July | August 2017

OJJDP Presentation Provides Overview of New Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Guidelines

Substance use by youth is a widespread problem in the United States. Often coinciding with mental health disorders, substance use may impede proper adolescent development. Juvenile drug treatment courts are designed for youth with substance use disorders who come into contact with the juvenile justice system. These courts offer an important way to respond to the needs of youth with specialized interventions.

Thumbnail image of OJJDP's Juvenile Drug Treatment Court GuidelinesOn July 9–12, 2017, the National Association of Drug Court Professionals held its annual training conference in Washington, DC. More than 5,000 drug treatment court professionals attended the conference for continuing education opportunities, workshops, and general sessions.

One of the highlights of the conference was an OJJDP presentation on the new Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Guidelines. These evidence-based and treatment-oriented guidelines are intended to improve the quality and effectiveness of juvenile drug treatment courts.

Each guideline works toward achieving reduced substance use, healthy adolescent development, and reduced youth delinquency. The publication includes summaries of the research that underlies each guideline statement and offers examples and information about practice and implementation.

Until now, juvenile drug treatment courts have had no research-based guidelines to follow. OJJDP partnered with a research team, experts in the field, and other federal agencies to develop these guidelines, which will benefit judges and professional court staff, young people with substance abuse disorders, and their families.


Access the Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Guidelines.

To learn about an innovative approach for managing juveniles with drug-related and other behavioral problems, read National Cross-Site Evaluation: Juvenile Drug Courts and Reclaiming Futures: Final Report: 7/1/2011-6/30/2015.