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Juvenile Justice Division

The Juvenile Justice Division has exclusive jurisdiction over all minors under the age of 17 who have been charged with violating a federal law, state law or municipal ordinance (other than a traffic, boating, fishing or gaming law violation).

Records Maintained

Content: Juvenile files are maintained for a period of 21 years from the date of the case’s initiation. In the 21st year, a petition for destruction of records is made known from the Administrative Office of Illinois Courts.
Juvenile records are confidential and cannot be viewed by the general public. As dictated by the Juvenile Court Act of 1987, 405/1-8 Confidentiality and accessibility of juvenile court records, only those individuals related to the court action may actually view the file. Any other request must be direct to the Presiding Judge of the Juvenile Division.

Maintained Files
   · Juvenile files from 1899 - 1926 (with some gaps).
   · Files from 1927 - 1982 have been destroyed with only samples preserved for historical purposes
   · Current files are kept at the Juvenile Court Center for five years from the case’s initiation. At the beginning of the sixth year, the court files are prepared for accession

Q: Can I file any pleadings by mail?
A: Yes, you may file any pleading for the Juvenile Justice Division by mail.

Q: My child has been misbehaving/running away/not attending school, what can I do?
A: If your child is experiencing behavioral problems, you should contact the youth officer of your local police station to discuss a Minor Requiring Authoritative Intervention (MRAI) petition. If the minor is not attending school, you should contact the school for further direction.

Q: Are bonds issued in all juvenile cases?
A: No, however, bonds are issued on minors who are charged as adults in criminal court. Minors under the age of 17 are held at the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center at 1100 South Hamilton, Chicago, IL 60612. To bond out a minor, a parent or guardian must bring cash or cashier's check to the Clerk's Office in the Juvenile Court Center for processing. Only cash will be accepted after regular business hours of 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Once the bond is paid, minors must sign themselves out on the bond form prior to being released.

Q: I have a warrant issued for me, where do I turn myself in?
A: If a warrant has been issued, it is suggested that you go to the Youth Division of the Chicago Police Department located on the Concourse Level of the Cook County Juvenile Center, 1100 South Hamilton, Chicago, IL 60612.

Q: My child has been arrested, where are they being held?
A: Any minor that has been arrested and waiting to appear in court will be held at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Facility located in the Cook County Juvenile Center - 1100 South Hamilton, Chicago, IL 60612 - (312) 433-7102.

View All Juvenile Justice Division Frequently Asked Questions

Article: Certification of Court Records

A certification request form is available for customers at our front counter.

Article: Copies of Court Records

Customers may request copies of their file at our front counter.

Article: Expungements

The court file must be ordered through the Presiding Judge's Office of the Juvenile Justice Division.

Legal Notices Specific for this department | View all Legal Notices