Juvenile Drug Courts

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Juvenile Drug Courts Drugs and our youth, the numbers are rising. More and more children today are using drugs without their parents knowing. What happens when they get caught? It all depends on who caught them. If it is the parents, usually a big punishment. If it is law enforcement they may have to appear in front of drug courts specialized to handle juvenile cases. Sometimes the parents may even turn them in, just for the treatment and help these special courts can offer. The juveniles are then referred to juvenile drug courts for help. Today there are 72 juvenile drug courts in operation in 41 states in the United States, with more to come in the future What exactly is a juvenile drug court? What do they do? How do they help? Why are more specialized courts coming up for juveniles? A juvenile drug court, as defined by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is "a juvenile drug court is defined as a drug court that focuses on juvenile delinquency (e.g., criminal) matters and status offenses (e.g., truancy) that involve substance-abusing juveniles." (OJJDP; Juvenile and Family Drug Courts: An Overview, November 1996) Another way to look at juvenile drug courts is that they are special courts that provide judicial supervision for nonviolent juvenile offenders as they participate in addictions treatment services. Through an intensive, long-term program lasting from nine to 12 months, drug treatment courts monitor the offenders' progress in treatment in an effort to stop their use of drugs, end their involvement in crime and improve their ability to function as responsible citizens and family members. The courts hold the offenders accountable for their progress in the program by requiring ... ... middle of paper ... ...continue and spread throughout our great nation. I think all the judicial systems need to be broken down into more specialized programs like the family, adult, and juvenile drug courts. With that breakdown, we could give the individuals the attention they truly need to overcome their addictions and get them back on their feet to success. All they need is a little more care and time to help them see the light. Bibliography: OJJDP; Juvenile and Family Drug Courts: An Overview, November 1996 Teichroeb, Ruth; "Juvenile Drug Court Mixes Caring, Coercion", Seattle Post Intelligence, http://www.seattle-pi.com/local/juvi07.shtml; accessed on April 6, 2000 National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP); http://www.nadcp.org/index.html Roberts, Marilyn; "The Juvenile Drug Court Movement."; Drug Courts Program Office, March 1997.

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