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City of Philadelphia

Juvenile

The Juvenile Division is made up of four Units and is supervised by Deputy District Attorney Angel Flores, 215-686-6302, angel.flores@phila.gov

The Juvenile Court Unit

The Juvenile Court Unit (JCU) is responsible for the prosecution of all arrested juveniles and special cases involving child-victims or child-witnesses. The Unit’s approach to juvenile justice recognizes that justice is served when the community, victim, and offender each receive balanced attention to their needs. The JCU has a total of 12 Assistant District Attorneys and three supervisors. The Unit also works closely with the Support Center for Child Advocates, Woman Against Abuse (WAA), Woman Organized Against Rape (WOAR), the Salvation Army, Community Behavioral Health, Department of Human Services, and other agencies serving the needs of the juvenile population.

The Chief of the Juvenile Court Unit is Lisa Harvey, 215-686-9579, lisa.p.harvey@phila.gov.

Juvenile Diversion Programs

Sometimes cases can be diverted from the traditional court system so the victim can be helped and the community can be healed. The following Diversion Programs are currently available for juveniles:

  • Youth Aid Panel Program (YAP) provides a community-based alternative to prosecution for first-time, juvenile offenders of non-violent crimes. The offender is given the option of appearing before a panel of community volunteers rather than entering the juvenile justice system. A juvenile who completes their contractual obligations imposed by the panel is held accountable for their actions and can avoid the stigma and effects of a criminal record by completing their program.
  • Reporting Consent Decrees is for first time offenders in the delinquency system. The juvenile enters into an agreement with the Office saying that they will complete the conditions agreed to by the parties. Conditions may be payment of restitution, curfew, counseling, etc. The program duration is six months and if the conditions are met the case is discharged and eligible for expungement.
  • Juvenile Treatment Court (JTC) is available to juveniles ages 14-17 with a substance abuse problem, who are charged with a nonviolent offense, and have no prior adjudication for a violent offense. JTC is designed to engage substance-abusing juvenile offenders in appropriate drug treatment under the supervision of the presiding Treatment Court Judge and the Treatment Review Team. On completion of the program, the case is discharged and one year after graduation the arrest may be expunged from the record of the juvenile if the youth remains crime and drug free.
  • Working to Restore Adolescent Power (WRAP) aims to help juveniles with delinquency and/or dependency matters who have been identified as being a victim of commercial sexual exploitation/human trafficking. It is a collaborative court designed to address the special needs of trafficked juveniles in a compassionate, trauma-informed manner. To the greatest extent possible, and consistent with community protection, WRAP Court will provide treatment and services through the dependent court system rather than the delinquent. The case is ultimately discharged upon successful completion of the program and eligible for early expungement.
  • Cross Over Court handles cases in which the juveniles are identified as having delinquency and dependency issues. It is for non-violent offenders who have a history of dependency issues and services through DHS. Once the services are in place, the delinquency petition is discharged and ultimately expunged 18 months after discharge. 

The Chief of the Juvenile Diversion Program is Lisa Harvey, 215-686-9579, lisa.p.harvey@phila.gov

Child Support Enforcement Unit

The Child Support Enforcement Unit helps parents and custodians of children in Philadelphia establish and collect child support in Family Court. The staff of ten attorneys and four paralegals seeks to collect support not only by court action, but by interception of other assets such as bank accounts, proceeds from personal injury lawsuits, estates, and any other type of asset as allowed by law. Attorneys in the Unit also advise clients and handle paternity cases, interstate support cases, military support cases, and act as a liaison with Family Court to resolve any problem or issues that may arise in support cases.

The Chief of the Child Support Enforcement Unit is Joan Esmonde, 215-686-1979, joan.esmonde@phila.gov.

Juvenile Dangerous Offenders Unit

The Juvenile Dangerous Offenders Unit prosecutes juveniles, who are alleged to have committed very serious violent offenses, in Criminal Court. The Unit, consisting of two senior prosecutors, handles the preliminary hearings, decertification hearings and trials in Criminal Court. Should the juvenile be decertified back to Delinquent Court, this Unit will handle the detention hearing, adjudicatory hearing, and dispositional hearing.

The Juvenile Dangerous Offenders Unit is overseen by Angel Flores, 215-686-6302, angel.flores@phila.gov

Juvenile Justice and Policy Unit

The Juvenile Justice and Policy Unit works with juvenile justice stakeholders and youth advocates in projects and initiatives that prevent youth from engaging in maladaptive and delinquent behaviors through education, exposure to positive opportunities, and healthy pathways to realizing their potential.

The Director of the Juvenile Justice and Policy Unit is Ebony Wortham, 215-686-9909, ebony.wortham@phila.gov