Juvenile offenders may be referred to Juvenile Drug Court upon adjudication directly from the disposition hearing or while on Probation once they have been diagnosed with a substance abuse or dependency. They are ordered into Adolescent Substance Abuse Program (ASAP), who refers them to outpatient drug treatment providers.
All referrals are reviewed for appropriateness by the Drug Court Team, which is composed of the Judge, the probation officer, substance abuse counselor, the ASAP case manager, the deputy district attorney, and the legal aide/defense attorney. Drug Court will not accept a client who may respond well to the less intensive supervision and random drug testing in the ASAP Program.
There are four phases of the program. Phase I participants attend court weekly, and drug test on a color code system and random drug tests. Phase II participants attend court bi-weekly and the frequency of their drug test is determined by a color code system which they check by phone each day. Phase III participants attend court bi-weekly or monthly and are drug testing on a color-code system. The participant can successfully graduate from the program once they have completed outpatient drug treatment, produced clean drug tests for approximately 90 days consecutively, and are involved in positive community activities.
One of the key components of Drug Court that helps its effectiveness is the increased level of Court Supervision. Compliance can be encouraged by the use of incentives or negative responses to behavior. During the juveniles' stay in Drug Court, there are graduated responses for non-compliance, including but not limited to additional time in Drug Court (increased court appearances), community service, written assignments, 24 to 72 hour detention stay, week detention, residential drug treatment, boot camp, or referral to the Department of Youth Services.
Drug Court has partnered with the UAB Beacon Addiction Treatment Center by requiring Drug Court parents to complete a 6 - 8 week curriculum Family Support Group that addresses a variety of issues including drugs and the effects it has on the family unit. Instructors for these classes are substance abuse counselors at Beacon Addiction Treatment Center.
For further information on the Jefferson County Family Court Drug Court Program you may contact the following:
Janie Hunt-Hilliard- Presiding Family Court/Drug Court Judge
Jennifer Davis – Drug Court/ASAP Case Manager (Drug Court Specialist)
Neal Resmondo – Drug Court Probation Officer