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Are there drug intervention programs in the juvenile court system?

Juvenile drug courts are intensive treatment programs established within and supervised by juvenile courts to provide specialized services for eligible drug involved youth and their families. Cases are assigned to a juvenile drug court docket based on criteria set by local officials to carry out the goals of the drug court program. Juvenile drug courts provide (1) intensive and continuous judicial supervision over delinquency and status offense cases that involve substance-abusing juveniles and (2) coordinated and supervised delivery of an array of support services necessary to address the problems that contribute to juvenile involvement in the justice system. Service areas include substance abuse treatment, mental health, primary care, family, and education.

Treatment and Services

Once an assessment and the extent of necessary services has been determined, court officials will indicate whether current county and/or state resources are available and sufficient specific to the judicial, school,treatment, and community services. The question becomes whether these service providers within the system can adequately address the needs of the juvenile and the family where applicable. At the heart of the service plan, treatment-specific services should be a priority to include, but may not be limited to:

  • Education, mental health, and public health services
  • Family therapy/counseling
  • Skills building
  • Mentoring
  • Prosocial activities
  • Vocational training
  • Support services

Juvenile Drug Court Program

There are key elements to a successful program in the State of California. These programs are tailored to the needs of the juvenile and their family where common elements are present:

  • The establishment of a drug court team that includes a judge, prosecutor, defense counsel, treatment provider, school representative, that all work together with the juvenile and the family.
  • Intervention by the juvenile court as soon as possible following initial contact while offering continuous services and supervision based upon risk.
  • Development of a court-supervised program that includes substance abuse treatment and other primary services.
  • Coordination of treatment and other services.
  • Ongoing monitoring by the juvenile court for compliance and progress
  • Comprehensive assessments
  • Coordination by the juvenile court specific to program monitoring, management, and evaluation.

Impact and Accountability on Juvenile and Family

Juvenile drug courts and intervention programs are designed to promote behavioral accountability on the part of the juvenile, family, and service providers. Intensive supervision provides collaboration between the juvenile court team, the juvenile, and the family for immediate response to involvement including, but not limited to: compliance, accountability, and participation.  Ultimately, it helps the juvenile and the family develop structure and accountability while benefiting from the services the intervention program and juvenile court system has to offer.

If you have a juvenile in need of such services, or has been diverted to a juvenile drug intervention court program, it is important that you seek the assistance of competent legal counsel to help you best understand your legal defense while identifying an outcome that best minimizes your risk. We here at the H Law group patiently await your call.

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