Blog: Juvenile Treatment Drug Court

Juvenile Drug Courts & Reclaiming Futures -- Evaluation Grant Opportunity

juvenile-drug-courts_abstract-shapesAre you a researcher with a background or interest in juvenile drug courts? Know someone who fits the bill?
Then check out a new grant solicitation from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to evaluate juvenile drug courts implemented with the Reclaiming Futures model. These sites have also been funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
This goal of this three-year grant is "to conduct an independent evaluation of the combined effects of the two interventions to determine what system-level changes may result in increased efficiencies and cost effectiveness."
Objectives(as listed in the solicitation):

  1. Assess the operations of juvenile drug courts/Reclaiming Futures model using established indices for performance, efficiencies, and cost effectiveness.
  2. Improve the empirical knowledge base about juvenile drug courts and the Reclaiming Futures model.
  3. Analyze the efficacy of combined efforts of juvenile drug courts and the Reclaiming Futures model.
  4. Conduct case studies using administrative, collaboration, and quality indices and the sixteen (16) key elements of juvenile drug courts.
  5. Evaluate the potential for replication of these models

Application deadline is August 20, 2010.

Juvenile Drug Courts and Reclaiming Futures Highlighted in Attorney General's Speech

The Department of Justice's ongoing work to integrate juvenile drug courts and the Reclaiming Futures model was highlighted by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder when he addressed the opening session of a conference held by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) on June 3, 2010. If you click on the video above, you'll see he speaks briefly about the administration's overall efforts to draw on innovative approaches to adolescent substance abuse around 14:40.
In the same segment, he indicates that three more juvenile drug court awards will be made this fall jointly with the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) -- and he also mentions that a summit on adolescent recovery is planned for this fall. Looking forward to that! 

Juvenile Drug Courts: Why You Should Avoid Using UA Levels in Drug Court Proceedings

If you are involved in running a juvenile drug court, do you ask any of the following questions when you get UA results back for your clients? And do these affect how you or the court sanctions the young person? 

  • "How positive is s/he?"
  • "Are his/her levels increasing or decreasing?"
  • "Does the result mean s/he just used?" 

juvenile-drug-court_NDCI-fact-sheetThose are the wrong questions to ask -- and are especially concerning if teens are being sanctioned based on the answers to these questions -- according to "Urine Drug Concentrations: The Scientific Rationale For Eliminating The Use Of Drug Test Levels In Drug Court Proceedings," by Paul L. Cary, director of the Toxicology and Drug Monitoring Laboratory at University of Missouri Health Care in Columbia Missouri. Though this fact sheet was published by the National Drug Court Institute in January 2004, it's still relevant today.
Here's my gloss of the article:

Juvenile Justice Reform: What Happens When You Lose a Team Member?

juvenile-justice-reform_moody-picture-of-treesOn Monday, April 19th 2010, Nassau County’s Family Court Deputy County Attorney’s Office was advised that the county was restructuring the department. Our Juvenile Treatment Court prosecutors, Gregg Roth and Arianne Reyer, were advised their services were no longer needed as of Friday, April 30th. Arianne was later given a temporary reprieve, but Gregg is gone.
This move was devastating to the treatment court and to the Reclaiming Futures initiative here, which had built a cohesive working group over the last three years. Just as when I was younger and my brother left home for the military, it had never occurred to me that anyone would ever leave our team. I am left feeling abandoned and alone with Gregg’s departure, just like I did when my brother went off to the Army. Our Nassau County Juvenile Treatment Court/Reclaiming Futures Change Team is family, and one of us is no longer here.

Roundup: Proven Practices for Improving Education and Employment for Disadvantaged Young Men - and More

juvenile-drug-courts-news-roundup_old-TVJuvenile Justice Reform News

Even More OJJDP 2010 Funding Opportunities

Funding for Training Juvenile Drug Court Teams

juvenile-drug-courts-training-grants_classroom-1940Got experience helping juvenile drug courts implement the 16 strategies needed to run an effective drug court? The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) is looking for a provider to "build the capacity of service delivery" for juvenile drug courts nationally "through providing online, Web-based, and face-to-face individual and group training sessions."
Interested in applying? "The provider should have substantial experience conducting assessments of technical assistance needs, developing and conducting training on the [s]trategies, effectively communicating and collaborating with drug courts, and conducting post-training evaluations." Deadline is June 15, 2010. 

