Development and Testing of Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Guidelines

Teenager and counselor

When young persons are arrested for offenses involving substance use, juvenile drug courts (JDCs) can provide coordinated community treatment and recovery services to help youth succeed. Many JDCs, however, face challenges that limit their effectiveness: incomplete understanding and inconsistent implementation of best practices, lack of evidence-based treatments, and insufficient readiness to adopt, implement, and sustain effective interventions, delivered with quality.

The goal of this project is to synthesize all evidence from juvenile drug treatment courts to determine the implementation components associated with the best outcomes and to supplement this understanding with research from related fields and interventions serving the same target population. AIR developed a systematic, transparent, evidence-based protocol to review and translate the extant research about juvenile drug courts and related interventions into comprehensive, reasonable, actionable, understandable, and measurable guidelines.