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What is Juvenile Drug Court?Juvenile Drug Court is an intensive treatment-based program for juveniles who have criminal offenses and who meet the criteria for a diagnosis of substance abuse or dependence. The program offers a chance for these juveniles to receive treatment from professional counselors for their substance-related problems as well as learn life skills that will help them to have a more positive and productive future.
Defendants are referred to the Juvenile Drug Court Coordinator from the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Solicitorís Office. An extensive screening process will be conducted in order to determine the juvenileís appropriateness for participation in the program. Juveniles must be between the ages of 12 and 16 and in the post-arrest/pre-conviction phase of the judicial system.
Those who are selected to participate in the program are required to plead guilty in court and will be placed on probation for the duration of the program. In addition to probation requirements, the judge will order the defendant to participate in the Juvenile Drug Court Program as a condition of probation. If the juvenile chooses to participate in the Juvenile Drug Court program, he or she must satisfy all program requirements in order to have his or her charge(s) dismissed from his or her record.
Juvenile Drug Court is a self-supporting agency under the control and supervision of the Circuit Solicitorís Office and is supported through the cooperation of the Greenville County Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice, law enforcement agencies, and other community agencies.
What is Expected of Juvenile Drug Court Participants?Participants in Juvenile Drug Court are required to attend weekly court appearances on Mondays at 5:30PM and group counseling on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 5:30-7:00PM. Participants are required to call the programís "Drug Line" each day and may be required to appear for drug testing at any time during the week. Participants are also required to attend school or a GED program while participating in Juvenile Drug Court. If a GED or High School Diploma has been attained, participants must be enrolled in a continued education or vocational training program and/or must be employed.
Participants must comply with the individualized treatment plan established by the Juvenile Drug Court program coordinator. During weekly court sessions, the judge may issue sanctions if a participant is not complying with the rules and guidelines set by the Juvenile Drug Court program. Rewards for compliance may also be given to participants who are following rules and guidelines and working to better themselves through the program.
Are Parents or Guardians Required to Participate in the Program?Parents and/or guardians must attend weekly court hearings and weekly parenting group sessions throughout the duration of the program. Since addiction is a family disease, it is important for parents to take part in the treatment component and learn ways to assist their child in the recovery process. Parents can gain support from other parents who have teenagers in the program and will learn parenting skills that can be used to help their teenager succeed in the program and in life.
How Long Does the Program Last?The program is designed to last 12-18 months and is divided into three phases. The expected duration of Phase I is a minimum 16 weeks, Phase II is a minimum 16 weeks, and Phase III is a minimum of 12 weeks. Completion of each phase is determined by participantís compliance with the program and progress during treatment.
What is the Cost of the Program?Participants are also required to pay a nonrefundable fee of $5 per week for the duration of their time in the program.
Restitution to the victim is mandatory and must be paid in full before the participant is able to complete the program.
What Happens If I Am Terminated From the Program?If a participant is terminated from the program, a probation violation will be issued along with further sentencing at the Judgeís discretion.
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