Juvenile Collaborative Courts are specialized problem solving courts that address underlying issues that may be present in the lives of youth who come before the court on criminal, juvenile, or dependency matters. These life-changing programs involve active judicial monitoring and a team approach to decision making, and include the participation of a variety of different agencies. The following is a list of the Juvenile Collaborative Court programs:
Juvenile Recovery Court
Juvenile Recovery Court is a collaborative endeavor between the Orange County Juvenile Court, District Attorney’s Office, Public Defender’s Office, Health Care Agency, Probation Department, and community-based organizations to address the serious drug abuse issues of youth. The program is a combination of substance abuse treatment, sanctions, and incentives designed to rehabilitate drug-involved youth, empower families to support them, and prevent reoffending. The goals of the program are to support the youth’s commitment to sobriety by providing the supervision, treatment, and accountability needed to promote abstinence from substance abuse and deter criminal behavior. Youth who participate in the program are required to attend frequent Progress Review Hearings with the judge and Juvenile Recovery Court Team; attend weekly self-help groups; participate in individual, group, and family counseling; meet regularly with their probation officer; and follow the terms and conditions or probation. The charges against the youth will be dismissed and the records sealed upon satisfactory completion of the program.
Teen Court is a program that addresses the critical needs of at-risk teenagers in the dependency system who are 12 to 17 years of age. Teen Court is a partnership that includes representatives from Orange County’s Social Services Agency, Health Care Agency, Department of Education, and the Probation Department. Participants in Teen Court, many of whom are living in foster care group homes and facing mental health issues, substance abuse issues, or academic failure, receive treatment and counseling. Participants are assisted with learning the skills they need to deal with issues of trust and safety, build healthy and appropriate relationships, and gain the competencies that are necessary for successful, independent living.
Truancy Response Program
The Truancy Response Program is a collaborative and multidisciplinary team approach between the Orange County Juvenile Court, Department of Education, District Attorney’s Office, Public Defender’s Office, Health Care Agency, Social Services, Probation Department, and community-based organizations to address the problem of chronic truant youth and their families who have failed to respond to traditional efforts at the school district level. The goal of the program is to reduce the number of truancies and related delinquent behavior or absences among the youth of Orange County.
The program focuses on family education, support, and resource referrals to reduce truancy. Truancy has also been shown to have a significant impact on recidivism, as well as to be a stepping-stone to substance abuse and criminal behavior. By providing families with supportive services aimed at reducing truancy, the potential for criminal behavior is reduced and the chance for future success is increased.
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