You are on page 1of 16

Jefferson Parish Juvenile Drug Treatment Court

Policy Manual

Jefferson Parish Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Jefferson Parish Juvenile Court P.O. Box 1900 Harvey, LA 70059 (504) 367-3500 FAX: (504) 361-8033

HISTORY OF JEFFERSON PARISH JUVNEILE DRUG TREATMENT COURT The Jefferson Parish Juvenile Drug Treatment Court serves Jefferson Parish, the second largest parish in Louisiana. This parish, directly adjacent to New Orleans, has a population of approximately 450,000 persons. Much of the parish functions more like a suburb of the more heavily populated urban Orleans Parish. For all practical purposes, the parish has comparable justice system problems of crime, drug abuse and judicial system overload. For these reasons, the Jefferson Parish Juvenile Court applied for and received a 1997 Drug Court Planning Grant, then a 1998 Drug Court Implementation Grant to start the Jefferson Parish Juvenile Drug Treatment Court. Jefferson Parish Juvenile Court offense statistics show that juvenile drug offenses rose in a progression from 155 in 1992 to 369 in 1997. The school dropout rate in Louisiana is 4.9%, the highest in the nation. In 1993-94, Jefferson Parish reported a dropout rate of 8.6%, almost twice the state rate. More evidence of the prevalence and severity of alcohol and drug use among youth in Jefferson Parish were found in the Safe and Drug Free Schools suspension data for the period from 1989 to 1998. Over the nine-year period, the average percentage of alcohol or marijuana related suspensions among middle and junior high school students were 42.3% and 53.8% among high school students. The Jefferson Parish Council contracted for a study to plan for revisions to the juvenile and adult justice systems. The study found that the number of juveniles admitted to detention for drug offenses increased by nearly 300%. These study findings and statistics showed the high need for a continuum of interventions and graduated sanctions to be applied to the youthful offender. As a result, the Juvenile Justice Interagency Task Force decided to start a Juvenile Drug Court.

The program was made possible through the cooperation of all the judges of the Jefferson Parish Juvenile Court, Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office, Indigent Defender Board, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, Jefferson Parish Human Services Authority, Clerk’s Office, Jefferson Parish Division of Juvenile Services, Jefferson Parish Criminal Justice Agency, and the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Drug Abuse.

TABLE OF CONTENTS Page MISSION GOALS ................................................................................................................ ................................................................................................................ 1 1 2 3 3 4

ELIGIBILITY ............................................................................................................... Admission Criteria REFERRAL PROCESS ............................................................................................. Jefferson Parish Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Referral Process ASSESSMENTS ......................................................................................................... ENTRANCE PROCESS ............................................................................................ Entrance Phases PROGRAM COMPONENTS AND REQUIREMENTS .......................................... Court Appearances Sanctions/Incentives Supervision Program Length Phase Advancement Graduation Revocation SERVICES AND TREATMENT .............................................................................. Community Service OVERSIGHT ............................................................................................................ Evaluation CONCLUSION .........................................................................................................

5

10 11 14

d

MISSION The mission of the Jefferson Parish Juvenile Drug Treatment Court is to reduce juvenile crime and drug use through therapeutic interventions and intensive judicial supervision of children and families thereby improving juvenile and family functioning and community safety. GOALS AND OBJECTIVES The Jefferson Parish Juvenile Drug Treatment Court’s goals are as follows: (1) (2) To ensure that all drug court clients reduce drug use while in the program and 6 months after program completion; (a) To reduce juvenile drug use; To ensure that 75% of participants will not progress further into the criminal justice system during drug court participation; (a) To decrease recidivism of alcohol and other drug addicted persons into the criminal justice system; (b) To reduce the number of drug related offenders from Jefferson parish in the State Department of Public Safety and Corrections; (c) To track the long-term effects of judicial programming aimed at reducing the frequency and severity of alcohol and other drug addicted persons related criminal offending; and (d) To increase the amount of time that alcohol and other drug-addicted individuals maintain an abstinence free existence. To ensure that 75% of participants decrease antisocial behavior; (a) To decrease antisocial behavior of drug court clients and increase pro-social behaviors. For all clients to be working toward a high school diploma while in school or by attending graduate equivalency classes or other forms of alternative education such as vocational/technical programs, etc; (a) To ensure all drug court clients graduate with a minimum of a high school diploma, or vocational/technical certification. To ensure that all employment-eligible drug court clients attain and maintain socially sanctioned employment; and (a) To place all drug court clients in a gainful and meaningful job. To improve family functioning. (a) To improve family’s communication skills and (b) To improve parent’s parenting skills.

