Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Program

What is Richland County Juvenile Court?

The Richland County Juvenile Drug Court is an alternative to the traditional court process for nonviolent juvenile offenders. It is a 6 to 9-month program that strives to help juvenile offenders stop their use of alcohol and other drugs, end their involvement in crime and improve their performance in school. After successfully completing the program, related charges against juvenile offenders are removed from their criminal records.

Who Is Eligible for the Program?

Juvenile offenders who are being prosecuted for nonviolent crimes in the Richland County Family Court are eligible to participate in the program, if they:

  • are residents of Richland County;
  • have a history of using alcohol or other drugs (besides nicotine);
  • have no history of violent behavior;
  • have no history of incarceration in a long-term juvenile justice facility; and
  • meet other specific requirements.

What Is Required of Participants?

Juvenile offenders are required to participate in the program 6 to 9 months. During this time, participants must:

  • Submit to random drug tests
  • Attend family counseling sessions as scheduled
  • Provide progress reports to the judge through weekly appearances in court
  • Attend treatment sessions as scheduled

Participants and their families will also receive a variety of wraparound services to address specific needs identified through the program.

These services may include:

  • primary health care;
  • tutoring and other educational or vocational assistance;
  • mentoring specialized therapy;
  • psychiatric and psychological counseling; and
  • other types of assistance as needed.

In-home and in-school visits from staff are an important aspect of the program, as they help to gauge a participant’s progress. In addition, participants may receive sanctions and rewards as a way to promote productive behavior.

Sanctions Can Include:

  • Curfews
  • Community service
  • Deduction in points

Rewards Can Include:

  • Advancement in the program
  • Verbal praise Incentives

The judge makes all decisions regarding the offender’s involvement in the program, including rewards, sanctions.

Advancement, graduation or expulsion. The judge may reduce or increase weekly meetings and drug tests depending on the participant’s performance and progress.

What Is Required of the Family?

At least one parent or guardian of each adolescent must participate in the program with the adolescent. Parents and guardians are required to participate in family counseling sessions and in other services as needed.

How Does a Juvenile Enroll in the Program?

Participation in the program begins with a referral. The Fifth Circuit Solicitor’s Office, the public defender’s office, a private attorney or Richland County Public Defender’s Office of Juvenile Justice can make referrals.

Each referral is screened by a treatment court counselor to determine whether the offender has a history of using alcohol or other drugs, as well as by the program coordinator from the solicitor’s office to ensure that the individual meets all other eligibility requirements.

A recommendation for enrollment is then made to the family court judge who in turn makes the final decision regarding the juvenile’s participation in the program. Upon enrollment, the juvenile returns to the Juvenile Drug Treatment Court program where treatment services are provided to meet his/her needs and that of the family.

For more information or to apply please contact:

Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Program
Fifth Judicial Circuit Solicitor’s Office
Post Office Box 192
1701 Main Street
Family Court/1st Floor/West Wing
Columbia, South Carolina 29201

Phone 803.576.1650
Fax: 803.576.1592

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