The purpose of juvenile probation is to protect the community while assisting young people to avoid delinquent behavior and to grow into socially responsible adults. Youth on probation are supervised in the community, in the schools, and in their homes.
The specific goals of probation supervision are to:
Basic Tasks and Duties:
Juvenile probation officers are required to conduct pre-disposition assessments, including assessing risks and needs, and developing individualized supervision plans, presenting court reports, supervising youth, providing appropriate incentives and consequences, monitoring completion of the supervision plans, and closing cases upon completion.
2. Washtenaw County Juvenile Drug Court (JDC)
To reach enhanced public safety by reducing future drug-related offenses by children and young adults in Washtenaw County through community partnerships, led by a court supervised drug treatment program for court-involved juvenile offenders and their families that builds upon their strengths and provides offenders with the resources and skills to become drug free, responsible citizens.
Goals of the Juvenile Drug Court:
The Juvenile Drug Court Team:
The JDC is operated on a collaborative basis and includes, but is not limited to, representatives from the following departments/disciplines:
Who is Eligible for the Program?
Any court involved juvenile between the ages of 13 and 16 ½ years old who has been charged with a crime other than a violent crime, sexual offense or capital offense is eligible for acceptance into the JDC Program. Eligible JDC participants are identified early through appropriate screening and assessment tools and are placed according to their needs within a continuum of alcohol and drug treatment services including residential treatment programming and, short-term and long-term intensive outpatient treatment programming.
Parents/guardians and other household members are critical to the rehabilitation of youth and their successful completion of the Washtenaw County Juvenile Drug Court program. Parents/Guardians are required to attend the JDC orientation with their child, and to attend court status review hearings, parent meetings, and family treatment sessions as indicated by each phase of the program. While the program may be flexible to accommodate families’ particular needs, parents and other household members are also required to submit to drug testing as requested by treatment or probation staff. Household members are not permitted to use drugs or alcohol or maintain them in their homes during the program. Because all families have different strengths and challenges, household members may be required to attend other evaluations or treatment programs. The Court will enforce the legal obligation of parents to participate in the Juvenile Drug Court and, if needed, will use any necessary sanctions to enforce that participation. In addition to fully participating themselves, it is important that parents/guardians support the Drug Court by requiring their son/daughter to comply with the court and the rules of the program.
Participants are drug and alcohol tested randomly at the Court’s or treatment program’s discretion throughout the entire Juvenile Drug Court program. All urine sample collections are observed by the collecting team member or contracted agent. If a test is missed, the urine sample tampered with, or if a participant is unable to void, it will count as a positive test
Program phases determine the frequency of drug and alcohol testing. The use of any prescription mediations must be reported to the JDC probation officer and approved by the drug court team. The cost of challenging a positive test with additional lab testing will be at the expense of the youth and her or his family if the positive result is confirmed
Positive tests will result in sanctions.
School & Skill Building
The school participants attend a year-round, on-site, fully accredited educational program staffed by the Washtenaw Intermediate School District (WISD). Classes include core academics following the Michigan curriculum guidelines, physical education, and academic work geared to the participant’s specific learning needs. The program also offers GED study if it is appropriate for an individual student.
All teachers are special education certified and there is a full-time WISD school social worker on staff. JDC participants earn high school credits while attending the school program and those credits fully transfer back to the participant’s home school. Additionally, participants are supported in their transition back to their home school during the Aftercare Phase of the program so that they can continue to be successful.
In addition to substance abuse treatment, and academic studies, competency development activities and skill building groups are facilitated at least twice weekly. Competency development activities include, but are not limited to, volunteer projects in our community, and trips to museums and sporting events. Skills building groups include, but are not limited to anger management, victim awareness and developing and maintaining healthy relationships.
Incentives and Sanctions
A regular and important part of this program is public recognition and praise offered by the Drug Court Judge/Referee and team at the regularly scheduled status review hearings. Participants receive certificates that document their progression through the program phases. Other incentives (rewards) might include extensions of curfew, reduction in supervision requirements, gift certificates, group outings, assistance with obtaining hobby supplies and lessons for such things as music, art, dance, etc.
