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Findings From the Economic Analysis of JDC/RF: Policy Implications for Juvenile Drug Courts

NCJ Number
Date Published
Carnevale Associates, LLC and University of Arizona - Southwest Institute for Research on Women
Based on findings of the National Cross-Site Evaluation of Juvenile Drug Courts and Reclaiming Futures (JDC/RF National Cross-Site Evaluation), which assessed the implementation and impacts of five JDC/RF pilot sites, this report documents and compares JDC/RF program costs with the economic savings achieved from program impacts.
Overall, the evaluation found that the five sites produced net benefits to society that greatly exceeded JDC/RF program costs. The documented program benefits were determined from data collected before and after the JDC/RF intervention that related to traditional measures of JDC program success. These measures included crime commission, substance abuse, achievement in education, physical health, and mental health. The evaluation estimated that without the beneficial effects of the JDC/RF program, each youth enrolled in the program would have incurred $122,857 for the various consequences and treatment needed due to their adverse behavior and related health conditions. Program costs averaged $38,288 per youth. This was the cost required to produce the results in the life of each youth that changed their behavior so costly to themselves and society. Thus, the program’s investment was estimated to achieve a long-term savings of $84,569 per youth who benefited from the intervention. The report concludes that these findings provide preliminary economic justification for the JDC/RF program. 2 tables
Date Created: February 18, 2016