(3) (4)

(5) (6)

e

ELIGIBILITY Admission Criteria The criteria for admission to the Juvenile Drug Treatment Court is as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. The offender must have an adjudication pending and/or has been adjudicated for a drug-related offense or; The offender must have an adjudication pending for a non-drug-related offense with a history of substance abuse that is documented by school, treatment agency, Diversion Program, Correctional Options Program, or probation records and; The offender and his/her family must be willing to participate fully in an intensive treatment program and avail themselves of all related services in compliance with the terms set out by the Jefferson Parish Juvenile Drug Treatment Court; The offender cannot meet the definition of a violent offender as defined by section 2203 of the Crime Act and; If on probation, offender must have 1-3 years of probation left or agree to extend probation, and; The offender should exhibit significant family/school problems.

f

REFERRAL PROCESS Jefferson Parish Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Referral Process Jefferson Parish Department of Juvenile Services reviews the records of all juveniles on probation. If it determined by the Probation Officer and/or the Judge that a juvenile could benefit from drug court, a referral is made to the drug court team. The Court Probation Officer will review the referral to determine if they meet the criteria for admission. If the client meets the criteria for admission, the referral will be forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office for legal review. If the District Attorney’s Office agrees to accept the client into drug court, the Court Probation Officer schedules the client for the next court date. Before that court date, the client will be given an intake/assessment appointment with the treatment provider (within 7-10 days appointment is held). At the assessment appointment, treatment staff will assess the client to determine if drug court is the appropriate placement. At this point, the potential client will be explained the program (the intensity, sanctions/incentives and expectations) and given the opportunity to decide if they want to participate in the program. If the client chooses to enter the drug court, they will be scheduled for the next court date. If a client chooses not to enter, the Court Probation Officer will notify the appropriate entity and record the referral as not interested. ASSESSMENTS All clients of the Juvenile Drug Treatment Court are assessed by the Jefferson Parish Human Services Authority treatment staff to identify if the potential client has a substance abuse dependency and the appropriate level of treatment. In addition, the family’s willingness to participate is assessed.

7

The assessment is designed to evaluate motivation for treatment, provide details of prior and current legal status, family and social relationships, mental and medical health histories, and education status. The treatment representative will administer the assessment before the client is formally entered into the drug court. The treatment representative reports the assessment findings to the drug court team. ENTRANCE PROCESS Entrance At the initial Juvenile Drug Treatment Court hearing, the client will sit in on a drug court hearing to understand the program. The Public Defender will answer any questions the potential client and family members may have. The Judge will speak to the potential client and family members, explaining the drug court and receiving verbal feedback that they indeed want to be in the program. If the client and family members agree to participate, the Public Defender will complete paperwork with the potential client (Order of Reassignment-Attachment 1a, Parent/Guardian Agreement-Attachment 1b, Participation Agreement-Attachment 1c, Stipulated Order-Attachment 1d, Waiver of Right to Rule To Show Cause-Attachment 1e). All paperwork will be given to the Judge at formal acceptance into the program. PROGRAM COMPONENTS & REQUIREMENTS Program Requirements The Jefferson Parish Juvenile Drug Court Treatment Program is projected to last nine to fifteen months. The program consists of three levels. A graduation from the program is scheduled after all levels of the program have been completed. The treatment segment of the program is based on individualized plans developed between the therapist, the client, and the family after a 8

complete assessment of the client’s and family’s functioning. The following is a generalized list of requirements during the program, but these may be increased or decreased upon demonstrated need or ability of each client. All requirements are client and family driven. All clients will be assessed weekly based on their treatment plan and individual goals. If necessary, parental/family treatment plan will be developed based on assessments. Parents will submit to random drug screens as needed. Upon successful completion of level requirements, the Judge will promote a client to the next level. Any failure to comply with these requirements is addressed in treatment and sanctioned by the Court. These recommendations are decided by the Juvenile Drug Court Team and are subject to the approval of the Court. The Court may also consider other options such as: retention at a particular level for stated time period, reduction to a lower level, or probation revocation filing which will terminate the client form the Drug Court Program.

