WI Court of Appeals – District I
Case Name: State of Wisconsin v. J. A. J.
Case No.: 2022AP002066
Officials: Geenen, J.
Focus: Juvenile Justice Code
J.A.J., a juvenile adjudicated delinquent and placed in the Serious Juvenile Offender Program (SJOP), raises two issues in his appeal. The first issue, one of first impression for this court, is whether the circuit court erred when it entered a dispositional order under WIS. STAT. ch. 938, the Juvenile Justice Code, ordering J.A.J. into the SJOP with placement at Lincoln Hills School, a Type 1 secure juvenile correctional facility operated by the Department of Corrections (DOC), in light of statutory amendments to ch. 938 in 2017 Wis. Act 185 (2017 Act) and 2019 Wis. Act 8 (2019 Act). These Acts made changes to the dispositional options for the secured confinement of juveniles adjudicated delinquent and provided that Lincoln Hills be closed by July 1, 2021. The second issue is whether the circuit court erred when it ordered restitution based on the victim’s testimony of the value of the items for which restitution was sought rather than require receipts or other documentary proof of value.
The appeals court holds that the amendments to WIS. STAT. ch. 938 contained in the 2017 and 2019 Acts do not prohibit circuit courts from entering dispositional orders placing juveniles adjudicated delinquent into the SJOP with placement at a Type 1 juvenile correctional facility where the court has determined that the criteria in WIS. STAT. § 938.34(4m) apply. The appeals court further concludes that, where the circuit court has determined that an SJOP placement is appropriate and it determines that secured correctional confinement is necessary, it is not prohibited from ordering placement at Lincoln Hills