Juvenile Drug Courts

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Juveniles and Drug Court Juvenile drug courts were developed to reduce juvenile substance abuse, reduce juvenile delinquency associated with drug abuse, and deter future adult crime. Juvenile drug courts are an effective alternative to other initiatives in decreasing juvenile recidivism. Records show that juveniles graduating from drug court reduced adult felonies, but not misdemeanors. There has been much research to explore the effectiveness of such programs. Studies have shown that juveniles who complete drug court programs are less likely to repeat drug-related offenses, versus juveniles who do not complete the programs. Juvenile drug courts are usually more effective than other alternatives or court programs. There have not been any studies to examine the effectiveness of participating in juvenile drug courts for determining adult criminality. 68% of criminal activity committed by adults, are former juvenile delinquents. Drug users are more likely to commit crimes then non-drug users. Juvenile drug courts were initially established as a recreation due to the growing number of juvenile substance arrests. Funding of the juvenile court programs was established by the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. The two primary emphases are rehabilitation and diversion. Juvenile drug courts are similar in that most rely on teams of juvenile justice professionals by requiring routine drug tests and mandate frequent appearances in front of a judge. Drug courts do differ in their decisions and effectiveness. The goal of disposition is to utilize effective risk assessment to identify juveniles who best fit for specialized programs. Juvenile dispositions vary according to type of drug used, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and region. Eligibility requirements for juvenile drug courts vary

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