Costa Rica: Advancing Juvenile Substance Abuse Treatment Protocol

Through the Juvenile Restorative Justice Program in Costa Rica, NCSC is promoting a restorative and trauma-informed approach to juvenile justice and substance abuse treatment while strengthening the efficiency of services.

In October, NCSC and the National Directorate of Restorative Justice conducted a training at the Institute for Municipal Development (IFAM) in San Jose to advance the adoption of a juvenile substance abuse treatment protocol. Attendees included judicial branch staff, the Institute for Alcohol and Drug Dependence (IAFA), the National Children's Trust, the National Psychiatric Hospital. The protocol serves as a framework for managing interactions among the judiciary, child welfare agencies and other state officials involved in juvenile justice, child welfare, treatment and recovery.

To further advance the adoption of the protocol, NCSC led two roundtables in the Limon region. Attendees included law enforcement, community groups, and faith-based organizations, to sensitize a broad spectrum of actors who are vital to restorative justice approaches. The roundtable covered the types of substance abuse by young people and restorative juvenile justice approaches that improve outcomes for communities and for young people.

The Juvenile Restorative Justice Program in Costa Rica is implemented by NCSC and funded by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).