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.
The Juvenile Drug Treatment Court is designed to help juveniles receive treatment to end their substance abuse, to improve their family relationships and functioning, and to stop criminal activity through intensive treatment and court supervision. The incentives of the Drug Court are treatment, both individual and family; reduced probation since the juvenile's case will be dismissed at the successful completion of the program; and the juvenile will be eligible to return to school sooner.
Goals of Drug Court
- All Drug Court clients will remain drug-free while in the program and will be encouraged to abstain from illegal drug use after graduation from the program
- 75% of the participants will not progress further into the criminal justice system during their program participation
- 75% of the participants will decrease their anti-social behavior
- All clients will work toward a high school diploma, attend graduate equivalency classes, or other form of alternative education such as vocational/technical programs
- All clients that are deemed appropriate because of age or circumstances will attain and maintain socially-sanctioned employment
- 75% of the families of clients will improve their intra-family functioning
RESTRICTION NOTICE: Juvenile Drug Court is restricted from taking juveniles charged with violent crimes.
The Jefferson Parish Juvenile Drug Court Treatment 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 complete assessment of the client's and family's functioning. Upon successful completion of the 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.
Why should you participate in Drug Court?
The time commitment for the juvenile and their family is tremendous, but worthwhile because the program does assist juveniles in attaining continued sobriety, increases positive family involvement, and encourages education. Self-esteem improves when a juvenile learns to make choices that are positive and create success in his/her life. Successful completion of the program gives the extra bonus of release from legal charges that first brought the juvenile into treatment.
Families in Need of Service (FINS)
Families In Need of Services (FINS) established jurisdiction of juvenile courts to intervene, to prevent the ripening of family conflict, delinquency, abuse and neglect. FINS is an intervention process aimed at preventing formal juvenile court involvement, therein reducing the number of children/youth lodged in the court system.
What is the purpose of FINS?
- To curtail self-destructing behaviors by the child and conduct by other family members which contribute to the child's harm and which warrant court intervention in the family's life so that appropriate services to remedy the family's dysfunction can be secured;
- To secure the effectiveness of court's intervention by obtaining the cooperation and coordination of all public institutions or agencies having responsibility to supply service to any member of the family referred to the court;
- To establish a family service plan, which is binding upon all family members and the appropriate services provider;
- And to protect the integrity of the family by authorizing adjudication and the imposition of a dispositional judgment requiring participation in a plan of service only after all available voluntary alternatives have been exhausted.
Who can request assistance?
- Referrals can be made by parents, schools officials, police officers, district attorneys, judges, or concerned citizens.
- Referrals can be made in person at Jefferson Parish Juvenile Court.
When should assistance be requested?
- If a child has unexcused absences (truancy) and repeatedly violates school rules.
- If a child is ungovernable.
- If a child is a runaway.
- If a child has repeatedly possessed consumed intoxicating beverages, or has misrepresented or deceived his age for the purpose of purchasing or receiving such beverages.
- If a child has committed an offense (i.e. gambling, purchase or use of alcohol, cigarettes, etc.).
- If a child under ten years of age has committed any offense which by law if committed by adult would be a crime under any federal, state, or local law.
- If a caretaker has caused, encouraged, or contributed to the child's delinquent behavior.
- If, after notice, a caretaker has willfully failed to attend a meeting with the child's teacher, school principal, or other appropriate school employee to discuss the child's truancy, repeated violation of school rules, or other serious educational problems.
Who is the FINS Officer?
The FINS Officer serves as a neutral third party, which helps to resolve individual/family conflict, by identifying problem areas and coordinating services without formal court intervention. There are three principal features of the FINS' process:
- Authority of the court to intervene even though the child is not delinquent and the parent has not violated any obligations established by the children's code.
- Authorization to develop and implement a plan for resolving child/family disputes under the supervision of the court.
- Court responsibility to insure that services provided by public agencies are made available to meet the needs of the family.
FINS is designed to bring together resources for the purpose of helping families to remedy self-destructive behaviors.
At least five district state agencies have responsibility for providing service to families who appear before the juvenile courts:
- Department of Social Services
- Office of Youth Development
- Department of Health and Hospitals
- Department of Education
- Department of Labor
Representatives of private community agencies may also be included. If an Informal Family Service Plan agreement is reached, both public and private agency representatives are signatories and commit themselves to the completion of the plan. If formal court intervention (adjudicative process) becomes necessary, the court has the power to order any public institution or agency and its representatives to provide available services and make semi-annual progress reports.
Voluntary Transfer of Custody
This court does handle voluntary transfers of custody from a parent to a non-parent. Either the parent or the non-parent must live in Jefferson Parish AND there must be no custody judgment regarding the minor previously rendered by another court. Voluntary transfer packets are available at Jefferson Parish Juvenile Court and on this website. Please note the Jefferson Parish Juvenile Court does not address transfers of custody between parents.
See our Printable Forms page for a printable Application for Judicial Bypass.