Juvenile Drug Courts provide close supervision and case management services for youth with substance abuse issues who plea to, or are convicted of, a drug-related charge in the juvenile court. The goal is to keep the youth in the home and ultimately out of the juvenile justice system. Juvenile Drug Court is usually a last step before out of home placement, and unsuccessful termination from the program generally results in the child being taken from the home and placed into state custody.
TNCSA’s drug court staff work closely with DCS probation officers, the county juvenile court systems, schools, families, as well as substance abuse treatment and mental health centers to make sure that the youth receive needed treatment as well as help in other areas of their lives. Youth participating in the program are expected to refrain completely from the use of drugs and alcohol. Drug screenings are conducted frequently to confirm that abstinence is being maintained.
Once the youths complete initial substance abuse treatment, emphasis is placed on school attendance and performance, becoming successful in other activities, and in maintaining or improving their family and interpersonal relationships. Participation in the program generally lasts for nine months to a year, or longer if needed.