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RULE §345.310Code of Ethics

(a) The people of Texas expect juvenile justice professionals to exhibit honesty and respect for the dignity and individuality of human beings and display a commitment to professional and compassionate service.

(b) As described by §344.810 and §349.307 of this title, TJJD may take disciplinary action against the certification or deny certification of a juvenile justice professional who is found by TJJD to have violated the code of ethics.

(c) Juvenile justice professionals must adhere to the following code of ethics principles:

  (1) Juvenile justice professionals must:

    (A) abide by all federal laws, federal guidelines and rules, state laws, and TJJD administrative rules;

    (B) respect the authority and follow the directives of the juvenile court and governing juvenile board;

    (C) respect and protect the legal rights of all juveniles and their parents and/or guardians;

    (D) serve each child with concern for the child's welfare and with no expectation of personal gain;

    (E) respect the significance of all elements of the justice and human services systems and cultivate professional cooperation with each segment;

    (F) respect and consider the right of the public to be safeguarded from the effects of juvenile delinquency;

    (G) be diligent in their responsibility to record and make available for review any and all information that could contribute to sound decisions affecting a child or public safety;

    (H) report without reservation any corrupt or unethical behavior that could affect a juvenile or the integrity of the juvenile justice system;

    (I) maintain the integrity and confidentiality of juvenile information, not seek more information than needed to perform their duties, and not reveal information to any person who does not have authorized access to the information for a proper, professional use; and

    (J) treat all juveniles and their families with courtesy, consideration, and dignity.

  (2) Juvenile justice professionals must not:

    (A) use their official position to secure privileges or advantages;

    (B) permit personal interest to impair the impartial and objective exercise of professional responsibilities;

    (C) accept gifts, favors, or other advantages that could give the appearance of impropriety or impair the impartial and objective exercise of professional responsibilities;

    (D) maintain or give the appearance of maintaining an inappropriate relationship with a juvenile, including, but not limited to, bribery or solicitation or acceptance of gifts, favors, or services from juveniles or their families;

    (E) discriminate against any employee, juvenile, parent, or guardian on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, disability, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, political belief, or socioeconomic status;

    (F) misuse government property or resources or use personal property or funds belonging to a juvenile;

    (G) be designated as a perpetrator in an abuse, exploitation, and neglect investigation conducted by TJJD under Chapter 350 of this title and Texas Family Code Chapter 261;

    (H) interfere with or hinder any abuse, exploitation, and neglect investigation, including a criminal investigation conducted by law enforcement or an investigation conducted under Chapter 350 and Chapter 358 of this title or Texas Family Code Chapter 261;

    (I) deliver into or remove from the grounds of a juvenile facility, program, or department any item of contraband or possess or control any item of contraband beyond the time period required to immediately report and deliver the item to the proper authority within the facility, program, or department;

    (J) use violence or unnecessary force and must use only the amount and type of force reasonably necessary and appropriate when justified to ensure the security of juveniles or of the facility, program, or department; or

    (K) falsify or make material omissions to governmental records.

Source Note: The provisions of this §345.310 adopted to be effective March 1, 2010, 35 TexReg 1287; amended to be effective July 15, 2014, 39 TexReg 5196

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