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Family Law - Juvenile Court

> Juvenile Drug Court
> Information Sheet and Eligibility Criteria
Referal Procedure
> Individual Recovery Plans
> Judicial Sanctions
>Admission and Advancement Policy
> Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy
> Progressing Through Treatment

JUVENILE DRUG COURT

The Nevada County Juvenile Drug Court was implemented in 2001 to promote public safety and contribute to a reduction in substance abuse and recidivism among nonviolent juvenile offenders. The Drug Court is an intensive treatment program designed to evaluate, treat and monitor participants that come within the provisions of Sections 601 and 602 of the California Welfare and Institutions Code. The Court actively supports recovery through coordinated, comprehensive and appropriate substance abuse treatment services, as well as ancillary services to the participants and their families. Drug Court affords youth an opportunity to exit the revolving door of the justice system as healthy and law-abiding members of the community. Successful completion of the Juvenile Drug Court Program may result in dismissal of the juvenile's charges, early termination of wardship or probation and a recommendation that the juvenile's file be sealed when he or she turns 18.

This program is a collective effort involving the Nevada County Courts, Probation Department, District Attorney's Office, Public Defender's Office, County Counsel's Office, Human Services Agency/Behavioral Health Services, the Superintendent of Schools, Community Service Providers and Nevada County Systems of Care Project.



Information Sheet and Eligibility Criteria

Juvenile Drug Court is a voluntary program for persons under the age of 18 who have a drug/alcohol problem and want help for that problem. Clients may be eligible if they:

  • Have committed a crime which has drugs or alcohol involved
  • Have a history of drug or alcohol abuse
  • Are at risk for out-of-home placement due to substance abuse
  • Have no serious sex offenses
  • Have no pending 707(b) offenses
  • Have no extensive history of serious or violent felony crimes

The program consists of case-managed substance abuse treatment, counseling, ancillary services (education, health, employment) and witnessed urine testing. Clients may be required to return to Court every week, but generally it will be every other week. The testing and counseling requirement may decrease as clients gain recovery. Clients are required to attend self-help meetings (i.e. Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and other selected sobriety activities).

Parent/guardians/adult mentor cooperation and participation is also required. The adults are expected to attend Drug Court and comply with the recommendations of the Team.

Conditions for graduation from the Juvenile Drug Court Program include:

  • Successful completion of required substance abuse treatment modalities
  • Successful completion of other therapeutic requirements and activities
  • Attendance at all scheduled Court hearings
  • Clean drug tests
  • Payment of any fees imposed
  • Attendance at school (and place of work, if applicable)

Poor performance in the Juvenile Drug Court Program may result in the requirement that the client enters detoxification, participates in a more intense level of treatment, is incarcerated for specific periods, is extended in the program, or is terminated.



Referral Procedure

A minor's parent/guardian or adult mentor, or a Probation Officer, District Attorney, Public Defender, Juvenile Court Judge or Court Commissioner may initiate a referral.

The Juvenile Drug Court Case Manager will screen the minor for suitability and confirm eligibility.



Individual Recovery Plans

All youth participating in Drug Court have Individual Recovery Plans. Components of a Recovery Plan are Substance Abuse Treatment, Case Management Services and Psychotherapy. Members of the Team are provided with each client's Recovery Plan. Modifications to each Plan may be made at the discretion of the Team. The Case Manager is to be informed prior to implementing changes in any Plan.



Judicial Sanctions

An important and unique feature of the Juvenile Drug Court Program is the judicial sanction. When a client fails to comply with the basic standards of treatment, drug testing, program attendance, Court appearance, or financial compliance, a sanction will be imposed. The Sanction may take the form of time in the Juvenile Assessment Center, outside self-help meetings, or other tasks ordered by the Court.



Admission and Advancement Policy

Admission can occur at any time, on an ongoing basis, providing there is space available in one of the intervention treatment groups. Movement from phase to phase by each individual is dependent upon achievement of the treatment requirements for each phase. The maximum time in treatment is 12 months, but aftercare can include another 12 months.

Any time lost from treatment while incarcerated (or for other court-approved brief leaves of absence, such as an incapacitating illness or hospitalization) does not necessarily require a restart of that treatment phase; however, movement to the next phase will be delayed until the individual has met all requirements. To graduate successfully from the treatment program, all participants, regardless of any other achievements, their probation status, custody situation, or court/legal status, must complete the relapse prevention plan and the discharge/aftercare plan.



Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy

During the Intervention and Early Recovery phases of the program, drug and/or alcohol testing occur at least twice each week. Additional unannounced tests for alcohol or drug use can be ordered at any time at the discretion of the program staff, and the participant must comply promptly with a demand to test or it is counted as a positive test, and the applicable sanction(s) will apply. Two positive tests during Phase II will necessitate a demotion to Phase I. A positive test during the last phase of the program (Relapse Prevention Phase) will usually necessitate a return to Phase II. All graduates must have at least 90 days "clean" time to be eligible for graduation.



Progressing Through Treatment

There are four phases of the Juvenile Drug Court Program: INTERVENTION PHASE, EARLY RECOVERY PHASE, RELAPSE PREVENTION PHASE and ONGOING RECOVERY. Each phase lasts 12 weeks. As a participant moves through the four phases of the Juvenile Drug Court Program, they are evaluated and promoted based on successful completion of each phase. In an effort to have consistent standards for client achievement, basic requirements are established. Each client in Juvenile Drug Court is re-evaluated at three-month intervals. At each evaluation, the client must successfully meet the required standards before being "promoted" to a less intense modality of treatment.