Level I – four to six months/Beginning Level
     two scheduled drug screens and random screens as necessary (therapist and Detective Dunne) one to three home visits per week, which may include one individual therapy session with the client and a family session; daily interventions as needed will also be implemented; weekly court hearings; and random bi-monthly probation meeting with the probationer and officer.

Promotion Criteria for Level I: 1. Must test clean for six consecutive weeks; 2. Must be in school or working towards GED (if appropriate) with no unexcused (defined by court) absences and making progress; 3. Must maintain goals for at least six weeks; 4. Must become employed (if appropriate) and remain employed or must be involved in outside activities or a volunteer agency; 5. Must complete a paper with family members on “Why I am Ready to be Promoted to Level II”; and 6. Must be recommended for promotion by the Drug Court Team 9

Level II –one to three months/Transition Level:
      one scheduled drug screen per week (treatment) and random screens as necessary (probation and Detective. Dunne); weekly contact by the client with life skills therapist; weekly contact by the therapist with the parent/guardian or educational/supportive therapy as needed; home and school contacts will be made by the therapist to ensure active participation and compliance; the therapist will also monitor the use of social and community supports; and bi-weekly court hearings; and random bi-monthly probation meeting with the probationer and officer.

Promotion Criteria for Level II: 1. Must test clean for six weeks; 2. Must be in school or working towards GED (if appropriate) with no unexcused (defined by court) absences and making progress; 3. Must maintain goals for at least six weeks; 4. Must become employed (if appropriate) and remain employed or must be involved in outside activities or a volunteer agency; 5. Must complete a paper with family members on “Why I am Ready to be Promoted to Level III”; and 6. Must be recommended for promotion by the Drug Court Team.

Level III – one to three months/Graduate Level
    a minimum of three random drug screens will be administered each month during this level (treatment, probation and Detective. Dunne); monitoring client and family's handling of crises with minimum intervention from the probation officer; monitoring the presence and use of social community supports; and monthly court hearings.

Court Appearances Court appearances are held in open court to monitor clients’ participation and progress impose sanctions and grant an incentive if necessary. These appearances are weekly for the first three months, every two weeks for the next three months, every three weeks for the third three months and monthly for the last three months of each Phase. If necessary, the case manager will request an early court appearance for the client.

10

Private counsel is encouraged to attend all hearings or arrange for representation; however, court hearings will not be delayed due to unavailability of counsel. The Public Defender’s Office will have a representative present for all court sessions and staffings. Sanctions: Clients, who do not attend appropriate treatment sessions, probation officer meetings, court sessions, test positive in drug screens, or violate their probation contract can be sanctioned. Sanctions demonstrate that there are immediate and swift consequences to inappropriate behavior and may include: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) Violations: If a client has a major violation or multiple smaller violations in a level, they may be ordered to start a level over. Verbal admonishment; Increased supervision; Increased urinalysis; Written reports assigned on relevant topics to be presented at group or court; Stricter Curfew; Community Service; House Arrest with Electronic Monitoring; Weekend in Detention; Shock incarceration; and Revocation

