According to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), an estimated 1.3 million adolescents ages 12-17 had a substance use disorder in 2014. Many of these youths who have substance abuse issues end up making contact with the juvenile justice system at some point. Rather than punishing them and leaving their substance abuse issues untreated, Illinois has a juvenile drug court treatment program in place that aims to reduce recidivism and guide the youth to a substance-use- and crime-free life.
Eligibility for the ProgramM
When a juvenile defendant is referred to the drug court treatment program, they will be first screened to determine whether or not they are eligible to participate. To be admitted into the program, the prosecutor, the minor, and the court must all be in agreeance. A minor will not be admitted into the program if:
- The crime they committed was a crime of violence;
- He or she denies their use and/or addiction to drugs;
- He or she does not demonstrate a willingness to participate in the program; or
- He or she has been adjudicated delinquent for a violent crime within the past 10 years.
Once the minor is admitted into the program, a comprehensive assessment will be done to determine the needs of that particular minor and develop a treatment plan. The length of the program is 12 to 18 months, during which the minor must make monthly appearances in court and attend or complete high school or earn a GED.
The juvenile drug court treatment program is a comprehensive program that not only addresses substance abuse issues, but also the issues that the abuse may stem from, such as psychological issues or the minor’s home life. Program participants are required to attend a type of group meeting each month to help them deal with everyday problems, such as how to deal with anger issues, their interaction with the people of their household and communities, how to avoid trouble situations, and others.
Once the minor has been in the program for at least 12 months and they have been clean for at least six months, they are eligible to graduate. The original charges against the minor are dropped and they receive a diploma symbolizing the work they put into the program.
A Joliet, IL Juvenile Crimes Defense Lawyer Will Advocate for Your Best Interests
Drug court is the preferred treatment for many criminal offenders, but it can be especially useful and meaningful for juvenile offenders. At the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C., we can help you or your child fight to have the drug court treatment program as an option for your case. Our skilled Will County juvenile crimes defense attorney will do everything in his power to get you a favorable outcome. Call our office today at 815-740-4025 to schedule a free consultation.