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JUVENILE DRUG COURT TEAM
The Juvenile Drug Court program is for those youth who are abusing substances and are involved in the Juvenile Court System because they committed a crime. This program is able to provide additional support and accountability to youth and their families.
The mission of the Juvenile Drug Court is: To partner with Jefferson County Teens and Families to build drug-free lives focusing on success through intensive therapy, supervision and incentives.
Our goal is: To reduce recidivism among at-risk juveniles, thereby reducing drug-related juvenile offenses in the county by determining the participants most-at-risk of failure and what programs will have the strongest impact on the juvenile’s success rate.
The Jefferson County Drug Court Program is a Court-supervised, comprehensive treatment program for youth and their families. The Program includes treatment, which involves drug testing, individual/family/group counseling, regular attendance in support groups and Court appearances before the Juvenile Drug Court Judge. The Juvenile Drug Court Program is a combined effort by the Circuit Court, Prosecuting Attorney, Public Defender, Juvenile Court System and other community-based organizations. The program length is determined by each participant’s progress and placement in treatment, but is designed to last at least eight months.
If the Drug Court Team determines you to be eligible and appropriate you will be offered the choice of Juvenile Drug Court. The Juvenile Drug Court Officer will discuss the Juvenile Drug Court with you and a Public Defender, or your private counsel, will advise you of your legal options. While in the program, you will be required to comply with specific terms and conditions. On your initial Court date you will be assigned a Juvenile Drug Court Officer who will provide supervision, answer questions, and assist you in completing the program. Supervision will include unannounced home visits, school visits, and random drug screens.
As a Juvenile Drug Court participant, you and a parent, guardian, caretaker, or significant adult will be required to appear in Drug Court on a regular basis. At each appearance, the Judge will be given a progress report regarding drug test results, treatment and school attendance, and participation. The Judge will ask questions about your progress and discuss any specific problems you may be experiencing. If you are meeting the goals as set out, you will be allowed to continue with the program. If you commit program violations (for example, positive or missed drug screens, failure to attend or participate properly in individual/group counseling, failure to attend support groups, missing school, failing to report to your Juvenile Drug Court Officer, etc.) the Judge may impose sanctions. (See Sanctions) With repeated violation of program requirements, and /or failure to progress satisfactorily, the Judge may discharge you from the program and your case will be set for disposition or sentencing.
New arrests could result in termination from the program. Other violations which could result in termination or sanctions include: drug use, new law violation, violence or aggressive behavior in treatment, failure to meet treatment goals, behavior that is disruptive in group or threatens the success of other participants, failure to attend treatment groups or court reviews, etc. If you are terminated from the Juvenile Drug Court Program you will be returned to Court for disposition, which could include: Formal probation, residential treatment, commitment to the Juvenile Detention Center or the Division of Youth Services.
As a Juvenile Drug Court participant, you will be required to do the following:
Family involvement is critical to effective drug and alcohol treatment and juvenile court interventions. Since substance-abusing adolescents respond best to treatment when their families support their efforts, the family must agree to participate in each child’s treatment. Parental education groups and family therapy will be a part of the adolescent’s treatment program. Supporting a child in drug and alcohol treatment requires considerable effort and diligence in providing supervision, support, and caring.
As a participant of the Drug Court Program, you will have a Juvenile Drug Court Officer who will supervise your case and discuss the program’s rules with you. The Juvenile Drug Court Officer will oversee, but not limited to, the following terms:
The Drug Court team is dedicated to all participants with regard to assisting your family in the recovery process. For that reason we are on call to you on a 7-day a week, 24 –hour basis. The Juvenile Drug Court Officer carries a cellular telephone in order to respond to emergency situations when you are not able to handle the situation yourself. It is required that you contact your child’s Juvenile Drug Court Officer within 24 hours if he/she violates any Drug Court Probation rules.
There will be times when you feel as if you must contact someone immediately. We think that you will find the vast majority of the time you can handle the situation yourself. We encourage you to do so. Remember that we are a team and in any emergency, we will be there for you. However, one of the treatment goals is for you to be able to handle all situations as a family.
Curfews are determined according to age and program phase. Participants are to be in the home at the time of curfew and remain home until the next day at 6:00 a.m. Participants are only permitted to be out past curfew when accompanied by a parent.
Curfews may be periodically checked by unannounced home visits and/or telephone calls. It is required that the Juvenile Drug Court Officer sees the participant face to face and/or speaks to them directly on the telephone.
If a participant works while in Drug Court, they are responsible for submitting work schedules on a weekly basis. Schedules are to be turned in at the beginning of the week, or as soon as they are available. Pay stubs must be submitted to the Juvenile Drug Court Officer every time a paycheck is issued.
