Bruce T. McKinnon
Chief Juvenile Officer
Audrain County Courthouse
101 N. Jefferson St., Room 303
Mexico, Missouri 65265
The 12th Judicial Circuit of Missouri comprises Audrain, Montgomery & Warren Counties. The Juvenile Officer and Deputies provide supervision and discipline for children who come within Chapter 211. of the Missouri Revised Statutes. The positions are appointed by the Presiding Circuit Judge and all professional staff possess college degrees. The Chief Juvenile Official supervises all three counties, and Deputy Juvenile Officers and secretarial staff are assigned in each of the three counties. Juvenile Officers are available 24 hours a day to assist with emergencies.
The Juvenile Division is a branch of the Circuit Court and the laws are broadly written to insure that various dispositions to children from birth to age 17 years can be provided, with the Court retaining jurisdiction for youth to the age of 21 years if necessary. Juvenile Officers provide assistance to social service agencies, law enforcement, schools and the general public in dealing with issues of child abuse and neglect, termination of parental rights, delinquency and status offenses by children. Investigations, counseling, referrals, probation services and court work are daily tasks. Juvenile Court hearings and information remain under general confidentiality provisions with the exception of felony cases.
The Juvenile Officer assists with victim restitution from juveniles and community service programs for offenders. Electronic monitoring, secure detention and residential placement, and probation supervision are provided to youth referred to the Juvenile Court for delinquency and status offenses. Foster care is coordinated through the Missouri Children’s Division for youth in need due to homelessness, physical, emotional or sexual abuse and neglect.