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County acts to protect juveniles in detention, courts against COVID-19
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County acts to protect juveniles in detention, courts against COVID-19

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Porter County Juvenile Court

The Porter County Juvenile Court.

VALPARAISO — In-person visits are on hold at the Porter County Juvenile Detention Center and other outside contact with the center and court have been curtailed in an attempt to curb exposure to the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

Porter Circuit Court Judge Mary DeBoer, who oversees operations at the juvenile services complex at 1660 S. Ind. 2, said she and 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."

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Juveniles are not only housed at the detention center, but also visit the center along with adults for probation services and for court, DeBoer said.

Juvenile probation officers also do home visits and community checks, and outside entities visit the center to provide various services.

All non-essential meetings at the juvenile services center are canceled, the flow of people in and out is being restricted, detention will be limited to the most serious cases, outside programs at the detention center are suspended, detention visits will be telephonic and the court will hold only mandatory hearings, DeBoer said.

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In the wake of the Porter County Board of Commissioners calling for "social distancing" practices at county properties, DeBoer said she and her staff met to determine how best it could be applied while still meeting legal deadlines in juvenile cases.

She and the other county judges are expected to petition the Indiana Supreme Court later this week to gain additional time in juvenile and adult criminal, civil and mental health cases.

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Porter/LaPorte County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Bob is a 23-year veteran of The Times. He covers county government and courts in Porter County, federal courts, police news and regional issues. He also created the Vegan in the Region blog, is an Indiana University grad and lifelong region resident.

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