U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Juvenile Drug Courts: Strategies in Practice

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2003
82 pages
This report is a guide in the planning, operating, and implementation of juvenile drug courts and organized around 16 strategies reflecting the most current thinking in the design of juvenile drug courts.
A juvenile drug court is a docket within a juvenile court to which selected delinquency cases are referred for handling by a designated judge. The youth referred are identified as having problems with alcohol and/or other drugs. Juvenile drug courts are typically initiated to provide intensive judicial intervention and supervision of juveniles and families involved in substance abuse. The juvenile drug court is a unique, community-based approach that assists in the rehabilitation of substance-abusing youth. Based on the experience of juvenile drug courts in operation since the mid-1990's, this report funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance presents 16 strategies and recommendations in the planning, operating, and implementing of juvenile drug courts. The strategies provide a framework for evaluation and research and include: (1) collaborative planning; (2) teamwork; (3) clearly defined target population and eligibility criteria; (4) judicial involvement and supervision; (5) monitoring and evaluation; (6) community partnerships; (7) comprehensive treatment planning; (8) developmentally appropriate services; (9) gender-appropriate services; (10) cultural competence; (11) focus on strengths; (12) family engagement; (13) educational linkages; (14) drug testing; (15) goal-oriented incentive and sanctions; and (16) confidentiality. Through dissemination, these strategies may encourage program accountability and stimulate research. The strategies and recommendations are intended to be adapted to the unique characteristics of each court and the community it serves. References