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11th JUDICIAL DISTRICT WEST, DIVISION 6

JEFFERSON COUNTY JUVENILE DRUG COURT
PARTICIPANT HANDBOOK

JUVENILE DRUG COURT TEAM

  • Juvenile Drug - Court Judge Earnest E. Brown, Jr.
  • Chief of Staff - Roderick Shelby
  • Deputy Chief of Staff - Juawana Jackson
  • Juvenile Drug Court Officer - Kristin McCool
  • Probation Supervisor - Vivian Butler
  • Juvenile Probation Officer - Jeffrey Billingsley
  • Special Projects Coordinator - Doris Rice
  • Deputy Prosecuting Attorney - Mickie Tucker
  • Deputy City Attorney - Jessica Yarbrough
  • Public Defenders - Tom Owens, Wilson Bynum
Treatment Representatives
  • Southeast Arkansas Behavioral Healthcare
    Bessie Lancelin, Leslie Johnson
  • United Family Services - Ronald Lacefield

INTRODUCTION TO JUVENILE DRUG COURT

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.

Benefits of being involved in the Juvenile Drug Court Program may include:

  • Dismissal of new charge upon successful completion
  • Intensive treatment and supervision
  • Individualized interventions
  • Family support
  • Reduced timeline between arrest and intervention
  • Remain in your home, school and community
  • Personal involvement in planning treatment
  • Suspension of driver’s license waived

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

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.

DRUG COURT PROGRAM RULES

As a Juvenile Drug Court participant, you will be required to do the following:

  • Not possess or use any alcohol, inhalants or illegal drugs or possess any drug-related paraphernalia.
  • Not violate any city, county, state, or federal laws.
  • Appear in Court on scheduled court dates and times. Failure to appear in Court may result in a warrant for your arrest.
  • Comply with all the requirements of your treatment plan, including counseling sessions, treatment groups, and other activities. The Drug Court Team must approve all absences.
  • Notify the Juvenile Drug Court Officer immediately of any address/telephone number changes.
  • Contact the Juvenile Drug Court Officer as scheduled and co-operate with home visits.
  • Comply with regular and frequent drug testing and the drug-testing contract.
  • Satisfactorily progress in school as demonstrated by attending school regularly, maintaining good academic performance, and following all school rules and expectations.
  • Provide written proof of excused absences if requested.
  • Not share information that is discussed while in the Juvenile Drug Court Program with others.
  • Provide a list of prescription medications that you are taking and notify the Juvenile Drug Court Officer of any changes.
  • Attend full time work/school, or a combination of both on a daily basis as directed. There shall be no tardies or disiplanaries.
  • Pay all required fees in a timely manner but no later than the date of the drug court graduation
  • You will not travel outside of the county or state without first receiving permission from the Juvenile Drug Court Judge.

FAMILY INVOLVEMENT

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.

Parental Responsibility Includes:

  • Signing waivers for exchange of information between the Drug Court Team members and various agencies.
  • Active participation in Family Therapy.
  • Recognizing that substance abuse is a family problem and educate themselves on its impact on their children and family.
  • Recognizing how it can seriously harm their children if the parent(s) have a substance abuse problem.
  • Providing appropriate role models that do not approve of drug and alcohol abuse.
  • Recognizing signs of drug and alcohol use in their children and responding with appropriate sanctions.
  • Providing a substance free environment that promotes recovery. All alcohol should be out of the home. All medications should be locked up including over the counter medication.
  • Establishing and enforcing behavioral ground rules.
  • Participating as an “active” member of the Drug Court team by attending court and communicating with the other members of the team.

SUPERVISION

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:

PAGING

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

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.

WORK SCHEDULES/PAY STUBS

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.

HOUSE ARREST

  • When a youth is on house arrest they are not to leave their residence without approval by the court with a monitor pass.
  • The only times a youth is allowed to leave their residence without being accompanied by a parent/guardian is when in transit to Juvenile Drug Court meetings, groups, school and work.

JUVENILE ELECTRONIC MONITORING PROGRAM

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.

FEES

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.

COURT APPEARANCES

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.

TREATMENT

TREATMENT PLAN

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.

COUNSELING

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.

