Theories of Therapeutic Evolution for Juvenile Drug Courts in the Face of the Onset of the Co-Occurrence of Mental Health Issues and Substance/alcohol Abuse

By Harvey, David L.,, III | Journal of Law and Health, Spring 2004 | Go to article overview

Theories of Therapeutic Evolution for Juvenile Drug Courts in the Face of the Onset of the Co-Occurrence of Mental Health Issues and Substance/alcohol Abuse


Harvey, David L.,, III, Journal of Law and Health


 I. INTRODUCTION
II. BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURES OF
     THERAPEUTIC COURTS
     A. Therapeutic Justice System Background
     B. Drug Court History
     C. Today's Juvenile Drug Court
     D. Medina County Juvenile Drug Court
        1. Non-Intensive Phase
        2. Intensive Phase
        3. Drug Court Hearings
     E. Drug Courts Results: Recidivism, Costs
        and Community Impact
        1. Recidivism Rates
        2. Drug Courts Save Money
III. JUVENILE MENTAL HEALTH COURTS
     A. Mental Health Court Program and
        SAMSHSA
     B. Santa Clara's Court for the Individualized
        Treatment of Adolescents
        1. CITA's Key Personnel
        2. CITA Eligibility
 IV. CO-OCCURRENCE OF MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES
     AMONG JUVENILE DRUG/ALCOHOL OFFENDERS
     A. Alcohol and Drug Abuse Among Juveniles
     B. Juvenile Drug and Alcohol Use Among
        Juveniles in Detention Centers
     C. Overlap Between Juvenile Substance/Alcohol
        Offenders and Mental Illness
        1. Caron Foundation Survey
        2. Phoenix House Survey
        3. South Carolina Department of Justice
           Study
        4. Massachusetts Youth Screening
           Instrument Screen
  V. FEDERAL LEGISLATION
     A. President Bush's New Freedom
        Commission on Mental Health
     B. Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime
        Reduction Act
     C. Native American Alcohol and Substance
        Abuse Consolidation Act of 2003
 VI. PROPOSED INTEGRATION OF MENTAL HEALTH ELEMENT
     INTO JUVENILE DRUG COURT SYSTEM
     A. Placement of Mental Health Element Within
        Current Procedural Framework
     B. Implanting Mental Health Assessment and
        Treatment
     C. Critique of Mental Health Element:
        Over-Inclusiveness
     D. Cost Concerns
     E. Issues Facing Court Personnel Training
VII. CONCLUSION

I. INTRODUCTION

Hidden beneath her bed lie four kitchen knives, three large and one small, each of them kept in order to protect herself from the shadowy men whom she believes she sees in the corner of her room. (1) These men threaten to kill her and often tell her to harm others. (2) This is the unfortunate story of sixteen-year-old Monique Murray, who was born, addicted to drugs, to a schizophrenic mother who abandoned Monique at birth. (3) Her childhood and teenage years were marked with unexplained fits of violence and rage until she was charged with felonious assault at age fifteen and placed in a juvenile detention center. (4) Once Monique was diagnosed with schizophrenia, she was then transferred to the Wayne County Juvenile Detention Facility where she was provided with a strict regimen of schooling, meals, therapy, and other supervised activities. (5) Monique's story is not an unfamiliar one. Every night, 2,000 children across the country are needlessly going to bed in juvenile detention centers because they do not have access to proper mental health care in their communities. (6) Thankfully, new trends in the justice system are helping to combat some of these issues.

Beginning in the late 1980s and early 1990s, a new trend in the juvenile justice system emerged. This trend, known as the therapeutic justice system, was introduced as an alternative to the traditional, punishment-based justice systems that have dominated juvenile justice for many years. Therapeutic systems work on the notion that judges, attorneys, probation officers and other court personnel are to act like counselors in a team-like setting. (7) Therapeutic systems place an emphasis on problem-solving, rather than simply distributing punishment to the juvenile offenders that enter its system. (8)

The purpose of this Note is to review two specific and newly emerging therapeutic courts: juvenile mental health courts and juvenile drug courts. It will explain how and why a mental health element should be implemented into the juvenile drug court system. …

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