Leake, Walthall counties start Youth Drug Courts

Published 4:52 pm Thursday, April 16, 2009

Leake and Walthall counties have started juvenile drug court programs.

The two programs are the first in the state to operate at the chancery court level under the supervision of part-time youth court referees.

Juveniles ages 12 to 17 who have been referred to the Youth Court for nonviolent offenses will participate in the Walthall County program. They are expected to be under the supervision of the court for about a year. They will be tested for drugs and have a curfew.

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In Leake County, juveniles ages 13 to 17 are expected to remain under the supervision of the court for nine to 15 months, depending on their progress.

Participants will be subject to twice weekly drug testing at the start of the program. They also will be randomly screened for alcohol.