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Juvenile Drug Court Programs

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2001
16 pages
This bulletin aims to provide local officials with the perspectives of juvenile justice practitioners and policymakers who have experience with juvenile drug court programs, which are intensive treatment programs that provide specialized services for drug-involved youth and their families.
Juvenile drug courts provide intensive and continuous judicial supervision over juvenile delinquency and juvenile status offense cases that involve juvenile drug abusers. They also provide coordinated and supervised delivery of an array of support services necessary to address the problems that contribute to juvenile involvement in the justice system. Service areas include drug treatment, mental health services, primary care, family services, and education. The main indicators of the potential value of developing a juvenile drug court program in a particular community are: (1) the extent to which juvenile delinquency is associated with drug and alcohol use in the community; (2) the juvenile justice systems’ existing ability to address this use; and (3) the degree of accountability that the juvenile justice system promotes for both juvenile offenders and service providers. Among the crucial elements are the establishment of a drug court team, the development of a court-supervised program of drug treatment and other core services, service coordination, and ongoing monitoring. No significant long-term results are available regarding these courts. However, juvenile drug court judges anecdotally report that these programs achieve greater accountability and provide broader services than do traditional juvenile courts. In addition, all other professional personnel involved with these programs agree that these courts provide more intensive supervision over juvenile offenders than do traditional juvenile courts. The bulletin is part of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s Juvenile Accountability Incentive Block Grants (JAIBG) Best Practice Series. Checklists, table, lists of resource organizations, bibliography listing 9 sources, and 5 references

Date Published: May 1, 2001