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Successful Implementation of a Model Juvenile Treatment Court Program: Anne Arundel County, MD Juvenile Treatment Court Program Producing Community Outcomes

NCJ Number
Robert A. Kirchner Ph.D.; Thomas R. Kirchner M.S.
Date Published
March 2007
18 pages
This is a summary report of a process and outcome evaluation of the Anne Arundel County Juvenile Treatment Court (Maryland), which is a specialty court for youth with drug use as a factor in their delinquent behavior.
The process evaluation found that the Anne Arundel County Juvenile Treatment Court (AACJTC) has continued to improve its operation over the 5 years of its existence, becoming more cost-effective during the last 3 years than in its first 2 years of operation. The outcome evaluation shows that the AACJTC has reduced reoffending. Only 8.6 percent of the youth processed have reoffended through March 2007, which is a significant improvement over the 31-percent reoffending rate in February 2005. The average juvenile drug offender reoffends at a 78-percent rate. The AACJTC has also been successful in retaining clients in treatment; a 68.5-percent retention rate continues to be met, which far exceeds the average 28-percent retention rate reported in research on substance abuse treatment programs. The program has produced 55 graduates as of March 5, 2007, with a doubling of the number of graduates in the past 12 months. Program components and achievements that have contributed to an effective program include judicial review with cooperative input from all drug court team members; improved delivery of Moral Reconation Therapy, a cognitive behavioral therapy that has proven effective in accelerating a client's recovery; strength-based approaches to programming; supervision supported by juvenile probation services; a custom-designed management information system; parent/guardian and family therapy; community partnerships; and cost-saving through reductions in confinement time. The process and outcome evaluation was conducted from March 2002 to March 2007. 1 table and 3 figures