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Youth Earn a Second Chance Through Drug Court

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mortarboard and diploma

August 11, 2010

It is graduation time for San Diego’s Juvenile Drug Court.  Youth who have successfully kicked their drug habits will graduate from the San Diego County Juvenile Drug Court program on Thursday, August 12.  A Celebration of Success Ceremony will be held for 73 graduates, their family, and friends. 

“Many of these kids come from challenging homes in tough neighborhoods,” said Mack Jenkins, Chief Probation Officer, San Diego County Probation Department. “These kids have overcome insurmountable odds to become healthy and productive youth in their communities.” 

Watch video from previous graduation

Juvenile Drug Court is a national intervention program for minors who are on probation and are having difficulty staying sober.  It is a highly successful, collaborative effort involving county agencies, programs, parents, and the adolescents themselves.  The graduating teens have not only kicked their drug habit, some have achieved what is sometimes their first success in life.  

The San Diego County Juvenile Drug Court program is a 9-month program that intensively supervises juvenile drug abusers who are non-violent, but have repeated failures with drug-treatment programs. The youth receive incentives for positive behavior and a series of graduated sanctions for noncompliance.  The program is led by a team of judges, probation officers, juvenile recovery specialists, a deputy district attorney, and a public defender.

The keynote speaker for the graduation ceremony will be football player Christopher Johnson, who played in the NFL with the Vikings, and in the Canadian Football League.

Partnering agencies for the San Diego County Juvenile Drug Court program are the San Diego Superior Court, the District Attorney, the Public Defender, the Probation Department, Vista Hill, SAY San Diego and the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency. 

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