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Juvenile Drug Courts: A Process, Outcome, and Impact Evaluation
(NCJ 248406) May 2015
Bulletin, 12 page(s)
Lesli Blair, Carrie Sullivan, Edward Latessa, and Christopher J. Sullivan
This bulletin provides an overview of an Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention-sponsored evaluation of drug court intervention programs, their processes, and key outcome features. The authors evaluated nine juvenile drug courts from three U.S. regions to assess the relative effects of each courtís effectiveness and the nine courtsí combined effectiveness in reducing recidivism and improving youthís social functioning. Seven of the nine sites saw higher rates of new referrals and new adjudications for drug court youth when compared with youth on traditional probation, and only one site saw significant reductions. Positive outcomes may be due to evidence-based treatment the referral agencies provided to youth on the courtís behalf. Many of the courts, however, were not adequately assessing their clients for risk, needs, and barriers to treatment success. Only two of the nine courts performed well in the process evaluation measuring adherence to evidence-based correctional treatment practices, and only one courtís referral agencies performed well in the process evaluation.