TREATMENT PHASES AND ADVANCEMENT CRITERIA

The treatment program is a minimum of eight (8) months in length and is comprised of four (4) distinct phases;

PHASE I

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:

  • Attend Court twice a month;
  • Meet weekly with Juvenile Drug Court Officer;
  • Meet with Case Manager once a month;
  • Attend Phase 1 group, two times a week, for at least 12 weeks;
  • Begin family therapy sessions once per month or as recommended by the therapist;
  • Attend Process Group every other week alternating with Family Process Group;
  • Attend Family Process Group every other week alternating with Process Group, at Counselor’s discretion;
  • Attend one individual counseling session per week if indicated by your treatment plan;
  • Comply with random drug testing (UA’s will be observed) and have clean UA’s for 30 days immediately prior to phase advancement;
  • Regularly attend school or structured community activity (i.e., work, community volunteering, GED preparation, vocational training, etc.);
  • Meet goals and objectives of your treatment plan;
  • Demonstrate improved behavior at home;

PHASE II

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:

  • Attend Court twice a month;
  • Meet with Case Manager once a month;
  • Meet with Juvenile Drug Court Officer every week, unless otherwise directed;
  • Attend group, twice a week, for at least eight (8) weeks;
  • Attend counseling as indicated by your treatment plan;
  • Continue family therapy sessions (if indicated);
  • Comply with random drug testing (UA’s will be observed) and have clean UA’s for 45 days immediately prior to phase advancement;
  • Regularly attend school or structured community activity (i.e. work, community volunteering, GED preparation, vocational training, etc.);
  • Meet all goals and objectives of individualized treatment plan; Demonstrate improved behavior at home;

PHASE III

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;

  • Meet with Juvenile Drug Court Officer at least once a month;
  • Meet with Case Manager once a month;
  • Attend group therapy as recommended by the therapist;
  • Attend community support group twice a week, unless ordered to attend more;
  • Attend counseling as indicated by your treatment plan;
  • Comply with random drug testing (UA’s will be observed) and have clean UA’s for 45 days immediately prior to phase advancement;
  • Regularly attend school or structured community activity (i.e. work, community volunteering, GED preparation, vocational training, etc.);
  • Meet all goals and objectives of individualized treatment plan; Help orient new youth to the program (if asked)
  • Construct an aftercare plan, which includes sobriety support, mental health outpatient counseling, or group attendance that is appropriate to your needs;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of personal problems of drug abuse, criminal behavior and relapse prevention;

AFTERCARE

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.

DRUG TESTING AND MEDICATION POLICY

  • You will be tested throughout your entire participation in Juvenile Drug Court. Failure to take a drug test will be considered a positive drug test result. The following are other expectations for drug testing:
  • Drug testing will be required on a frequent and random basis. All drug tests will be supervised. Drug testing will be performed by both the treatment team staff and Juvenile Drug Court Officer or other team member as ordered.
  • A positive or “dirty” drug test will lead to a sanction or further recommendations made by the Juvenile Drug Court Team and could lead to termination from Juvenile Drug Court.
  • Juvenile Drug Court will test for a variety of drugs and alcohol. The test will also screen for tampering. If you submit a sample that appears to have been diluted or tampered with, you will be required to wait until a legitimate sample can be obtained or it will be deemed positive.
  • Any refusal or failure to give a drug test at the time requested by a treatment team staff, Juvenile Drug Court Officer or other team member as ordered would be considered a positive test.
  • You may be required to pay for the costs of any positive drug tests as well as altered tests that are sent to the laboratory for further confirmation.
  • Passive inhalation (second hand smoke) is not an excuse for a positive drug test.
  • You must immediately notify the Juvenile Drug Court Officer if medication is prescribed for you. You are not allowed to take prescription medication that has not been prescribed to you by a physician and you must take such medication as directed. A COPY OF THE PRESCRIPTION WILL BE REQUIRED.
  • You will refrain from taking over-the-counter medications and products (including mouthwash) that contain alcohol. You will refrain from the use of food products that contain poppy seed.
  • The only over the counter medication you are authorized to take are Ibuprofen, Motrin, Tylenol, and similar generic brands.
  • Robitussin, Nyquil, cold, allergy, or sinus medication may not be taken without a doctor’s note.

SANCTIONS

Non-compliance with the Drug Court Participant Contract or the court order will lead to sanctions. These may include, but are not limited to:

  • Increase in treatment sessions or additional treatment requirements
  • Increased monitoring and supervision Weekday and/or weekend curfews
  • Repeating an earlier phase of the program for failure to graduate to a higher level
  • Limited contact with peers, restriction on associates and activities
  • Written papers and letters of apology
  • Community Service hours Electronic Monitoring
  • Restricted driving privileges
  • House arrest confinement, or ability to leave home only when accompanied by a parent
  • Detention
  • Discharge from the program

INCENTIVES

Incentives will be provided to encourage or reward outstanding efforts or participation. Incentives include:

  • Promotion to next phase
  • Curfew extensions
  • Special prizes
  • Special Recognition
  • Permission to participate in special events

GRADUATION

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.

CONFIDENTIALITY

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.

SUMMARY

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.

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