I. Survey Overview

A. Focus of this Report

 

This report has been prepared by the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Drug Court Program Office (DCPO) Drug Court Clearinghouse and Technical Assistance Project (DCCTAP) at American University to provide a synopsis of the current "state of the art" of juvenile and family drug court activity. The Profile reflects responses to a survey of juvenile and family drug courts that were operating as of January 1998 and updates a 1996 report that was prepared to document juvenile and family drug court activity that was just beginning at that time. The 1998 updated report is designed to provide a snapshot of the operational characteristics of juvenile and family drug courts that are currently operating and a synopsis of the policy and other implementation issues that have been commonly encountered. The sections that follow describe: the characteristics of current juvenile and family drug court programs; the populations they are serving; the case processing procedures they are using; the treatment and rehabilitation services they are delivering to both the juveniles and their families; the policy and operational issues they are addressing as they plan, implement, and fine-tune their various programs; and the advice they offer to colleagues in other jurisdictions contemplating similar programs.

 

In all, 35 programs were surveyed to prepare this report: 30 juvenile drug courts and six family drug courts. Several of these programs were too new to provide extensive operational information (Jersey City, San Francisco, Phoenix, Fort Lauderdale, for example) but are included with whatever preliminary information is available; follow-up information will be obtained on their activities as their operational experience evolves. All of the jurisdictions from which information was requested were identified by DCCTAP staff during the course of providing technical assistance and information to jurisdictions involved in drug court activities in support of the OJP Drug Court Programs Office's technical assistance mission.

 

Note: Not all respondents were able to answer all of the information requested, primarily because: they may not have had a sufficient period of operation to permit response; the nature of their activities was not relevant to the information requested; or the information was not readily available. In each section, only those jurisdictions providing relevant information on the topic are included.

 

B. Defining Juvenile and Family Drug Courts

For the purpose of this report, a juvenile drug court is defined as a drug court that focuses on juvenile delinquency (e.g., criminal) matters and status offenses (e.g., truancy) that involve substance-using juveniles; a family drug court is defined as a drug court that deals with cases involving parental rights in which an adult is the party litigant, which comes before the court through either the criminal or civil process, and which arise out of the substance abuse of a parent, and include custody and visitation disputes; abuse, neglect and dependency matters; petitions to terminate parental rights; guardianship proceedings; or other loss, restriction or limitation of parental rights.

 


C. Juvenile and Family Drug Court Activity Underway in the States

Interest in developing juvenile and family drug courts is rapidly spreading across the country. Since 1995, when the first juvenile and family drug courts were developed in Birmingham, Alabama; Tulare County (Visalia), California; Escambia County (Pensacola), Florida; Washoe County (Reno), Nevada; and Salt Lake City, Utah, juvenile and family drug court activity has been launched in 16 states and the District of Columbia,, including one Native American Tribal Court. To date, over 50 juvenile and ten family drug courts are in operation and an additional 50 juvenile and 10 family drug courts are being planned. Juvenile and family drug court activity is presently underway in over 35 states, the District of Columbia and one territory. The rapidly increasing interest in juvenile and family drug courts is being spurred by both the success of adult drug court programs and the increasing impact on court dockets, families, and communities of substance use by juveniles and other family members.

 

The development of juvenile and family drug court programs is proving to be an extemely complex task considerably more difficult than adult drug court development because of the nature and complexity of the issues being addressed, and the number of agencies and parties potentially involved in these cases. Most of these programs are therefore starting with a smaller number of participants than their adult counterparts. To date, approximately 1, 300 juveniles and 200 adults have been enrolled in juvenile drug courts and/or family drug courts, with approximately 76% still participating or graduated.

 

The sections that follow reflect survey responses from all 27 juvenile and six family drug courts that were operational as of January 1998.

II. Description of Juvenile and Family Drug Courts Included in this Report

A. Operational, Caseload, Demographic and Organizational Description

 

1. Operational Information

 

a. Juvenile Drug Courts

 

The 30 juvenile drug courts providing information for this report include one Native American Tribal Court (Shonone) in Duckwater, Nevada) and operate in 17 different states, with the greatest state activity occurring in Florida and California, with 7 and 5 programs, respectively. The population size of the jurisdictions in which these programs operate ranges from under 100,000 (Duckwater, Nevada; Monroe County (Key West), Florida; Benton, Missouri; Missoula, Montana) to over 1 million (Birmingham, Alabama; San Jose, California; Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; Jacksonville, Florida; Chicago, Ill.; and Las Vegas, Nevada.). Over half of the programs operate in jurisdictions that have already established adult drug courts.