A range of sanctions (penalties) can be implemented in response to non-compliance with program requirements. Any sanction or combination of sanctions may be imposed, based on the extent of the program violation. Sanctions include, but are not limited to participant prepared verbal reports at status review hearings, writing assignments, letters of apology, community service, loss of privileges, increased drug testing, electronic tether and/or detention.
Some youth participating at the intensive outpatient level of the program may be moved to our residential treatment program if it is determined he or she is in need of increased treatment and monitoring. This is not considered a sanction, but an opportunity to receive the level of services needed to support a drug-free lifestyle.
Phases of the Juvenile Drug Court Program
The Washtenaw County JDC program is a four-phase, 9 to 18 month program. The frequency of court hearings, probation contacts, treatment sessions (group and individual), drug testing, and other program requirements is in large part determined by the phase in which a participant is in. These program requirements generally decrease as participants progress through the phases, but can be increased if necessary to meet the individual needs of youth.
Successful Graduation from the Juvenile Drug Court Program
In order to successfully complete the Juvenile Drug Court program and be dismissed from the jurisdiction of the Court participants are required to pass all phases of the program and remain drug and alcohol free for at least 12 consecutive weeks (90 days). Additionally, all restitution, court costs, community service or other probationary orders must be fulfilled.
Graduation from the Juvenile Drug Court program is recognized as a very important event. Friends and loved ones will be invited to join graduates at a special ceremony as the Drug Court team congratulates youth and their families for successfully completing the program and achieving their goal to establish a drug-free life.
Additional Resources and Information:
Juvenile Drug Court Coordinator
3. Intensive Probation
The purpose of intensive probation supervision is to protect the community while holding serious or chronic offenders accountable for their acts and increasing their skills and competencies. Intensive Probation is based on the philosophy of risk control, incorporating containment, accountability, and rehabilitative goals through a combination of highly structured supervision and services. Intensive probation supervision includes:
4. Night Surveillance
The purpose of Night Surveillance is to enhance community safety through in-home, on-scene, and face-to-face crisis intervention; providing daily monitoring of youth’s activities outside of court hours. Night surveillance attempts to build and support family problem solving skills and facilitate pro-social interactions to better structure youth’s time, choices, and relationships.
5. Sex Offender Caseload
The purpose of sexual offender probation is to safely supervise youth charged with criminal sexual conduct in the least restrictive placement while protecting the community and decreasing the risk of re-offending through supervision, counseling and treatment. All eligible cases are assigned to one caseworker, knowledgeable in sex offender treatment and supervision/management standards, to assure consistent and comprehensive case planning, enhance collaboration with and oversight of the treatment provider, and effective risk management.
A number of variables are considered in determining the level of court supervision and intervention. Youth charged with a sex offense or related charge may be placed in a treatment alternative to adjudication, regular probation, intensive supervision, or in residential placement. Regardless of the intervention, the primary case plan goals include sex offender specific therapy, accountability, empathy development and victim restoration, enhancing parental support and control, all toward the end of enhancing community safety through reducing the risk of recidivism.
6. Juvenile Detention Center
Washtenaw County Children’s Services operates a 40-bed secure detention facility for the temporary care of court ordered youth. Program elements include:
7. Drug Testing
The purpose of drug testing services is to identify, monitor, and deter drug use and to provide data in assessing treatment needs. Drug screening may occur randomly, three times per week to once per month, at the discretion of the probation officer. A youth may be directed to provide a urine screen immediately if at any time by the assigned probation officer suspects recent drug use.
8. Electronic Monitoring (Tether)
The purpose of the tether is to enhance community safety and increase individual accountability by restricting and monitoring the movement of high risk or chronic probation violating youth in the community. The tether is an electronic monitoring device that provides a short-term alternative to secure detention (pre or post-adjudication) that allows a juvenile to remain in the community under close supervision and restricted movements.
The Juvenile Court contracts with a service provider to provide equipment, monitor compliance, and provide daily reports to the probation officer. Youth are court ordered to follow the rules of the tether program that include remaining in their homes unless given permission to leave by court staff, mandatory attendance at school and treatment sessions, no visitors in the home, and requires increased supervision by parents. The tether program is generally 15 to 45 days.