The Vermont Statutes Online
Subchapter 006 : PLACEMENT IN SECURE FACILITIES(Cite as: 33 V.S.A. § 5291)
§ 5291. Detention or treatment of individuals charged as delinquents in secure facilities for the detention or treatment of delinquent children
(a) Prior to disposition, the court shall have the sole authority to place a child who is in the custody of the Department in a secure facility used for the detention or treatment of delinquent children until the Commissioner determines that a suitable placement is available for the child. The court shall not order placement in a secure facility without a recommendation from the Department that placement in a secure facility is necessary. The court order shall include a finding that no other suitable placement is available and the child presents a risk of injury to himself or herself, to others, or to property.
(b) Absent good cause shown and notwithstanding section 5227 of this title, when a child is placed in a secure facility pursuant to subsection (a) of this section and remains in a secure facility for 45 days following the preliminary hearing, the merits hearing shall be held and merits adjudicated within 45 days of the date of the preliminary hearing or the court shall dismiss the petition with prejudice. If merits have been found, the court shall review the secure facility placement order at the merits hearing.
(c) If a child is placed in a secure facility pursuant to subsection (a) of this section and secure facility placement continues following the merits hearing review pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, the court shall, within 35 days of the merits adjudication:
(1) hold the disposition hearing, or, if disposition is not held within 35 days;
(2) hold a hearing to review the continued secure facility placement.
(d) A child placed in a secure facility on an order pursuant to subsection (a), (b), or (c) of this section with a finding that no other suitable placement is available and the child presents a risk of harm to others or to property shall be entitled to an independent, second evidentiary hearing, which shall be a hearing de novo by a single justice of the Vermont Supreme Court. The Chief Justice may make an appointment or special assignment in accordance with 4 V.S.A. § 22 to conduct the de novo hearing required by this subsection. Unless the parties stipulate to the admission of portions of the trial court record, the de novo review shall be a new evidentiary hearing without regard to the record compiled before the trial court.
(e) Following disposition, the Commissioner shall have the sole authority to place a child who is in the custody of the Department in a secure facility for the detention or treatment of delinquent children pursuant to the Department's administrative policies on admission. (Added 2007, No. 185 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. Jan. 1, 2009; amended 2011, No. 3, § 96, eff. Feb. 17, 2011; 2017, No. 72, § 6, eff. July 1, 2018; 2019, No. 124 (Adj. Sess.), § 10.)