Second District Juvenile Court
Drug Court Program - Weber County
What is Drug Court?
Drug Court was developed for first-time misdemeanor juvenile drug offenders and second-time alcohol offenders as an alternative to the mandatory penalties for such offenses. A fundamental component in the design of Drug Court is its ability to provide a comprehensive package of services to the drug offender which includes drug treatment services, counseling, and other kinds of support related programs. Hence, the purpose of Drug Court is to assist the juvenile offender in addressing their current substance abuse habits as well as preventing the continuation of those habits in the future.
Parental involvement and support in the adolescent's decision to participate in Drug Court is absolutely critical. However, the child must choose to join the program by his or her own free will. Inappropriate parental pressure or compulsion is not conducive to promoting a successful outcome for their son or daughter. Hence, the juvenile is expected and required to make the final decision to participate in Drug Court for themselves.
Qualifications For Participating in Drug Court
A set of general guidelines are in place to sift out those individuals who are best suited to succeed in Drug Court. The guidelines are:
- The offender must be between the ages of twelve and seventeen at the time of the offense.
- The referral must be either a first drug offense or second alcohol offense.
- He or she may not have any other delinquent offenses included in the episode.
- The juvenile may not have committed, or have pending, any prior criminal acts.
- The juvenile must not have any outstanding fine or unserved community service hours.
- The juvenile must admit to the allegations of the charge.
Advantages to Participating in the Drug Court Program
The Drug Court Program was started in Weber County in the summer of 1998. At that time it was only a pilot project administered by a Probation Officer who still maintained a full probation caseload. Only very select cases were taken into the program. This ensured maximum compliance with the program. In the summer of 1999, the program was reevaluated and it was decided that because of the very high success rate and overall satisfaction with the program that all cases that meet the eligibility requirements would be offered a chance to participate. Thus far the program's success rate of juveniles not reoffending is nearly double compared to those who do not participate in the program. For the juvenile the two factors that tend to convince them that the program is a good idea are: 1) They do not lose their driver's licence, which is manditory on all drug and 2nd alcohol charges, 2) If they complete the program successfully their charges are dissmissed and do not go on thier record. For parents it offers an opportunity to take an active roll in correcting their child's behavior.Although this may include reporting violations of the rules which could result in possible detention time, it shows the juvenile that thier bad behavior will not be accepted.
Description Of The Drug Court Program Rules
Juvenile Drug Court is designed to last for of six to eight months.
The first step in initiating the program begins with the offender and aparent meeting with a court officer. If after the program has been explained, the juvenile agrees to enter the program, both juvenile and parent sign a contract which binds him or her to the rules and parameters dictated by the program. The rules are in turn dictated by the Standard Orders of the Drug Court which include, but are not limited to:
- Sixty hours of community service.
- A substance abuse evaluation.
- Appearing in court every two months.
- Participation in a treatment program.
- Voluntary compliance with random drug testing.
- Regular school attendance.
- Services tracking.
- Completion of various reading and writing assignments.
- Attendance at educational group programs.
- 5 days in detention that can be ordered if the rules are violated during the program.
For more information and questions
Call: Kurt Ledford, Probation Officer, at 626-3887 (T-F)