Youth drug treatment court (YTC) focuses on juvenile delinquency (e.g., criminal) matters and status offenses (e.g., truancy) that involve substance-using youths. YTC works with non-violent, juvenile offenders whose drug and / or alcohol use is negatively impacting their lives at home, in school, and the community.
The YTC is designed to provide immediate and continuous court intervention that includes requiring the child and family to participate in treatment, submit to frequent drug testing, appear at frequent court status hearings, and comply with other court conditions geared to accountability, rehabilitation, long-term sobriety and cessation of criminal activity.
To be eligible to participate in any local youth drug treatment court, an individual must:
- Be under the jurisdiction of the district court pursuant to Chapter 7B of the General Statutes;
- Have significant substance abuse problem that contributes to the problems in the home, school or community; and
- Meet all other reasonable eligibility requirements established by the local program.
The N.C. Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services (DMHDDSAS) plan identifies all target populations and also notes that with limited funds for treatment, there are "priority populations within target populations." The DMHDDSAS juvenile substance abuse priority populations are defined as:
- Children and adolescents who are involved in the juvenile justice or the social services system, who are having problems in school or whose parent(s) are receiving substance abuse treatment services.
- Adult and child deaf persons who need special services provided by staff who have American Sign Language skills and knowledge of the deaf culture.
- Adult and child clients who have co-occurring physical disabilities.
- Adult and child homeless clients.