and known as the “Juvenile Record," and the court may for convenience be called the “Juvenile Court."


SEC. 6.Probation Officers.—The court shall have authority to appoint or designate one or more discreet persons of good character to serve as probation officers during the pleasure of the court; said probation officers to receive no compensation from the public treasury. In case a probation officer shall be appointed by any court, it shall be the duty of the clerk of the court, if practicable, to notify the said probation officer in advance when any child is to be brought before the said court; it shall be the duty of the said probation officer to make such investigation as may be required by the court; to be present in court in order to represent the interests of the child when the case is heard; to furnish to the court such information and assistance as the judge may require, and to take such charge of any child before and after trial as may be directed by the court.


Sec. 9.Disposition of Delinquent Children.—In the case of a delinquent child the court may continue the hearing from time to time, and may commit the child to the care or custody of a probation officer, and may allow said child to remain in its own home, subject to the visitation of the probation officer; such child to report to the probation officer as often as may be required, and subject to be returned to the court for further or other proceedings whenever such action may appear to be necessary; or the court may cause the child to be placed in a suitable family home, subject to the friendly supervision of a probation officer and the further order of the court; or it may authorize the child to be boarded out in some suitable family home, in case provision is made by voluntary contribution or otherwise for the payment of the board of such child, until a suitable provision may be made for the child in a home without such payment; or the court may commit such child, if a boy, to a training school for boys, or, if a girl, to an industrial school for girls, or the court may commit the child to any institution within the county, incorporated under the laws of this state, that may care for delinquent children, or be provided by a city or county suitable for the care of such children, or to any state institution which may be established for the care of delinquent boys, or, if a girl over ten (10) years to the State Home for Juvenile Female Offenders. In no case shall a child be committed beyond his or her minority. A child committed to such institution shall be subject to the control of the board of managers thereof, and the said board shall have power to parole such child on such conditions as it may prescribe; and the court shall, on the recommendation of the board, have power to discharge such child from custody whenever, in the judgment of the court, his or her reformation is complete; or the court may commit the child to the care and custody of some association that will receive it, embracing in its objects the care of neglected and dependent children, and that has been duly accredited as hereinafter provided.


SEC. II.-Children Under Twelve Years Not to be Committed to Jail.No court or magistrate shall commit a child under twelve (12) years of age to a jail or police station, but if such a child is unable to give bail it may be committed to the care of the sheriff, police officer or probation officer, who shall keep such child in some suitable place provided by the city or county outside of the enclosure of any jail or police station. When any child shall be sentenced to confinement in any institution to which adult convicts are sentenced, it shall be unlawful to confine such child in the same yard or enclosure with such adult convicts, or to bring such child into any yard or building in which adult convicts may be present.


SEC. 13.-Supervision of State Commissioners of Public Charities.-All associations receiving children under this act shall be subject to the same visitation, inspection and supervision by the board of state commissioners of public charities as are the public charitable institutions of this state, and it shall be the duty of the said board of commissioners to pass annually upon the fitness of every such association as may receive, or desire to receive, children under the supervision of this act, and every such association shall annually, at such time as said board shall direct, make report thereto, showing its condition, management and competency to adequately care for such children as are, or may be committed to it, and such other facts as said board may require, and upon said board being satisfied that such association is competent and has adequate facilities to care for such children, it shall issue to the same a certificate to that effect, which certificate shall continue in force for one (1) year, unless sooner revoked by said board, and no child shall be committed to any such association which shall not have received such a certificate within fifteen (15) months next preceding the commitment. The court may, at any time, require from any association, receiving or desiring to receive, children under the provisions of this act, such reports, information and statements as the judge shall deem proper or necessary for his action, and the court shall in no case be required to commit a child to any association whose standing, conduct or care of children, or ability to care for the same, is not satisfactory to the court.

SEC. 17.-Religious Preference. The court in committing children shall place them as far as practicable in the care and custody of some individual holding the same religious belief of the parents of said child, or with some association which is controlled by persons of like religious faith of the parents of the said child.


SEC. 19.Powers of the Juvenile Court.-—The powers and duties herein provided to be exercised by the county court or the judges thereof may, in counties having over 500,000 population, be exercised by the circuit courts and their judges as hereinbefore provided for.

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SEC. 21.-Construction of the Act. This act shall be liberally construed to the end that its purpose may be carried out, to-wit: That the care, custody and discipline of a child shall approximate as nearly as may be that which should be given by its parents, and in all cases where it can properly be done, the child to be placed in an approved family home and become a member of the family by legal adoption or otherwise.

Law in force as amended July 1, 1901.

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