Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2013, $712,707)
This program furthers the Department's mission by providing grants and cooperative agreements for research and evaluation activities to organizations that OJJDP designates.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) and OJJDP combined efforts in 2007 with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJ) to improve the effectiveness and efficacy of juvenile drug courts. These agencies and the private foundation sponsored an initiative to rehabilitate nonviolent, substance-abusing youth by integrating two models: The Juvenile Drug Court (JDC): Strategies in Practice and the RWJ Reclaiming Futures Model (RF). RF has operated in Juvenile Drug Courts and had been shown to improve outcomes by linking community system reforms, substance abuse treatment, and community engagement to break the cycle of drug use and crime. Combined, the two models form a systems approach to the delivery of juvenile drug court services to rehabilitate youth by using evidence-based practices.
The purpose of the proposed project, the FY12 Cohort Juvenile Drug Court/Reclaiming Futures Evaluation (JDC/RF), is to expand a national cross-site evaluation of the JDC/RF initiative currently underway by including the three new grantees of the FY12 Cohort in the evaluation. This current evaluation, being conducted by the University of Arizona's Southwest Institute for Research on Women (SIROW), is multi-purposed. It focuses on describing what is involved in the implementation of JDC and RF (e.g., trainings), describing the process of integrating and implementing JDC and RF, and the influence of the implementation of the integrated JDC/RF on the system (e.g., how changes and what changes are made to the juvenile drug court system), evaluating the services provided by the JDC/RF program (e.g., what is provided, who is served, and are the services effective), and evaluating the cost effectiveness of JDC/RF programs. Findings of this evaluation will inform the literature on juvenile substance abuse by adding to the paucity of research on the effectiveness of juvenile drug courts and adolescent treatment. Findings will also inform the field regarding the effectiveness of JDC/RF programs on program performance (e.g., type of services provided) and client outcomes (e.g., substance use and criminal involvement). Findings will be used to inform policy and practice of all juvenile drug courts and implementation of the integrated JDC/RF model at more juvenile drug courts. Including the FY12 Cohort of JDC/RF grantees in SIROW's current evaluation will increase the sample of JDC/RF programs being evaluated, thereby strengthening the evaluation and increasing the potential impact of evaluation findings.