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Schools' Hands Tied by Juvenile Laws

Barrington police chief repeats that he cannot release the names of the students who were arrested after the Elm Lane drinking party on Jan. 20.

Barrington Police Chief John LaCross went public again this week on the reason why the names of juveniles arrested by officers cannot be turned over to school officials.

Legislation prohibits the police department from revealing the names of juveniles, LaCross said in the Barrington Times.  Indeed, a juvenile record is not a public record, according the RI Office of the Child Advocate. All police records relating to a juvenile’s arrest, detention, and disposition are not open to public inspection without a Family Court order.

That legislation ties the hands of schools to punish juveniles, such as the 16 students charged with various crimes after the raucous Jan. 20 drinking party at an Elm Lane home that caused $19,000 in damage.

The law also prohibits Family Court from informing Barrington about arrests of juveniles in other states. A juvenile who has been arrested in another state cannot be identified, he said. Click here for the Times story.

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