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614 Division Street, MS-24
Port Orchard WA 98366
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JUVENILE DRUG COURT

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WHAT IS JUVENILE DRUG COURT?
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For juveniles charged with crimes, Kitsap County Juvenile Drug Court is a voluntary treatment based program available to qualifying youths. The program seeks to intervene and treat drug and/or alcohol abuse, and consequently help prevent future criminal behavior. Drug Court relies on the coordination and work of a Drug Court Team, members of which include the Juvenile Drug Court Judge, the Drug Court Probation Officer, drug treatment counselors, a drug court family counselor, as well as a deputy prosecuting attorney and criminal defense attorney. Prior to each court session, the Drug Court Team meets weekly to discuss the progress of each individual drug court participant.  

WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR DRUG COURT, AND HOW LONG IS A PARTICIPANT ENROLLED IN THE PROGRAM?
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Youth may be referred to drug court after being charged with a crime. In order to be eligible, the youth must have a history of drugs and/or alcohol use, and the level of substance abuse must be such that treatment and education is expected to be substantially beneficial. In order to be considered, the youth must show a willingness to participate in treatment and substance abuse education, and to follow all of the requirements of the program. In addition, adequate services must be available to address the needs of the individual youth seeking admission into the program. The drug court program strongly encourages the involvement and support of the youth’s family.

If accepted into Drug Court, the criminal charge that brought the juvenile into the criminal justice system is held in abeyance during the time the youth is in the Drug Court program. The length of time for a drug court participant to complete the program is generally estimated to be one year. However, depending on the individual needs and progress, the program can extend beyond one year.

DRUG COURT REQUIRES COMPLIANCE IN TREATMENT, ADHERENCE TO HOME RULES AND SUCCESSFUL PARTICIPATION IN AN EDUCATIONAL/WORK PROGRAM.

Substance abuse affects all facets of a youth’s life, whether it is home life, school or employment. Drug Court requires a professional drug and alcohol evaluation for each participant in the program, with the expectation that the juvenile will successfully follow up with all treatment recommended by the treatment provider. Typically, a treatment program includes individual and group counseling, random urinalysis (including on the weekends), extensive contact and cooperation with the Drug Court Probation Officer and mandatory court appearances before the Juvenile Drug Court Judge. Generally, court appearances are required weekly, and, depending on progress, may be reduced to bi-weekly.  In addition to counseling and treatment, Drug Court requires compliance with rules of the youth’s home, as well as attendance and participation in school program. If the youth has completed an educational program (e.g. GED), the drug court encourages the youth to be gainfully employed. 

WHAT HAPPENS DURING WEEKLY COURT APPEARANCES?
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Immediately prior to participants’ mandatory weekly court appearances, the Judge presiding over Juvenile Drug Court meets with the entire Drug Court Team. The team takes time to discuss each participant’s progress or difficulties that have arisen since his/her last appearance, and all members are given the opportunity to provide input and make recommendations to the judge on any action that might be considered in court. 

Following the team meeting, the team members attend open court. In turn, each participant presents him/herself to the bench, and discusses individual progress or any other relevant issues that have arisen since the last court hearing, directly with the judge. This is also an opportunity for family members to discuss any issues that have arisen. Drug Court strongly encourages parental and family input, as this may be the best gauge of compliance at home. 

Through frequent and direct dialogue with the Judge, Drug Court encourages each participant to take immediate responsibility for his/her actions, and to learn that there are both positive and negative consequences to behavior. 

WHAT HAPPENS IF THE PARTICIPANT YOUTH IS NOT IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF DRUG COURT?

Failure to comply with the program may result in sanctions imposed by the Judge. Because participants are required to report to the Judge on a very frequent basis, any non-compliance is handled in a time effective manner, thus helping youths realize that there are direct and speedy consequences to negative behavior.  Any sanctions imposed by the judge are based upon the severity of the offending behavior, taking into account the youth’s history of compliance/non-compliance in the program as well as progress generally. Each juvenile in drug court is considered a unique individual, and so the needs of the child, including the need for sanctions, depend on the unique circumstances of each individual youth. Some of the sanctions and tools available to the court include:

  • Community service work

  • Written assignments

  • Increased drug testing

  • Increased treatment

  • AA/NA participation

  • Work crew

  • More restrictive curfew hours

  • Restricted social contacts/no contact orders

  • Electronic Home Monitoring

  • Time in custody/detention

  • Termination from Drug Court

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS TO THE PARTICIPANTS IN DRUG COURT?
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Upon successful completion of all program requirements, the participant graduates from Drug Court. He/she is honored by all of the members of Juvenile Drug Court as a successful graduate. Upon graduation, the Judge dismisses the criminal charge that brought the juvenile to the attention of law enforcement authorities and Drug Court.

Juvenile Drug Court provides long-term benefits to each graduate in that he/she will receive an intensive drug/alcohol education, as well as approximately one year of a structured program aimed at living a productive, drug-free and crime-free life. It is goal of the program that the youth will graduate from drug court with well-ingrained tools that will continue to guide that individual throughout his/her adult life.

IS THERE ONGOING SUPPORT FOR THE GRADUATES OF THE JUVENILE DRUG COURT?

The Juvenile Drug Court seeks to provide an ongoing nurturing environment for its graduates, seeking to reinforce a drug-free lifestyle. The Drug Court encourages its graduates to remain in contact with the Drug Court Team, and to voluntarily report on progress at school, work and home.

In addition, the Juvenile Drug Court has developed an Alumni Group, which meets approximately every four months. Graduates are invited for pizza and soda, to visit with the Judge and the entire Drug Court Team as well as other graduates, and to catch up on each other’s lives. The Alumni Group is intended to be a support group helping remind youth what brought them into Drug Court originally, lessons learned through Juvenile Drug Court, as well as providing on-going encouragement to continue a clean, sober and responsible lifestyle.

 
DO YOU NEED FURTHER INFORMATION?

Further information may be obtained by calling the Juvenile Drug Court Probation Officer at (360) 337-5401.

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Updated:  September 10, 2014

Hours: 

8:00 AM to 12:15 PM 1:15 PM to 4:30 PM *unless otherwise ordered by the court

Monday - Friday

 

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