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Evaluation of the Lewiston Family Treatment Drug Court: A Process and Intermediate Outcome Evaluation

NCJ Number
Andrew Ferguson M.A.; Helaine Hornby M.A.; Dennis Zeller, M.S.S.W., Ph.D.
Date Published
December 2007
43 pages
This study provides a process and intermediate outcome assessment of the Lewiston Family Drug Court Program (LFDC) in Maine.
Highlights of key findings include: 1) the Lewiston Family Drug Court (LFDC) has developed a strong integrated model, reflective of accepted best practice in the field of drug court programming; 2) family drug court participants were more likely to enter into and subsequently complete treatment than comparison groups who received conventional case processing; 3) once returned home, children of family drug court participants were less likely to experience a subsequent removal from the home; 4) children of family drug court participants spent less time in foster care generating lower foster care costs than comparison groups; and 5) five drug-free babies were born to mothers participating in the family drug court program. In follow-up to the program evaluation, four recommendations were offered, designed to improve the performance of the system for better outcomes: 1) expand the capacity of the LFDC Program; 2) continue efforts aimed at reducing the amount of time it takes to be admitted into the LFDC; 3) narrow the range of sanctions imposed for certain violations of the family drug court contract; and 4) collaborate with treatment agencies to expand the range of treatment options for family drug court participants. The LFDC, in Maine is a specialized civil court proceeding responsible for handling child protective custody cases involving substance abuse by parents or other caregivers. The overall purpose of this evaluation was to determine whether the LFDC is more effective than traditional court settings in helping parents with substance abuse problems achieve better parent and parent-child outcomes. Tables, figures, and references