In the Matter of J.S.W., 211 N.C. App. 620 (2011)

No Error

The Court of Appeals rejected the juvenile’s argument that the trial court abused its discretion in entering a disposition order by improperly considering punishment as a purpose of the Juvenile Code, instead of considering the factors in G.S. 7B-2501(c). At a motion for review hearing, the trial court heard testimony related to the Division’s request for the juvenile to have home and overnight visits and work off-campus during his commitment to a YDC. Afterwards, the trial judge stated that one goal of juvenile court is rehabilitation but twice stated that punishment was also a goal of the court. The trial court’s order provided that the juvenile (i) could work off campus, but only if he would not be around anyone age 25 or younger; (ii) could have no home or overnight visits; and (iii) could participate in YDC outings if there were direct supervision at all times. The Court of Appeals held that the trial judge’s statements reflected that he had considered the dispositional factors in G.S. 7B-2501(c) and noted that the trial court ultimately balanced the importance of protecting the public safety with the juvenile’s rehabilitative needs.

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