Policy: Juvenile Arrest Procedures


The purpose of this order is to set forth guidelines for officers investigating incidents involving juveniles.


The Michigan State University Police Department (Department) has this policy under the authority of M.C.L. 712A.14 and 721A.14a that officers shall take custody of a juvenile for their own protection.


Status Offender: A status offense is any violation of law or local ordinance which would not be a crime if committed by an adult and which is specifically applicable to youth because of their age status.

Status offenders are juveniles under age 17 who are:


Curfew violators (State law applies to children over the age 12 years and under the age of 16 years)



Abuse and Neglect

A juvenile who comes into contact with law enforcement, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) or the Family Division of the Circuit Court, because of actions or inactions taken against them by a parent or other person legally responsible for their care and maintenance.

These are persons requiring protection and are considered non-offenders.

C. Delinquent and Criminal Offender: Any juvenile who commits an offense which would be a criminal act if committed by an adult (felony or misdemeanor).

D. Custody:

A juvenile may be taken into protective custody for questioning regarding actions, family matters, etc.

A juvenile may be handcuffed while being transported.

Six Hour Rule: Federal and state guidelines permit locking juveniles in an adult facility for a maximum of six hours for processing purposes only.


Detention and Custody of Delinquent Juveniles

Reasons for officers to take a juvenile under age 17 into custody without a court order:

The juvenile is violating any law or ordinance.

There is reasonable cause to believe the juvenile is violating or has violated a minor personal protection order.

Conditions present for immediate lodging of a juvenile in a detention facility.

The officer has reason to believe that because of the nature of the offense, the interest of the juvenile or the interest of the public would not be protected by release of the juvenile, or

A parent, guardian, or legal custodian cannot be located or has refused to take custody of the juvenile.

Immediate detention not necessary:

When a juvenile has been involved in a violation not so serious that release would endanger public safety, i.e. the parent, guardian or custodian is capable of controlling the juvenile.

Juveniles taken into custody for status offenses must be held non-securely until release or transfer

Non-secure custody requires five standards be met:

Any area where the juvenile is held must be an unlocked multipurpose area, such as a lobby, office, interview or report writing room.

In no event can the area be designed or intended for residential purposes.

The juvenile may be detained using soft restraints if necessary.

Use of an area is limited to non-secure custody only long enough for identification, investigation, processing, release to parents or arranging transfer to appropriate juvenile facility or court, less than 24 hours.

The juvenile must be under continuous visual supervision until release.

If not detained:

The parent must be immediately notified of the violation; time and where to take charge of the juvenile (pick up at police station or delivered by officer).

Officer shall prepare an investigative report, complete juvenile release form that the parent/guardian promises that the juvenile will appear in court, and instruct parent taking charge that an officer may contact them in the near future regarding the violation.

Detention Procedures

Supervisor Approval

The Duty Supervisor shall approve detention before instituting detention procedures.

No juvenile taken into custody shall be held in any detention facility unless completely separated from any sight and sound of any adult prisoner.

Officers taking a juvenile into custody must include the following information in their police report:

Date/time entered secured area

Date/time exited secured area

Confirmation no adult prisoners were in the same area

Documentation that an email was sent to the Field Services Bureau Commander indicating the report number and advising a juvenile prisoner was in the processing area for required reporting needs.

The personnel at the Ingham County Juvenile Home will make all decisions as to where the juvenile is to be detained.

Time of Detention

State law requires that a petition be filed for an arrested juvenile and that juvenile shall be taken immediately before the Family Division of the Circuit Court.

It is permissible to take the juvenile to a police station first for any administrative purposes, i.e., to complete the booking process, take fingerprints, etc.

Sight and sound separation from adult prisoners still applies.

Six-hour Rule

Does not apply to status offenders as defined in this policy, because they cannot be locked at all.

The six-hour clock does not begin when any of the following occur:

The juvenile is placed in a patrol car, provided the juvenile is not locked into the patrol car in a sally port.

The juvenile is placed in an unlocked room at the station, i.e., interview room, lobby, open office.

Parent, Guardian or Custodian Notification

Immediate notification is required that the juvenile is in custody, why they are in custody, and where they are being detained.

The court will notify the parent, guardian or custodian that a preliminary hearing will be held the following business day and the location of that hearing.

In the event the hearing time and date is changed by the court, the Court Officer shall confirm that the parent, guardian or custodian have been advised by the court.

Searching the Juvenile

Before being transported to a detention facility, the juvenile shall be searched and any property removed shall be documented and turned over to the receiving person at the detention facility.

Investigative Report

Officers shall prepare the proper investigative report, setting forth all facts of the case.

Any paperwork received from the detention facility shall be attached to that report.

Juvenile in Need of Medical Attention

If the juvenile appears ill, or is in need of medical attention; advise the person in charge of the detention facility.

If requested by the detention facility, aid in taking the juvenile to a hospital.

In the event detention is requested for any minor believed to be under the influence of either drugs or alcohol, or who may be suffering an injury, that minor must first be examined by a physician to determine if detention would be medically appropriate.

Detention home personnel are authorized to refuse the admittance of any child who has not been medically examined and cleared for admittance.

Law enforcement agencies may utilize the facilities of any hospital emergency room for medical examination.

Child Neglect or Persons Requiring Treatment Cases

In the course of an investigation or personal observation, the officer discovers or suspects a child has been abused or neglected, that officer is bound by the Michigan Child Protection Law which requires law enforcement officers to report cases of child abuse or neglect (see INV19 for actions to take).

If the officer discovers or suspects a child requires treatment for mental health-related issues, then procedures found in INV05 outlines actions to take.