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OJJDP Juvenile Drug Court Guidelines Project: Juvenile Drug Court Listening Sessions

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2016
117 pages
This report reviews the first of two phases of a program of "listening sessions" on Juvenile Drug Treatment Court (JDTC) sites, so as to gain input and information pertinent to the development of guidelines for JDTCs.
The first phase of the listening sessions, which is the focus of this report, involved on-site visits to five JDTCs to gain information about their structure and operation. The second phase, which will be the subject of another report, involved webinars to obtain input on the draft guidelines. Five JDTC sites agreed to participate in listening sessions with the American Institutes for Research (ADR) team. A structured information-collection procedure developed specifically for the on-site listening sessions was conducted at each site. Findings from the data and information obtained during the listening sessions are summarized in this report, as are common themes and reflections that informed guidelines development. Recommendations are offered for broad juvenile justice court reform. Judicial leadership both on and off the bench was crucial at each site. Although judges made final decisions, drug court teams worked collaboratively in making consensus decisions in treatment-offender matching. Committed and qualified staff should be assigned to JDTCs. Some staff members believed that holding youth accountable for their infractions was sometimes neglected in the therapeutic model. Staff team meetings were held prior to each drug court hearing. The court's engagement with parents and families was minimal. Treatment services were most often generic across populations, with little focus on the effectiveness of treatments or outcomes. Implications for JDTC guidelines are drawn from the aforementioned and other findings contained in this report. 23 exhibits and appended supplementary methodological information and materials

Date Published: November 1, 2016