West Virginia Judiciary

Juvenile Drug Court Referral & Assignments

 

Juvenile Drug Court Referral & Assignments

ENTRY LEVELS INTO THE JUVENILE DRUG COURT:

    1.    Pre-petition Diversion. The juvenile drug court probation officer (JDCPO) receives a referral or complaint without a juvenile petition. Participation is voluntary by the youth and parent/guardian following a dual assessment and determination of eligibility for admission to the Juvenile Drug Court. If the youth refuses the Juvenile Drug Court or is terminated from the program, a petition can be initiated. If the youth successfully completes the program, the complaint can be destroyed.

    2.    Signed, but non-filed petition. The JDCPO receives a signed petition that has not been formally filed and is being held in abeyance pending the youth’s participation in the Juvenile Drug Court. Participation is voluntary by the youth and parent/guardian following a dual assessment and determination of eligibility for admission to the Juvenile Drug Court. Because the petition was never formally filed, the petition can be destroyed when the youth successfully completes the program. If the youth refuses the program or is terminated from the program, the petition can be formally filed and proceed through the court system.

    3.    Filed petition (Pre-Adjudication). A petition is filed, but it has not proceeded through the court system and/or the judge makes a referral prior to adjudication. Participation is voluntary by the youth and parent/guardian. At completion of JDC, the petition may be dismissed. If the youth refuses the program or is terminated, the youth would return to the Court for adjudication.

    4.    Filed petition (Post-Adjudication). The judge can make referral to JDC following adjudication, but prior to a disposition. Participation may be voluntary or non-voluntary by the youth and parent/guardian. At completion of JDC, the petition may be dismissed. If the youth refuses the program or is terminated, the youth would return to Court for disposition.

    5.    Disposition. After adjudication, the Circuit Court Judge may order the youth to participate in the JDC as a part of formal disposition, typically as a condition of probation. Participation is non-voluntary by youth and parent/guardian. When the youth completes the program, the judge would discharge the youth from the JDC program and may or may not discharge the youth from regular probation. If the judge chooses to continue regular probation, aftercare services by the JDCPO could be ordered for a period of up to six months. If the youth fails to complete the JDC program, the youth would return to Circuit Court for modification of the earlier disposition order. In addition, this entry level would include post-dispositional referrals from a probation officer.

Eligible youth are referred for participation at the appropriate entry level. Each Juvenile Drug Court probation officer will carry no more than thirty juvenile drug court cases (excluding aftercare services) at one time without prior approval by the Deputy Director for Drug Courts. The maximum number of youth that may be in Phase I at any one time is fifteen.