The Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office Juvenile Trial Division is located within the Robert W. Depke Juvenile Justice Complex in Vernon Hills, Illinois. The complex houses the offices of many juvenile related agencies as well as two, state of the art, courtrooms designed to accommodate the special needs of juvenile cases. Due to confidentiality requirements the courtrooms are closed to the general public.
Members of the Juvenile Trial Division of the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office are experienced professionals in juvenile law. They understand the complexities of the Illinois Juvenile Court Act which is based on principles of Balanced and Restorative Justice. Juvenile prosecutors and victim/witness coordinators have received training in linguistics, child and adolescent development, as well as trauma. They engage in ongoing specialized training and professional development. They are well versed in questioning children and youth in a manner they can understand. Prosecutors work to hold offenders accountable, ensure public safety, and recommend sentences that equip delinquent youth with competencies to live responsible and productive lives.
The Juvenile Trial Division works closely with the Lake County Children’s Advocacy Center during the investigation and prosecution of the case. A juvenile victim/witness coordinator works with the victims and their families to address and process their concerns. The goal is to provide support to victims and witnesses who come in contact with the juvenile justice system. The attorney and coordinator will meet with child victims and witnesses before a court hearing at the Children’s Advocacy Center.
The Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office Juvenile Trial Division plays an important role with regard to prevention and early intervention. They often speak to youth, parents, and schools about juvenile justice issues. Educating communities on topics like bullying, teen dating violence, and sexting as well as cyber safety and underage drinking serve to reduce the numbers of juveniles involved with the justice system.