Outline of the state of Utah

Limits on Referrals to Law Enforcement

Limits on Referrals to Law Enforcement

State law requires districts to establish formal procedures governing referrals to local law enforcement.

Utah Administrative Code R277-613-5. Reporting and Incident Investigations of Allegations of Bullying, Cyber-bullying, Hazing, and Retaliation.

(5) An LEA shall adopt a policy outlining under what circumstances the LEA will report incidents of bullying, cyber-bullying, harassment, and retaliation to law enforcement.

Policy Type

Utah Code 53G-8-211. Responses to school-based behavior.

(2) This section applies to a minor enrolled in school who is alleged to have committed an offense at the school where the student is enrolled:

  • (a) on school property where the student is enrolled:
  • (i) when school is in session; or
  • (ii) during a school-sponsored activity; or
  • (b) that is truancy.


  • (a) If the alleged offense is a class C misdemeanor, an infraction, a status offense on school property, or truancy, the minor may not be referred to law enforcement or court but may be referred to evidence-based alternative interventions, including:
  • (i) a mobile crisis outreach team, as defined in Section 78A-6-105;
  • (ii) a receiving center operated by the Division of Juvenile Justice Services in accordance with Section 62A-7-104;
  • (iii) a youth court or comparable restorative justice program;
  • (iv) evidence-based interventions created and developed by the school or school district; and
  • (v) other evidence-based interventions that may be jointly created and developed by a local education agency, the state board, the juvenile court, local counties and municipalities, the Department of Health, or the Department of Human Services.
  • (b) Notwithstanding Subsection (3)(a), a school resource officer may:
  • (i) investigate possible criminal offenses and conduct, including conducting probable cause searches;
  • (ii) consult with school administration about the conduct of a minor enrolled in a school;
  • (iii) transport a minor enrolled in a school to a location if the location is permitted by law;
  • (iv) take temporary custody of a minor pursuant to Subsection 78A-6-112(1); or
  • (v) protect the safety of students and the school community, including the use of reasonable and necessary physical force when appropriate based on the totality of the circumstances.
  • (c) Notwithstanding other provisions of this section, a law enforcement officer who has cause to believe a minor has committed an offense on school property when school is not in session nor during a school-sponsored activity, the law enforcement officer may refer the minor to court or may refer the minor to evidence-based alternative interventions at the discretion of the law enforcement officer.


  • (a) Notwithstanding Subsection (3)(a) and subject to the requirements of this Subsection (4), a school district or school may refer a minor to court for a class C misdemeanor committed on school property or for being a habitual truant, as defined in Section 53G-6-201, if the minor refuses to participate in an evidence-based alternative intervention described in Subsection (3)(a).
Policy Type

Utah Code 53G-8-802. State Safety and Support Program — State board duties.

(2) The state board shall:

  • (a) develop in conjunction with the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health model student safety and support policies for an LEA, including:
  • (i) evidence-based procedures for the assessment of and intervention with an individual whose behavior poses a threat to school safety;
  • (ii) procedures for referrals to law enforcement; and
  • (iii) procedures for referrals to a community services entity, a family support organization, or a health care provider for evaluation or treatment
Policy Type