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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 67: Notice of arrest of child; release upon promise of child's appearance in court; detention

Section 67. (a) Whenever a child between 12 and 18 years of age is arrested with or without a warrant, as provided by law, and the court or courts having jurisdiction over the offense are not in session, the officer in charge shall immediately notify at least 1 of the child's parents, or, if there is no parent, the guardian or custodian with whom the child resides or if the child is in the custody and care of the department, the department of children and families. Pending such notice, such child shall be detained pursuant to subsection (c).

(b) Upon the acceptance by the officer in charge of the police station or town lockup of the written promise of the parent, guardian, custodian or representative of the department of children and families to be responsible for the presence of the child in court at the time and place when the child is ordered to appear, the child shall be released to the person giving such promise; provided, however, that if the arresting officer requests in writing that a child between 14 and 18 years of age be detained, and if the court issuing a warrant for the arrest of a child between 14 and 18 years of age directs in the warrant that the child shall be held in safekeeping pending the child's appearance in court, the child shall be detained in a police station, town lockup, a place of temporary custody commonly referred to as a detention home of the department of youth services or any other home approved by the department of youth services pending the child's appearance in court; provided further, that in the event any child is so detained, the officer in charge of the police station or town lockup shall notify the parents, guardian, custodian or representative of the department of children and families of the detention of the child. Nothing contained in this section shall prevent the admitting of such child to bail in accordance with law.

(c) No child between 14 and 18 years of age shall be detained in a police station or town lockup pursuant to subsection (a) or (b) unless the detention facilities for children at the police station or town lockup have received the approval in writing of the commissioner of youth services. The department of youth services shall make inspection at least annually of police stations and town lockups where children are detained. If no approved detention facility exists in a city or town, the city or town may contract with an adjacent city or town for the use of approved detention facilities to prevent children who are detained from coming in contact with adult prisoners. A separate and distinct place shall be provided in police stations, town lockups or places of detention for such children. Nothing in this section shall permit a child between 14 and 18 years of age to be detained in a jail or house of correction.

(d) When a child is arrested who is in the care and custody of the department of children and families, the officer in charge of the police station or town lockup where the child has been taken shall immediately contact the department's emergency hotline and notify the on-call worker of the child's arrest. The on-call worker shall notify the social worker assigned to the child's case who shall make arrangement for the child's release as soon as practicable if it has been determined that the child will not be detained.