Juvenile Drug Courts
Juvenile drug court programs provide the intensive judicial intervention and intensive community supervision of juveniles involved in substance abuse that is not generally available through the traditional juvenile court process.
With the growing prevalence of substance abuse among juveniles and the
complexity of their treatment, which must involve both the child and his
or her living environment, the traditional juvenile justice process may
be unable to deal effectively with the whole problem that leads
juveniles to commit drug offenses.
The juvenile drug court approach is designed to fill this gap by
providing immediate and continuous court intervention in the lives of
children using drugs or involved in family situations in which substance
addiction is present. This intervention includes requiring the child,
and often the family, to begin treatment, submit to frequent drug
testing, appear at regular and frequent court status hearings, and
comply with other court conditions geared to accountability,
rehabilitation, long-term sobriety, and cessation of criminal activity.
California's first juvenile drug court began in Tulare County
in 1995. Today there are forty-eight juvenile drug courts in
Excerpted from American University, Juvenile Drug Courts: Preliminary Report (May 1, 1997) p. 2