This program entails wearing an ankle bracelet (a small monitor which looks similar to a pager) to monitor a client’s whereabouts. All scheduling will be authorized through the Juvenile Drug Court Officer or as ordered by the Juvenile Drug Court Judge.
A fee will be imposed for drug tests and other fees may be incurred for confirmation of positive drug tests. Court costs will be ordered in the amount of $120. All fees will be paid to the Jefferson County Juvenile Court. If for any reason the child does not complete Drug Court the fines and fees amount will revert back to the original amount before Drug Court. Any payments made while in Drug Court will be deducted from that original amount.
You will be required to attend court at various intervals throughout the drug court program for hearings. You must contact your Juvenile Drug Court Officer ahead of time if you are going to be absent. Generally, you will appear in court more frequently at first, and less as you progress in the program. Your demeanor and appearance in Court is very important.
You are expected to dress appropriately for Court. While in Court, participants will be expected to wear a shirt or blouse, pants, dress, or skirt of reasonable length. Shoes must be worn at all times. Participants are expected to wear clothes that are not sagging or that reveal stomachs, belly buttons, underwear, cleavage, or rear ends. Clothing bearing drug or alcohol related themes, promoting or advertising drug use, or bearing profanity is considered inappropriate. Absolutely no shorts, tube tops, halter type tops, or hats are allowed in the courtroom.
Cellular phones should not be brought into court. If your phone is confiscated it becomes the property of the court. Sunglasses are not to be worn inside the Court unless medically approved. While in Court, you should respond openly and honestly when addressed by the Judge. You are expected to converse directly with the Judge about your progress. When addressing the Judge, you should look at him and address him as “Your Honor”. You should also stand and answer questions in a tone loud enough for the Judge to hear you.
You, your parent, Juvenile Drug Court Officer, and Treatment Counselor will develop an individualized treatment plan based on an overall assessment of your problems and needs. The treatment plan will act as a guide for your initial treatment phase and within it, you will set goals, select methods for meeting these goals, and develop target dates for achieving those goals. The treatment plan will be maintained by you and your Treatment Counselor and will be updated as you progress through the program.
Substance abuse counseling will be done in several ways: individual, family, and group. As a part of your treatment plan, you will be required to participate in group counseling and may be asked to participate in family and individual counseling. Your attendance and participation at the counseling sessions will be reported to the Judge as a part of your progress report.
The treatment program is a minimum of eight (8) months in length and is comprised of four (4) distinct phases;
During this phase (minimum of three (3) months), you will be assigned a Treatment Counselor and provided with a complete assessment. You will meet with the Treatment Counselor to establish a treatment plan that addresses problem areas and needs. This plan will include family treatment goals. This phase will also include the following expectations:
During this phase (minimum of two (2) months), you and your Treatment Counselor will meet to develop an individualized treatment plan that addresses issues in this second phase. This should include but is not limited to family therapy goals, relapse prevention planning, vocational, social and living skills, and include the following:
During Phase III (minimum of 1 1/2 months), you will be encouraged to take further steps of action in your recovery. You and your Treatment Counselor will develop an individualized treatment plan that addresses the following action steps: social, living, vocational, and educational skills, relapse prevention, and family therapy goals. Attend Court at least once time per month;
The Aftercare Phase (minimum of 1 1/2 months) consists of a joint plan that includes expectations from the Drug Court Team and aspects important to participants and families to assist the youth in living a clean and sober lifestyle. The goal of the Aftercare Phase is to allow the youth to utilize the supports and skills they have developed to maintain a healthy, positive and productive lifestyle.
Non-compliance with the Drug Court Participant Contract or the court order will lead to sanctions. These may include, but are not limited to:
Incentives will be provided to encourage or reward outstanding efforts or participation. Incentives include:
Once you have successfully completed the criteria for each phase, you will be a candidate to graduate from the Juvenile Drug Court Program. It will be necessary to discuss your progress toward the goals you initially set and why you believe you have met the graduation criteria. Your family will be invited to join you in your graduation ceremony.
Your identity and privacy will be protected consistent with Arkansas and federal laws. In response to these regulations, policies and procedures have been developed which guard your confidentiality. Your parent or guardian will be asked to sign a waiver authorizing the transfer of information between participating agencies.
The Juvenile Drug Court Program has been developed to help you achieve total abstinence from drugs and all criminal activity. The program is designed to promote self-sufficiency and to return you to the community as a productive and responsible member. The Judge and the Juvenile Drug Court Team are present to guide and assist you, but the final responsibility is yours. We hope this handbook has been helpful and answered most of your questions. If you have any additional questions, please contact us at 870-541-5455.