U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Merging Reclaiming Futures Into Juvenile Drug Courts: Lessons Learned for Implementation

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2015
5 pages
Based on the findings of the National Cross-Site Evaluation of Juvenile Drug Courts and Reclaiming Futures (JDC/RF), the current report features recommendations for the implementation and management of such programs.
The distinctiveness of these pilot programs is their integration of the promoted program components of juvenile drug courts with the processing model promoted by Reclaiming Futures. The RF model is based on six core steps that use community integration to improve juvenile justice. The integration of JDC strategies and the RF steps creates an innovative approach that improves outcomes for drug-involved youth by serving both youth and their families with coordinated services that prepare youth to have responsible, fulfilling lives that serve their communities. Eleven recommendations are presented based on lessons learned from the evaluation of the pilot sites. First, train judicial leaders in JDC and RF approaches as well as aspects of substance abuse treatment. Second, encourage the judicial leader to be involved in and provide guidance for all levels of programmatic decisions. Third, leverage team members' strengths to foster teamwork. Fourth, determine early in the process what information can be shared. Fifth, work across participating agencies to develop an efficient data-collection and information-sharing system. Sixth, use an evidence-based treatment model proven to serve the targeted population and continually reassess its effectiveness. Seventh, use a standardized clinical screening tool early in case processing. Eighth, begin treatment before formal admission to the program. Ninth, conduct and regularly update surveys of community-based youth services. Tenth, develop a formal community engagement structure that identifies available resources for youth. Eleventh, reduce procedural/logistical barriers to engaging youths' families.

Date Published: July 1, 2015