The philosophy of the program is to ensure youth are being held accountable for their actions, their treatment needs are being assessed and their risk to the community is addressed.
The approach is intended to provide a balanced and consistent method of dealing with the youth and his/her referral. This is accomplished through the use of required protocols and consequences for all referral levels. These protocols are equally applied to all cases that indicate sufficient grounds to proceed in court.
Process of handling first-time referrals
First time MIP/PCS (Minor in Possession of Alcohol, Possession of Marijuana <1oz) cases are handled through local community Diversion Panels. There exists 11 Diversion Panels within each City of Clackamas County. These panels are comprised of community volunteers and coordinated though the Juvenile Department. The Diversion Panel Coordinator reads and reviews each police report. This is followed by scheduling a face-to-face interview with the youth and his/her family. The initial interview is used to determine the level of the youth's risk both to self and/or community in relationship to his/her substance abuse related behaviors. This contact is also used to inform the youth and family of potential consequences for the youth's behavior. The youth and family may be provided the option of meeting with a volunteer community panel and sign a Diversion Program Agreement, which will include at a minimum:
- no further violations of any criminal laws or ordinances;
- not possess or consume any alcohol or illegal drugs;
- satisfactorily complete a drug/alcohol evaluation/education program; and
- maintain regular contact with the counselor assigned.
This agreement may also include, at the Panel's discretion:
- random urinalysis testing;
- community service work;
- an essay on drugs or alcohol; and
- sanctions for repeat offenders.
Sanctions for repeat offenders
Any youth who receives a second drug/alcohol violation will be referred to MIP Court. The youth and family will receive a letter scheduling them for a group intake meeting and then court. This intake will be used to give information on the court process and what to expect.
At the initial court hearing, the youth's rights are explained and the youth will be asked to enter a plea. If the youth admits, the Judge will proceed and determine the disposition of the case. At the time of the hearing, the Juvenile Counselor will make a recommendation which may include:
- suspension of driving privileges for one year or until the age of 17, (whichever is longer). Note: The suspension of driving privileges is mandatory for any alcohol or drug related conviction;
- a fine or money judgment order (to be waived if successfully completed MIP Court Sanctions);
- community service work; and/or
- completion of a drug evaluation with drug and alcohol education, evaluation, counseling, treatment, or support groups.
If the youth is going to deny the charge, a contested hearing will be scheduled before the Circuit Court Judge handling juvenile matters.
For further information regarding MIP/PCS charges, contact the Clackamas County Juvenile Department at 503-655-8342ext. 6142.
Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUII)
In 2005, Clackamas County Juvenile Court retained jurisdiction over Juvenile DUII (Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants) crimes in Clackamas County. Clackamas County Juvenile Department is committed to providing intensive supervision for DUII youth offenders in order to promote positive outcomes and reduce recidivism rates. In the juvenile justice system youth engage in treatment specifically designed for adolescents, have active family involvement and access to numerous resources in order to support their success. Research indicates with more intensive supervision and appropriate treatment interventions, youth have better outcomes for success.
Other drug services
Referrals to the Clackamas County Juvenile Department regarding felony drug charges are assigned to a Juvenile Department Counselor who will respond by developing a plan which takes into consideration public safety, treatment/education issues and concerns, and appropriate sanctions.