Juvenile Drug Court (JDC)


Teens in trouble with the legal system sometimes also get involved with alcohol or addictive drug abuse. Teens that are unable to fulfill the conditions of probation, and are unable to abstain from alcohol and/or drugs, may be recommended for entrance into Juvenile Drug Court (JDC). The Juvenile Drug Court Program provides referred teens with a range of services intensive case management, support, drug testing and family therapy while they are under close supervision by the Probation Department.

Juvenile Drug Court (JDC) in San Diego County works in close collaboration with multiple public and private agencies using a national best practice model. Judges of the Superior Court, the offices of the Public Defender and District Attorney, Probation Department and Vista Hill’s Juvenile Drug Court (JDC) Program work closely with each enrolled teen.

Juvenile Drug Court (JDC) Services
  • Juvenile Recovery Specialists provide:
  • Intensive case management
  • Supportive contacts and interventions
  • Drug testing to ensure compliance
  • Family therapy
  • Progress reports to Superior Court and Probation
Professional Staff

Juvenile Recovery Specialists (JRS) hold certification as alcohol and drug counselors. Many hold AA or BS / BS degrees in addition to certification.

Who is Eligible?

Teens supervised by San Diego County Probation between the ages of 12 – 18 who are referred by a probation officer and accepted by Superior Court are eligible.

All Juvenile Drug Court services are provided free of charge to the teen and family and are paid under contract with the County of San Diego, Behavioral Health Services.

Client Profile

The typical Juvenile Drug Court client can be a boy or girl around 6 years of age.  Their unlawful breaking behavior is non-violent but severe or frequent enough in nature that he or she has been in probation supervision for several years.  Irregular school attendance, low grades and family dysfunction is common. The teen shows a high number of risk factors for interpersonal difficulties, handling stress, school attendance, family turmoil and unlawful behavior. Teens that complete Juvenile Drug Court generally replace a host of risk factors with resilient protective factors leading to ongoing sobriety and completion of probation.