Juvenile Drug Court Introduction


The Howard Circuit Court, Juvenile Division, Drug Court was developed to meet the needs of youth and family who are experiencing difficulties with substance use and/or abuse.  The conceptual program for the Drug Court is patterned after the Restorative Justice Model utilizing the Balance Approach (BARJ) which focuses on a comprehensive and judicially monitored program of addictions treatment and rehabilitation services.  The intent of the program is to develop and coordinate new and existing resources to be provided to youth who are addicted and are under the jurisdiction of the Court. 


The Howard Circuit Court, Juvenile Division, Drug Court was further developed utilizing the ten (10) key components of drug courts established by the drug court Program Office of the United States Department of Justice, which are as follows:

1.     Drug Courts integrate alcohol and other drug treatment services with justice

System case processing.

2.     Using a non-adversarial approach, prosecution and defense counsel promote

public safety while protecting participants’ due process rights.

3.     Eligible participants are identified early and placed promptly in the drug court program

4.     Drug courts provide access to a continuum of alcohol, drug, and other related treatment and rehabilitation services.

5.     Abstinence is monitored by frequent alcohol and other drug testing.

6.     A coordinated strategy governs drug court responses to participant compliance.

7.     Ongoing judicial interaction with each drug court participant is essential.

8.     Monitoring and evaluation measure the achievement of program goals and gauge effectiveness.

9.     Continuing interdisciplinary education promotes effective drug court planning, implementation, and operations. 

10. Forgoing partnerships among drug courts, public agencies and community-based organizations generates local support and enhances drug court effectiveness.


In addition, The Howard Circuit Court, Juvenile Division, Drug Court was developed in compliance with Indiana Senate Enrollment Act No. 343.


Because of the unique problems and opportunities that present themselves in working with drug-involved youth and families, treatment and rehabilitation strategies must be “reality-based” and therefore recognizes the following:

*      Addicts are most vulnerable to successful interventions when they are in crisis so intervention must be immediate.

*      Preventing gaps in communication and ensuring offender accountability are of critical importance, so supervision of participants by all partners involved in the Drug Court model must be coordinated, consistent and comprehensive.

*      Addictions to drugs and alcohol is a long-standing, debilitating condition, so treatment must be long term and comprehensive.

*      Addiction to drugs and alcohol seldom exist in isolation from other serious problems which undermine rehabilitation, so treatment must include integration from other available services and resources such as family counseling, mental health services, educational assessments and opportunities, vocational assessments and training and placement.

*      Relapse and intermittent progress are part of the recovery process;  so progressive sanctions and incentives must be integral to the drug court treatment strategy.


The common goals of the drug court program will be as follows:


*      Reduce participant contacts with the criminal justice system;

*      Reduce costs associated with criminal case proceedings and institutional treatment.

*      Introduce participants to an ongoing process of recovery designed to achieve total abstinence from illegal use of drugs.

*      Promote self-sufficiency and empower substance abusers to become productive and responsible members of community.  











Treatment Philosophy


Program Phases



Program Fees