The Act 53 Program is a court monitored program which addresses the involuntary commitment of minors, ages 12-17, who have drug and alcohol treatment needs.
If a parent or guardian thinks a minor is dependent on drugs or alcohol, he or she may file an Act 53 petition through the Act 53 Coordinator in Juvenile Court. Act 53 Petitions are presented to a Motions Judge who will determine if the facts alleged are sufficient to schedule the case for a hearing, appoint counsel for the juvenile and order the juvenile to undergo a drug and alcohol assessment.
When cases proceed to a hearing, the court will determine whether a juvenile is dependent on drugs and/or alcohol and will order either in-patient or out-patient treatment. If the juvenile is committed to an Act 53 treatment program, review hearings will be scheduled approximately every 45 days to check on the juvenile’s progress. If the child is successfully following and completing the program, the parent/guardian can ask the judge to close the case.
If the judge does not close the case, the reviews will be scheduled until satisfactory progress is made.
Information on filing an Act 53 petition can be obtained by sending an email to the Act 53 Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 412-301-8232.