California Code, Welfare and Institutions Code - WIC § 202

(a) The purpose of this chapter is to provide for the protection and safety of the public and each minor under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court and to preserve and strengthen the minor's family ties whenever possible, removing the minor from the custody of his or her parents only when necessary for his or her welfare or for the safety and protection of the public.  If removal of a minor is determined by the juvenile court to be necessary, reunification of the minor with his or her family shall be a primary objective.  If the minor is removed from his or her own family, it is the purpose of this chapter to secure for the minor custody, care, and discipline as nearly as possible equivalent to that which should have been given by his or her parents.  This chapter shall be liberally construed to carry out these purposes.

(b) Minors under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court who are in need of protective services shall receive care, treatment, and guidance consistent with their best interest and the best interest of the public.  Minors under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court as a consequence of delinquent conduct shall, in conformity with the interests of public safety and protection, receive care, treatment, and guidance that is consistent with their best interest, that holds them accountable for their behavior, and that is appropriate for their circumstances.  This guidance may include punishment that is consistent with the rehabilitative objectives of this chapter.  If a minor has been removed from the custody of his or her parents, family preservation and family reunification are appropriate goals for the juvenile court to consider when determining the disposition of a minor under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court as a consequence of delinquent conduct when those goals are consistent with his or her best interests and the best interests of the public.  When the minor is no longer a ward of the juvenile court, the guidance he or she received should enable him or her to be a law-abiding and productive member of his or her family and the community.

(c) It is also the purpose of this chapter to reaffirm that the duty of a parent to support and maintain a minor child continues, subject to the financial ability of the parent to pay, during any period in which the minor may be declared a ward of the court and removed from the custody of the parent.

(d) Juvenile courts and other public agencies charged with enforcing, interpreting, and administering the juvenile court law shall consider the safety and protection of the public, the importance of redressing injuries to victims, and the best interests of the minor in all deliberations pursuant to this chapter.  Participants in the juvenile justice system shall hold themselves accountable for its results.  They shall act in conformity with a comprehensive set of objectives established to improve system performance in a vigorous and ongoing manner.  In working to improve system performance, the presiding judge of the juvenile court and other juvenile court judges designated by the presiding judge of the juvenile court shall take into consideration the recommendations contained in subdivision (e) of Standard 5.40 of Title 5 of the California Standards of Judicial Administration, contained in the California Rules of Court.

(e) As used in this chapter, “punishment” means the imposition of sanctions.  It does not include retribution and shall not include a court order to place a child in foster care as defined by Section 727.3 .  Permissible sanctions may include any of the following:

(1) Payment of a fine by the minor.

(2) Rendering of compulsory service without compensation performed for the benefit of the community by the minor.

(3) Limitations on the minor's liberty imposed as a condition of probation or parole.

(4) Commitment of the minor to a local detention or treatment facility, such as a juvenile hall, camp, or ranch.

(5) Commitment of the minor to the Division of Juvenile Facilities, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

(f) In addition to the actions authorized by subdivision (e), the juvenile court may, as appropriate, direct the offender to complete a victim impact class, participate in victim offender conferencing subject to the victim's consent, pay restitution to the victim or victims, and make a contribution to the victim restitution fund after all victim restitution orders and fines have been satisfied, in order to hold the offender accountable or restore the victim or community.

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