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National Cross-Site Evaluation: Juvenile Drug Courts and Reclaiming Futures: Final Report: 7/1/2011-6/30/2015

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2015
177 pages
This report presents the findings and methodology of an independent cross-site evaluation of five juvenile drug courts that merged two existing models to create an innovative approach for managing juveniles with drug-related and other behavioral problems.
The two models merged in the programs are the juvenile drug court model and the Reclaiming Futures model (JDC/RF). The intent of this merger of the two models was to improve the effectiveness and efficacy of juvenile drug courts. The evaluation determined that three activities of the integrated JDC/RF model were related to positive substance use outcomes. These activities are community engagement and collaborative partnerships, educational linkages, and a community transition phase. The JDC/RF programs that emphasized these program elements were more effective in impacting days of substance use at 6 months post-intake compared to JDC/RF programs that implemented these activities to a lesser extent. The program elements that were effective in reducing criminal behavior that might be unrelated to substance use were using a non-adversarial approach, educational linkages with the school system, and using sanctions to modify non-compliance. The program element that positively impacted both substance use and criminal behavior was the use of gender-appropriate treatment. The JDC/RF integrated model produced a net savings of $84,569 per youth, and findings suggest that it is possible for other jurisdictions to replicate the outcomes of the JDC/RF model in their own programs. The evaluation conducted a meta-analysis that compared the JDC/RF programs, JDC-only programs, and programs with intensive outpatient components. The JDC/RF programs were more effective than the other models in reducing both substance use and criminal behavior. 44 figures, 40 tables, and approximately 100 references

Date Published: December 1, 2015