Section 68: Commitment of children held for examination or trial
Section 68. A child who has attained the age of seven but not yet attained the age of 18 held by the court for further examination, trial or continuance, or for indictment and trial, if unable to furnish bail, shall be committed by the court to the care of the department of youth services or to a probation officer, a parent, guardian, or other responsible person who shall provide for his safekeeping; provided, however, that the appearance of the child at such examination or trial, shall be the responsibility of the court for which he is being held in safekeeping.
The court may recommend that a child who has attained the age of fourteen and who is committed to the care of the department shall be held in a secure detention facility if the court further determines that the child (a) is a fugitive from another jurisdiction on a delinquency petition; or (b) is charged with an offense for which the commonwealth may proceed by indictment in accordance with the provisions of section fifty-four; provided, however, that such child is already detained or on conditional release in conjunction with another delinquency proceeding, or has demonstrated a recent record of willful failure to appear at juvenile court proceedings, or has demonstrated a recent record of violent conduct resulting in physical injury to others.
The court shall forward such recommendation and the reasons therefor, in writing, to the department. Such recommendation shall not be binding upon the department, but if the department chooses not to comply with such recommendation, the department shall inform the court within two business days.
The department may provide special foster homes, and places of temporary custody commonly referred to as detention homes of the department of youth services for the care, maintenance and safekeeping of such children who may be committed by the court to said department under this section; provided, however, that no more than five such children shall be detained in any such special foster home at any one time.
A child between seven and 18 years of age so committed by the court to the department to await further examination or trial by the court, shall be returned thereto within fifteen days after the date of the order of such commitment, and final disposition of the case shall thereupon be made by adjudication or otherwise, unless, in the opinion of the court, the interest of the child and the public otherwise require.
The provisions of section twenty-four of chapter two hundred and twelve, relative to the precedence of cases of persons actually confined in prison and awaiting trial, shall apply to children held in detention facilities of the department of youth services under this section.
Said probation officer shall have the same authority, rights and powers in relation to a child committed to his care under this section, and in relation to a child released to him as provided in section sixty-seven, as he would have if he were surety on the recognizance of such child.
A person who at the time of the offense had attained the age of fourteen but had not attained the age of 18, and who is charged with murder in the first or second degree and is held by the superior court for trial or continuance, or for indictment and trial, if unable to furnish bail, shall be committed by the court to the custody of the sheriff of the county in which the court is situated; provided, however, that the appearance of the person at such examination or trial shall be the responsibility of the court for which he is being held in safekeeping.