 

Chart II-A-1: Juvenile Drug Courts Included in this Report

 

State

Jurisdiction

Name of Court

Population

Date of Implementation

Adult Drug Court in jurisdiction

AL

Birmingham

Jefferson County Family Court

1,000,000

1/12/95

x

AZ

Phoenix

Maricopa Co. Juvenile Drug Court

380,165

11/7/97

x

CA

Auburn

Placer Co. Juvenile Drug Court

198,481

9/1/97

x

CA

French camp

San Joaquin Co. Superior Court

450,000

7/1/97

x

CA

EL Dorado

El Dorado Co. Superior Court

144,839

7/21/97


CA

San Francisco

San Francisco Juvenile Drug Court

750,000

11/1/97

x

CA

San Jose

Santa Clara Co. Superior Court-Juvenile Division

1,557,211

8/12/95


CA

Tulare

Tulare Co. Juvenile Drug Court

390,000

10/20/95

x

DE

Wilmington

Family Court of the State of DE

498,303

9/1/95

x

FL

Bartow

10th Judicial Circuit

450,768

7/1/97

x

FL

Ft. Lauderdale

Broward Co.-11th Judicial Circuit

1,300,000

10/1/97

x

FL

Jacksonville

Adult and Juvenile Drug Courts

1,000,000

3/1/97

x

FL

Key West

Monroe Co., 16th Judicial Circuit

80,000

4/1/97

x

FL

Orlando

Ninth Judicial Circuit

750,000

8/1/97

x

FL

Pensacola (juv)

Escambia County Florida

280,000

4/15/96


FL

Tampa

13th Judicial Circuit Juvenile Drug Court

950,000

2/1/96

x

IL

Chicago

Circuit Court of Cook Co.-Juvenile Justice Division

6,000,000

9/1/96


KY

Bowling Green

Warren District Court

100,000

4/1/97

x

KY

Louisville

Jefferson County Juvenile Drug Court

672,311

7/1/97

x

MI

Kalamazoo

Kalamazoo Co. Juvenile Drug Court

228,796

1/4/98

x

MO

Benton

Scott Co. Juvenile Drug Court

65,000

1/1/96


MT

Missoula

Missoula Co. Youth Drug Court

85,669

10/1/96


NJ

Jersey City

Superior Court of NJ/Hudson Co.

552,384

2/3/98


NM

Las Cruces

Third Judicial District Court

150,000

12/9/97

x

NV

Duckwater

Duckwater Shoshone Tribal Court

1,000

1/1/97

x

NV

Las Vegas

Clark Co. Family Court Juvenile Division

1,250,000

3/1/95

x

OH

Lancaster

Fairfield Co. Juvenile Court

117,556

8/1/97


SC

Charleston

Charleston Family Court

293,557

9/29/97


UT

Salt Lake City

3rd District Juvenile Court

795,325

10/1/95

x

WA

Port Angeles

Clallam County Juvenile Court

61,787

7/1/97


 

b. Family Drug Courts

 

The six family drug courts providing information for this report represent five states and serve a similar population range as the juvenile drug courts. Two of the family drug courts (Reno and Pensacola) have been operating over two years; the other programs are newer. All of these family drug courts operate in jurisdictions with established adult drug courts and three of these family drug courts (Pensacola, Reno and Las Vegas) operate in jurisdictions that also have juvenile drug courts operating which are included in this publication.

 

Chart II-A-2: Family Drug Courts Included in this Report

State

Jurisdiction

Name of Court

Population

Date of Implementation

Adult Drug Court in Jurisdiction

FL

Pensacola (family)

Escambia County Florida

280,000

2/1/96

x

KY

Bowling Green

Warren District Court

100,000

4/1/97

x

MA

Greenfield

Franklin County

(Greenfield District, Orange District, Franklin Family and Probate, Franklin Superior)

70,000

1/1/97

x

NV

Las Vegas

Clark County Family Court -- Juvenile Division

1,250,000

3/1/95

x

NV

Reno

Second Judicial District Court- State of Nevada

295,000

1/1/95

x

NY

Central Islip

Family Drug Treatment Court

1,349,191

12/10/97

x

 

 

2. Caseload and Program Enrollment

 

a. Juvenile Drug Courts

 

(1) General Caseload Information

 

All of the reporting juvenile drug courts note that at least 25% of their caseloads involve substance problems and most cite a significantly higher percentage. The most commonly encountered substances noted are alcohol and marijuana but a number of programs also report participant use of other drugs as well. The use of toxic inhalants is also reported as a rapidly growing problem.

