Franklin County Juvenile Drug Court
MAY IS DRUG COURT AWARENESS MONTH
Franklin County Juvenile Drug Court is Transforming Lives
Franklin County Juvenile Drug Court is only 1 of 7 Juvenile Drug Courts in the State of Virginia. What a privilege for Franklin County, those youth who have gone through the program, and the parents who now feel they have gotten their child back—the one that existed before drugs and alcohol. Recently a parent of a child who graduated from the program wrote, “What do you say to a group of people that worked tirelessly for the better part of two years to save your child? Thank you seems very inadequate”.
The theme of the Franklin County Drug Court Program is “Transforming Lives”. Substance use often is the cover for pain and trauma that has occurred in a person’s life. Substances such as drugs and alcohol numb the feelings associated with that pain and trauma, and so it becomes easy for the cycle of addiction to continue. The Franklin County Juvenile Drug Court Program focuses on healing relationships and strengthening family connections. Frequent drug screens, praise for positive behaviors, and encouragement tend to help youth to become drug and alcohol free. A team of professionals—social workers, a probation officer, attorneys, a police officer, a surveillance officer, and therapists under the guidance of Judge Deanna Stone—develop healthy connections and set appropriate boundaries and consequences when needed. The intensive community based program is a 12 month commitment by a youth (with a substance use diagnosis and a criminal record) and that youth’s parents who participant in parenting groups and therapy as needed.
During the month of May especially, please give consideration to the pain caused by substance use and be thankful that Franklin County has been so fortunate to have a program that can heal the pain and Transform Lives.
History of the Franklin County Juvenile Drug Court
The Franklin County Juvenile Drug Court Program is an intense 12 month community based program which focuses on individual treatment for the juvenile participant and his/her parents or custodians.
Comments from former Drug Court Participants
- ”Being able to bond with great kids and their families who have been in my shoes and my parents’—it makes you feel less lonely when someone understands and doesn’t immediately judge you and push you away. I want to show people that you can change and just because you make mistakes doesn’t mean you’re no good anymore…..This experience is something I will never forget.”
- As my friend, I thought you (alcohol) were helping me out through hard times—I thought you were there for me when I needed it. But alcohol eventually turned from friend to foe, causing trouble and family strife. . . . I like myself better when I’m not drinking and I can stay out of trouble. I like myself better when I’m not drinking because my family wants me around more now.”
- “I was an aggressive and out of control teenager addicted to marijuana and alcohol…. I would like to thank my family, my friends, and most importantly the Drug Court team for never giving up on me and always pushing me to do my best”.