Juvenile Collaborative Courts

The Center for Families, Children, and the Courts (CFCC) works in collaboration with California’s courts and communities to support the development and enhancement of juvenile collaborative court programs.

When youth under the age of 18 commit an offense, they may be placed in the juvenile delinquency system. This could mean being placed on some level of probation or going through the delinquency court process. Sometimes, in lieu of the delinquency court process, a judge may agree to transfer the youth to a juvenile collaborative justice court. In these cases, the youth must adhere to the rules of the collaborative court and receive treatment and court supervision instead of probation, detention, or placement.

Juvenile collaborative justice courts work similarly to adult collaborative courts. They apply collaborative justice principles to combine judicial supervision with intensive social and treatment services in lieu of detention, placement, and sometimes probation. These collaborative justice principles include a multidisciplinary, non-adversarial team approach with involvement from justice system representatives, treatment providers, and other support systems in the community.

Juvenile Collaborative Court Models: Introduction

Juvenile Collaborative Courts include the following:

Youth Domestic Violence/Dating Violence Courts

Focusing on ensuring accountability by addressing the behavior of the minor who is committing the abusive act(s) and ensuring safety and providing support for the victim.

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.

Juvenile Mental Health Courts

Juvenile mental health courts are delinquency courts with a dedicated calendar for minors who have a mental health diagnosis. These courts focus on providing access to treatment, consistent and intensive supervision, and academic and family support.

Peer/Youth Courts

Youth courts serve teenagers arrested on misdemeanor charges or a minor felony. Teens in youth courts act in traditional courtroom roles such as attorney, clerk and bailiff, as well as serve on the jury.

Girls' Courts or CSEC Courts

Girls courts serve girls in the juvenile justice system who have a history of trauma or exploitation, or may be at risk for these things focus on providing services rather than on convictions or detentions.