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Juvenile Justice Commission

What is the Juvenile Justice Commission?

The Juvenile Justice Commission of Santa Clara County is a state-mandated, court-appointed authority. The broad purpose of the Commission is to inquire into the administration of the juvenile court law in the County. The Commission is dedicated to the promotion of an effective juvenile justice system operated in an environment of credibility, dignity, fairness, and respect for the youth of Santa Clara County.

The Commission's responsibilities include:

  • Inspecting juvenile facilities including shelters, detention facilities and group homes used for the placement of any minor in Santa Clara County
  • Conducting public or closed hearings on matters relating to juvenile law in the County
  • Advocating for needed services for youth in the justice system

The Juvenile Justice Commission is established through the provisions of Article 2, commencing with Section 225 of Chapter 2 of Part 1 of Division 2 of the California State Welfare and Institutions (W&I) Code.

Meet the Commissioners

What are the statutory duties and authority of the Juvenile Justice Commission?

In accordance with the provisions of the W&I Code and the Penal Code, the Commission has the following statutory duties and authority:

  1. To inspect no less frequently than once a year all publicly administered institutions, including Juvenile Hall and Ranch facilities, authorized or whose use is authorized by the Juvenile Court Law, Chapter 2 (beginning with Section 200) of Division 2 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, and inspect annually any jail or lockup within the County that is used for confinement of any minor for more than 24 hours, and to report the results of such inspection in writing to the Juvenile Court and to the California Corrections Standards Authority. (W&I Code 229)
  2. To inquire into the administration of juvenile justice in a broad sense, including, but not limited to, operations of the Juvenile Court, Probation Department, Social Services Agency and any other agencies involved with juvenile justice or dependency. (W&I Code 229)
  3. To publicize findings and recommendations as decided by the Commission. (W&I Code 230)
  4. To assure that needed services are identified, developed, and provided for the children and youth of the County. (various W&I Code sections)
  5. To inquire into the operation of any group home in the County that serves wards or dependent children of the Juvenile Court to review the safety and well-being of the wards and dependent children. (W&I Code 229.5)
  6. To advise the California Corrections Standards Authority concerning security, rehabilitation programs, recreation, and treatment of persons confined in correctional facilities. (Penal Code 6030)
  7. To consult with the Director of the Division of Juvenile Facilities of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation concerning the operation and maintenance of the Juvenile Hall. (W&I Code 1760.7)

How are members of the Juvenile Justice Commission appointed?

The Commission consists of 15 members, two of whom are between 14 and 21 years of age. Commissioners are community volunteers who are citizens of the United States and residents of the County. They must be able to carry out the duties of a Commissioner in a satisfactory manner, including attendance at meetings, participation in inspections and investigations, and preparation of reports.

Commissioners are appointed for terms of four years (two years for youth members) by the Presiding Judge of the Superior Court with the concurrence of the Supervising Judge of the Juvenile Court and can be reappointed upon the expiration of their terms. New Commissioners can be appointed as vacancies occur.

Persons interested in becoming a Commissioner can call 408-278-5993 for more information. Click the links below for the application forms, which can be completed online and then printed. (At the end of each form are instructions on where to submit three copies of the signed form).

Where and when does the Juvenile Justice Commission meet?

Regular meetings of the Juvenile Justice Commission take place on the first Tuesday of each month, beginning at 12:15 pm. Click to open the current public meeting schedule.

Unless otherwise ordered by the Chairperson or the Executive Committee, these meetings are open to the public. For further information or agenda information, please email

Oath of Confidentiality

Recognizing that all Juvenile Court matters are confidential, each Commissioner is required to sign an oath of confidentiality upon taking the oath of office. Commissioners agree to keep Commission matters, juvenile records, cases observed, investigation specifics, and inspection reports confidential prior to their approval and release. In addition, Commissioners agree to use the authority of the Commission only in the interest of the youth of the County, and to use discretion, diligence, and integrity in conducting the business of the Commission.

How the Juvenile Justice Commission Can Help You

The JJC has access to all juvenile facilities housing minors under the Court’s jurisdiction. The Commission investigates complaints from minors, parents and guardians. The JJC does not have access to staff personnel records and cannot use its position to exert undue influence or obtain favors from the Court on behalf of any minor.