Interstate Compact on Juveniles - ICJ

This law (Iowa Code 232.171, Iowa Administrative Code 441.143) provides for the protection and welfare of juveniles and the public. All committed delinquents and juvenile probationers placed into and out of Iowa or who have escaped or absconded across state lines must meet the requirements of this compact and be referred through this office. Runaways to and from other states must also be referred to the Interstate Compact.
In Iowa, the Interstate Compact on Juveniles (ICJ) is housed in the Department of Human Services and is administered by the Division of Child and Family Services, 1305 E. Walnut, Des Moines, IA  50319. All fifty states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and the Virgin Islands are participants in this compact.

Contact Information:  Gerry Prine, 515- 281- 5730 or Jolene Stewart, 515-281-3123
What is the Interstate Compact on Juveniles?
The ICJ was established for the following reasons:

  1. To ensure that adjudicated juveniles are provided adequate supervision and services in the receiving state as ordered by the judge or parole authority in the sending state.
  2. To ensure that the receiving community is protected.
  3. To return non-adjudicated runaway youth, absconders, and escapees to their own states.
  4. To return juveniles charged as being delinquent to a demanding state other than their home state where they are alleged to have committed a delinquent act.

How to use the Interstate Compact for Juveniles
The process for the placement and supervision of a delinquent juvenile from Iowa into another State is as follows:

  1. All requests for home studies and evaluations to assess possible placements must be referred through the interstate compact office.
  2. Compile three copies of a Juvenile Compact Packet:
    • Cover letter or memo;
    • ICJ Form IV-Investigation Request;
    • ICJ Form IA/ VI. Application for compact services and memorandum of understanding and waiver;
    • Social history. Treatment plan, adjustment reports, etc.; and
    • Court order.
  3. The packet is then sent to the receiving state.
  4. Upon approval from the receiving state the placement may occur.

Iowa is now a member of the New Interstate Commission for Juveniles.  Here are links to the updated rules and forms.

Updated ICJ Rules
Updated ICJ Forms

Progress reports are sent from the receiving state to the sending state on a quarterly basis.  Other information should be reported immediately, including parole violations. If the parolee is unable to make an adequate adjustment, the receiving state shall advise the sending state with recommendations for alternate placement or return to the sending state.
The process for placement and supervision of a delinquent juvenile from another state into Iowa is as follows: 
All requests for home studies and evaluations to assess possible placements in Iowa will be referred through the Interstate Compacts Office (ICO). After the ICO screens the packet for completeness, it will be sent to the appropriate staff person for assignment. If the placement is deemed appropriate, the report will be sent to the receiving state and Iowa will accept supervision of the delinquent juvenile. The sending state is responsible for transportation and notifying the receiving state of the placement date when supervision will begin.

Do not contact the ICJ office in another state or the local juvenile office to use ICJ services.  Communication needs to go through the Iowa ICJ office.

Return of Iowa Escapees, Absconders and Runaways - Overview
The Iowa ICO needs the following information:

  • Full name, date of birth and legal status of the youth
  • Is the child on the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database?
  • Are charges pending? If so, they must be disposed of before release and return can be affected.
  • Where is the child being held? Name, address and phone number
  • Contact person with phone number in the other state
  • When will the child sign the voluntary consent to return in front of a judge?
  • Physical description of the subject and clothing that will be worn upon return
  • If in parent's custody, parent's name,address and phone

Procedures for Return of Iowa Escapees, Absconders and Runaways
Notify the ICO immediately or the next working day regarding the escapee of the absconder or runaway.  The ICO will coordinate the return arrangement with the holding state and Department staff for all committed delinquents, and will assist with the return of runaways.
Voluntary return per ICJ Article VI is arranged after all the forms are filled out and the juvenile has been informed of his rights in court. This usually can be affected within a few days.
Involuntary return: If the escapee or absconder refuses to return voluntarily the holding state may request that a Requisition for Escapee or Absconder be filed per Article V of the Compact. Upon receipt of the Requisition in the holding state, the court or the ICO of that state shall issue an order to take the juvenile into custody using an Order of Detention (ICJ Form B). The juvenile shall be presented to the juvenile court in the holding state and if the judge finds the requisition is in order, the juvenile may then be returned to the demanding state. Travel arrangements will be handled by the ICO.
Involuntary return of a runaway: The holding state may request that a Request for a Runaway Juvenile (ICJ Form I) be filed per Article IV of the Compact. The Judge in the holding state's juvenile court may hold a hearing to determine whether the petitioner is entitled to legal custody and whether or not it is in the best interest of the juvenile to return to his/her home state. If the judge determines that the juvenile should be returned, all forms are completed and the juvenile is taken into custody and then is brought before the judge who will inform him/her of the demand for his return. If the judge agrees that the juvenile shall be returned to the demanding state, that state, upon notice of the juvenile's release, will coordinate the travel arrangements.

Runaway Contact Information:  If Gerry or Jolene are not available, contact Supervisor, Denise Gonzales at 515-281-5741.

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