Absconding: If a client is absent from all program requirements (fails to appear at status hearings, group treatment, etc.) he/she is considered to have absconded from the program. The court will issue a 11

bench warrant for the client’s arrest and a police deputy will be sent out to find the client. After a period of 30 days, the Court will order termination from the program and the case will be transferred back to the original judge. Incentives: During the client’s court hearing, clients who achieve program goals and exhibit drug-free behavior will be rewarded and encouraged by the court through a series of incentives including: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) Supervision A probation officer and case manager/therapist supervise clients. The probation officers and case managers are required to: (1) provide intensive supervision to clients; (2) provide urine testing as required; (3) ensure that the clients are in compliance with court orders and participation requirements; and (4) prepare weekly progress reports to court regarding compliance with program goals and status of their recovery. Verbal accolades; Decreased urinalysis; Extended Curfew; Food Coupons/Gift Certificates; Movie Passes; Free Activity Passes; Sports or Concert Tickets; Reduction of Community Service Hours; and/or Early Termination or Probation/Graduation

Program Length The expected length of the program for clients is 10-15 months. The actual length of time in the program is dependent upon client’s progress and ability to remain drug free and comply with program requirements. 12

Phase Advancement A client’s progress to various phases requires the completion of clearly stated in promotion criteria. Graduation Clients must be in the program a minimum of 9 months to be eligible for graduation. The Graduation criterion is as follows: Graduation Criteria: 1. remain clean and sober for three consecutive months post Level I; 2. have three consecutive months of consistent progress in school and/or job; 3. have no arrests for the last three months; 4. have no probation violations for the last three months; 5. followed all court orders for the last three months; 6. complete an essay: How has the Juvenile Drug Treatment Program Been of Benefit to My Life? And Why? This essay must be presented in court; and 7. be recommended for graduation by Drug Court Team. ** Any deviation from this criteria must be approved by Drug Court Team** Revocation Clients who refuse to comply with the program goals and requirements or who have become supervision risks will be terminated from the Juvenile Drug Treatment Court. The probation officer will file a probation revocation and the client will be transferred to the original section for processing.

13

SERVICES AND TREATMENT Clients placed in Juvenile Drug Treatment Court will receive immediate and intensive inhome treatment from the Jefferson Parish Human Services Authority (JPHSA), a licensed substance abuse and mental health clinic. The JPHSA deals with the problems of mental illness, substance abuse, and developmental disabilities. The treatment approach utilized by JPHSA is Multi-Systemic Therapy. The multi-tiered, phase system will ensures on-going supervision of all program participants. Community Service Clients are required to complete a prescribed amount of community service. The

Department of Juvenile Services will assign tasks and supervise all community service activities.

14

OVERSIGHT Jefferson Parish Juvenile Drug Treatment Court oversight is accomplished by the Juvenile Drug Court Policy Team. Members of the Policy Team include: Drug Court Judge, Drug Court Administrator, Treatment Director, District Attorney’s Office representative, Public Defender’s Office representative, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office representative, Probation Officer Supervisor, Judicial Administrator, and School Liaison. Monthly meetings are held to review policy changes, seek funding, review court statistics, review evaluation report, assist in public relations, and provide administrative support and assistance as needed. The Drug Court Team oversees the program implementation and determines policy changes monthly. This team is comprised of representatives from the Court, Public Defender’s Office, District Attorney’s Office, and Division of Juvenile Services and JPHSA and shall meet monthly or as needed. Evaluation The Jefferson Parish Juvenile Court will contract out evaluation services as needed. Client profiles will be analyzed in terms of services provided and outcome. The basic impact questions will focus on identification of the success rates of clients completing treatment and establishment of a client profile for successful treatment. Additionally, interventions and sanctions will be examined for effectiveness. The follow-up information will be collected through tracking arrest data and by conducting a follow-up interview with each graduating client.

15

CONCLUSION The Jefferson Parish Juvenile Drug Treatment Court provides an innovative alternative to the traditional, fragmented method of handling criminal cases by uniting the criminal justice and treatment services in an effort to break the cycle of drug driven criminal behavior. Through the “carrot stick” approach the Drug Court team is able to encourage substance free behavior by holding all clients accountable for their behavior and performance. For Jefferson Parish, the drug court stands as an answer to a growing problem that can no longer be ignored. It represents a working means to attain long-term Parish goals to increase the sobriety of alcohol- and drug-related offenders thereby decreasing the number of repeat crimes and returning offenders to society as productive, law-abiding citizens.