Juvenile Drug Treatment Court attempts to resolve underlying problems of drug and alcohol abuse and is built upon a unique partnership between the juvenile justice community and drug treatment advocates. The courtroom atmosphere is non-adversarial, with a dedicated team of court officers and staff, including deputy public defenders who strive together to break the cycle of addiction. The Los Angeles County Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Programs are supervised, comprehensive treatment programs for youths. The programs are comprised of youths in both pre-adjudication and post-adjudication stages of the delinquency proceedings.
Upon a finding of eligibility and suitability, the Juvenile Drug Treatment Court judge provisionally accepts the youth into the Juvenile Drug Court Treatment Program. After the youth is accepted into the program, deputy public defenders continue representation throughout the youth's participation in Drug Court program. Successful completion and graduation will result in the dismissal of charges in the pre-adjudication program and the termination of probation in the post-adjudication program. Failure or dismissal from the program will result in the reinstatement of criminal (delinquency) charges and subsequent prosecution on the pre-adjudicated charges or continuation on probation on the post-adjudication charges. Success in the Juvenile Drug Court Treatment Program is not solely measured by the number of graduates from the program, but rather whether the curriculum favorably impacted the youths to the extent that they are now considered drug-free.
The three Juvenile Drug courts are located at the Juvenile Courts in Sylmar, Eastlake and Inglewood. In Fiscal Year 2013-2014, Sylmar Juvenile Drug Court accepted 46 new participants. Eastlake Juvenile Drug Court accepted 20 participants and the Inglewood Drug Court accepted 17 participants.