practices for Porter County Government Departments and venues. That afternoon, the Porter
County Attorney, Scott McClure, discussed the implementation of these practices with the Porter
County judiciary in the hopes that the courts would put into place similar practices to limit the
gathering of large groups of people and reduce court hearings as able to minimize the spread of
the COVID-19 virus and to “flatten the curve.” The Commissioners have tentatively cancelled
events through April 8, 2020 with the caveat that cancellations thereafter will be posted on the
That same afternoon and the following morning, Porter Circuit Court Judge, Mary
DeBoer, conducted meetings with her supervisors and magistrate at the Porter County Juvenile
Justice Services Center to determine how to effectuate the Commissioners’ plan to minimize the
threat of the COVID-19 virus in our community yet meet the statutory time deadlines that exist
in juvenile cases. Judge DeBoer is currently working with the Porter County judiciary to petition
the Indiana Supreme Court pursuant to Administrative Rule 17 for special permission to toll
various time periods in juvenile and adult criminal, civil and mental health matters due to the
health emergency. She anticipates this petition will be filed with the Supreme Court by
Thursday for their review.
The business conducted every day at the Juvenile Justice Center involves juveniles who
are housed in the Detention Center; juveniles who come into the Juvenile Probation Department
for probation intake and supervision meetings as well as Day Reporting; juveniles and parents
who attend hearings in Juvenile Court; juveniles who come to the Center for various programs,
such as Teen Drug Court, Teen Court and Juvenile Justice Jeopardy; Probation officers who go
out into the field to do home and community checks on juveniles who are on Home Detention;
and outside entities who visit the Detention Center for programming or mental/physical health
issues. People are coming and going constantly in various areas of the Center. But in an effort
to protect the juveniles in and out of detention, the staff in all areas of the Juvenile Justice
Services Center and the community as a whole, Judge DeBoer and the supervisors have worked
hard to limit everyone’s exposure to the COVID-19 virus and to be a part of the effort to “flatten
the curve” for the good of Porter County.
Judge DeBoer put the following policies in place through mid-April. Said practices shall
be extended if the need exists to do so.
Juvenile Detention Center Practices:
- Cleaning protocols have been coordinated with medical staff and Porter County
- All non-essential meetings are cancelled.
- All parties shall restrict the flow of people in and out of juvenile court, detention
- Court and staff will carefully assess and limit detention orders for the most
- Detention staff will review and implement intake protocols prior to admission of
- All outside programs at the JDC shall be suspended until further notice. These
- Visitations shall be telephonic only.
- Professional visits shall be conducted telephonically unless an emergency exists,
- The Court will schedule only mandatory hearings.
- Probation staff will delay intakes or perform them telephonically.
- All probation officer meetings for low-risk and medium-risk shall be suspended.
- Probation officers will conduct probationary meetings telephonically.
- Placement visits performed by Probation officers shall be conducted
- Supervision officers shall conduct visits telephonically unless the juvenile is at
- All office-based programs such as Teen Court, Juvenile Justice Jeopardy and
- Teen Drug Court shall be suspended unless an emergency arises.
- Home Detention community checks will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and
- Day Reporting shall be suspended at this time, until and unless it becomes
- Project Attend’s truancy program shall be conducted telephonically.