Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2014, $222,040)
The OJJDP FY 2014 Enhancements to Juvenile Drug Courts solicitation provides funding for currently operating juvenile drug courts to enhance capacity and services. A juvenile drug court provides comprehensive, developmentally appropriate, community-based services for youth who are younger than 18 years old and come in contact with the juvenile justice system due to alcohol or other drug use. The goal of this program is to enhance the capacity of juvenile drug courts and ultimately improve the outcome for the youth involved in the juvenile drug court program. Enhancements to juvenile drug courts will focus on one or more of the following key components of a juvenile drug court: (1) increase the use of scientifically based screening and assessment procedures for youth in contact with the juvenile justice system to identify youth in need of mental health and substance abuse services; (2) expand the range of developmentally appropriate and evidence-based programs and services to ensure a continuum of care is available for these youth; (3) enhance or develop family engagement; and/or (4) expand the outcome monitoring of the juvenile drug court.
The Dallas County Juvenile Departments Drug Court Program will utilize grant funds to provide intervention services to youth ages 10-17 with low-level drug offenses. The grant project will focus on providing intensive judicial intervention and supervision of juveniles involved in substance abuse offenses that are not generally available through the traditional juvenile court process utilizing evidenced based practices to divert youth from further justice system involvement. Services that will be provided under the program will include early identification and referral of eligible youths; an interdisciplinary team-developed treatment plan to address the youths substance use, school, behavioral and family needs; weekly monitoring and urine screens; judicial feedback during regular court hearings; and rewards or sanctions based on performance. The goal of the project is to enhance, and adjust its program structure and services in order to better serve the unique needs of our youth. The task of the Juvenile Department is to expand the program in order to serve additional youth and families in a productive, cost effective way. Grant funds will be utilized to hire a Drug Court program will hire add a diversion program officer in order to assist a number of youth currently waiting to enter the program. The services provided will include, but are not limited to, initial screenings of mental and emotional health and/or substance abuse issues, referrals to individualized counseling services and/or family support services. Through a collective community effort, the Drug Court program is a primary component in the continuum of services by providing parent empowerment; improve targeting, and a specialized aftercare plan that offers recovery support services. CA/NCF