The Legal Unit is comprised of a Managing Attorney, 4 Staff Attorneys, a Victim/Witness Coordinator, and 2 Paralegals. The attorneys, with the aid of the paralegals, provide representation, both in and out of court, to the Chief Juvenile Officer and all of the other units. The attorneys are also responsible for keeping the office informed of current and proposed legislation and appellate decisions so that the practices in place are current, relevant and legally accurate. In 2018, over 3800 hearings were held, which includes hearings for child abuse and neglect, juvenile law violation and status offenses, juvenile probation, and termination of parental rights. In addition, the legal unit responded to 16 appeals before the Southern District of Missouri Court of Appeals.
The Victim Witness Coordinator makes sure that victims of juvenile crime are informed of their rights, what is happening in their cases, and answers any questions or concerns that these victims may have. This position also is responsible for contacting and coordinating people that have witnessed juvenile law violations so that they can be available and prepared for trial.