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(a) In order to ensure the safety and well-being of minors who are under 12 years of age and whose behavior would otherwise bring them within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court pursuant to Section 601 or 602, it is the intent of the Legislature that counties pursue appropriate measures to serve and protect a child only as needed, avoiding any intervention whenever possible, and using the least restrictive alternatives through available school-, health-, and community-based services. It is the intent of the Legislature that counties use existing funding for behavioral health, mental health, or other available existing funding sources to provide the alternative services required by this section.
(b) Except as provided in subdivision (b) of Section 602, when a minor under 12 years of age comes to the attention of law enforcement because his or her behavior or actions are as described in Section 601 or 602, the response of the county shall be to release the minor to his or her parent, guardian, or caregiver. Counties shall develop a process for determining the least restrictive responses that may be used instead of, or in addition to, the release of the minor to his or her parent, guardian, or caregiver.
(c) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2020.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - California Code, Welfare and Institutions Code - WIC § 602.1 - last updated January 01, 2019 | https://codes.findlaw.com/ca/welfare-and-institutions-code/wic-sect-602-1/
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