 

Chart II-A-3(1): Total Juvenile Delinquency Cases Filed in 1997 in Jurisdictions with Juvenile Drug Courts Included in this Report and Estimated Percent of Defendants Using Specific Drugs

State

Jurisdiction

Total Case-load

% w/ Substance Prob

Alcohol (%)

Barbiturates (%)

Crack/Cocaine (%)

Hallucinogens (%)

Heroin (%)

AL

Birmingham

5,133

33

50

2

5

2

7

AZ

Phoenix

13,187

70

60

5

35

5

15

CA

EL Dorado

n/a

100

100



30


CA

San Francisco

n/a

100

100

25

50



CA

San Jose

7,000

75

75


50

57

4

CA

Tulare

n/a

80

80

1

20

20

1

DE

Wilmington

8,547







FL

Bartow

4,279


25

5




FL

Ft. Lauderdale

7,277

75

50


10

10


FL

Jacksonville

8,940







FL

Pensacola

3,351

65






FL

Tampa

9,811

20.6

40

0.4

4

3

0.4

IL

Chicago

15,000

60

10

1

10

1

2

KY

Bowling Green

n/a

50






MO

Benton

260

25

85

1




NJ

Jersey City

9,209

40

20


5


5

NM

Las Cruces

3,355

91

70

8

50

10

15

NV

Duckwater

n/a

20

50





NV

Las Vegas

7,000

50

39


2


1

OH

Lancaster

704

41

75

5

8

10


UT

Salt Lake City

26,600

30

50

5

5

5


Chart II-A-3(2): Total Juvenile Delinquency Cases Filed in 1997 in Jurisdictions with Juvenile Drug Courts Reported in this Report and Estimated Percent of Defendants Using Specific Types of Drugs

 

State

Jurisdiction

Inhalants %

Marij%

Meth. %

PCP

%

Other

Specify

Poly Drug %

Explain

AL

Birmingham

1

33

1

0.01

1

Benzodiazepines

22


AZ

Phoenix

15

60

35

5



60

Most juveniles use a variety or a combination (Primo's)

CA

EL Dorado


100

90






CA

San Francisco


100

25




100


CA

San Jose

23

79

52

26



40

40% of both males and females reported alcohol and drug use almost daily

CA

Tulare

30

95

90

1

75


98


FL

Bartow


70







FL

Ft. Lauderdale


50


5





FL

Pensacola (juvenile)







50


FL

Tampa

1

43.2

0.9

0.4



97


IL

Chicago

6

75

1

1





MO

Benton


100

1




8


NJ

Jersey City


70




These are rough estimates based upon discussions with court officials

5

more than one drug of choice

NM

Las Cruces

15

80

15

2

8


80


NV

Duckwater

50






0


NV

Las Vegas


54

4




50

Estimated % with Substance Use Problems is actually 50-60%

NV

Reno

3

30

40

3



80

It is the exception to the rule to find anyone except those involved with alcohol who don't use another drug.

OH

Lancaster

20

75

5

5

15

Parents' prescription medications

75

Primarily alcohol and marijuana, with experimentation with other substances

UT

Salt Lake City

50

10







 

 

(2) Program Enrollment

Reported annual program capacities range from 20 to 300, with most programs' capacities accommodating 100-200 participants. The total capacity of the reporting programs is approximately 2,100 with over 1,600 participants enrolled to date. Those programs that have been operating for six months or more are generally operating at capacity. The majority of current participants have been enrolled for at least three to six months. Approximately 250 individuals have graduated from these programs and approximately 900 are currently enrolled, most of whom have been participating in drug courts for at least three - six months.

 

Chart II-A-4: Program Enrollment of Juvenile Drug Courts: Total Capacity and Number Enrolled By Period of Enrollment

 

ST

Jurisdiction

Ann. Cap.

# elig.

# accept.

# cur partic.

# part. < 30

# part 31-90

# part 91-180

# part 181-270

# part 271-365

# part >365

AL

Birmingham

150

114

220

114

2

10

20

15

17

50

CA

Auburn

60

50

40

18

5

5

8




CA

EL Dorado


10

10

8

4

3

1




CA

French camp

20


19

18







CA

San Francisco

25


4

3


3





CA

San Jose

60

2000

80

50


11

10

20

9


CA

Tulare

125

180

229

61

13

13

9

9

8

4

DE

Wilmington

200


101

91

19

25

29

11

4

3

FL

Bartow

200

200

100

75

15


60




FL

Key West

50


40








FL

Orlando

160

84

24

24

10

10

4




FL

Pensacola (juvenile)

49


68

16

6

11

12

10

26

3

FL

Tampa

216

216

148

32

13

39

62

36

19

84

IL

Chicago

300

360

161

130

10

16

19

54

31


KY

Louisville

50


13

11

2

4

6




MI

Kalamazoo



8

8


8





MT

Missoula

20


22

20

3

4

2

5

4

1

NJ

Jersey City

200

9

6


6






NM

Las Cruces

100

200

29




29




NV

Duckwater

10

5

5




5




NV

Las Vegas



109

66

10

26

10

4

6

10

OH

Lancaster

75

75

75

75







SC

Charleston

50

30

28

28

10

22

2




UT

Salt Lake City




40







WA

Clallam Co.

40


25

25







TOTAL

2060

3533

1606

953







 

 


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