Roundup: National Drug Court Month Field Kit and More

juvenile-drug-courts-news_old-TVJuvenile Drug Court News & a Webinar

  • Got a juvenile drug court? This May, drug courts around the country will honor National Drug Court Month by holding events with the theme "All Rise: Putting Drug Court Within Reach of Every Person in Need.” Want help or ideas on how your jurisdiction can celebrate? Download the National Drug Court Month Field Kit from the National Association of Drug Court Professionals -- there's even a national "commencement" day on Thursday, May 20, 2010. (Hat tip to Christa Myers, project director of Reclaiming Futures Hocking County, OH.)
  • While this webinar isn't specifically for juvenile drug court practitioners, it has obvious application: on May 4, 2010, the Council of State Governments' Criminal Justice/Mental Health Consensus Project is offering a webinar sponsored by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, titled,  "Working with Data for Mental Health Court Practitioners." It'll be held from 2pm - 3pm EST. Follow the link to register. For inquiries about this webinar or other webinars in the series, please email Elizabeth Meyer or call her at (646) 383-5718.

Juvenile Urine Drug Testing: the Importance of Observed Collections

adolescent-substance-abuse_drug-test-kitsThe importance of witnessed collections (for urine drug testing) cannot be over-emphasized. Urine collections that are not witnessed are of little or no abstinence assessment value because of the propensity of juvenile substance abusers not to provide a legitimate sample (denial, efforts to hide relapse/use).
The definition of “witnessed collections” is direct, full-frontal, line-of-sight observation -- basically, staring at a participant‘s genitals while he or she produces a urine sample.
Difficult? Yes! Uncomfortable? No doubt! Necessary? Absolutely critical!

Reclaiming Futures and Juvenile Drug Courts at CADCA Conference

juvenile-drug-courts_CADCA-logoAre you attending the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) 20th Annual National Leadership Forum in National Harbor, MD next week?
Come and join us to learn more about how Reclaiming Futures is being implemented through juvenile drug court grants from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).
The workshop, titled, "Juvenile Drug Courts:  Building the Model," will give an overview of juvenile drug courts -- their history, challenges, 16 strategies for developing and maintaining them, and current performance measures for success. It will also focus on OJJDP's work to build the juvenile drug court program model through its partnerships with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and Reclaiming Futures.
Gwen Williams, MSW, who is a Program manager at OJJDP, will be the primary presenter. She will be joined by Yvonne Sherrer, Community Fellow at the Reclaiming Futures site in Dayton, OH, and Christa Meyers, Project Director at the Reclaiming Futures site in Hocking County, OH
"Juvenile Drug Courts:  Building the Model" will be held on Thursday, February 11th, from 4:15 pm - 5:15 pm, in the room called "National Harbor 4/5."

$8.8 Million in Juvenile Drug Court Grants from SAMHSA

juvenile-drug-courts-SAMHSA-grants_moneyGot a juvenile drug court that's been operational for at least one year? Want to expand its treatment capacity?
Purpose of the grant: The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is giving away nearly nine million dollars to help you "expand and/or enhance substance abuse treatment services in juvenile drug courts to "provide alcohol and drug treatment, recovery support services supporting substance abuse treatment, screening, assessment, case management, and program coordination to juvenile defendants/offenders. Priority for the use of the funding should be given to addressing gaps in the existing continuum of treatment."
Award amounts: SAMHSA expects to give away 27 grants amounting to approximately $325,000/year each for up to three years.
Application deadline: Grants are due February 23, 2010.
(Photo by borman818.)

Roundup: Juvenile Drug Court Grants from SAMHSA; Juvenille Justice Reform Survey; Using the Media to Support Reform; and More

juvenile-justice-reform-old-TVJuvenile Justice System News - An Important Survey, plus Webinars and One Grant Opportunity

  • Please take or pass on this quick online survey for kids who used to be in the juvenile justice system, family members of kids in the system, and people of color new to the field of juvenile justice reform. The National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) compiled the survey to help shape its first Juvenile Justice Leadership Development Institute, which it plans to hold in July 2010. The mission of the Institute is to create a "more effective juvenile justice reform movement by developing a strong base of well prepared and well trained advocates who reflect the communities most affected by juvenile justice system practices and policies, with a particular focus on cultivating and supporting leaders of color, youth and family members." Hurry, though, the deadline to complete it is Monday, December 14th!

Juvenile Drug Courts: Evidence-Based Practices

Got a juvenile drug court? Considering starting one?
The MacArthur Foundation's juvenile justice reform initiative, Models for Change, recently released a set of evidence-based practice recommendations for juvenile drug courts.
Developed in a statewide project in Louisiana, the recommendations focus on

  1. screening and assessment;
  2. improving alcohol and drug treatment (along with treatment for co-occurring disorders); and
  3. outcome monitoring.

(Hat tip to Christa Myers of the  Reclaiming Futures initiative in Hocking County, Ohio.)
Related Post:

Roundup: Reclaiming Futures in Action; California Mulls Legalizing (and Taxing) Marijuana; and More

juvenile-justice-reform-adolescent-substance-abuse-treatment-news-TVJuvenile Justice Reform Stories

Nearly $3.7 Million in Federal Funds Awarded to Help New Reclaiming Futures Sites Turn Teen Lives Around

New federal funding has been awarded to expand the Reclaiming Futures model into three more juvenile drug courts across the country over the next four years.
The nearly $3.7 million federal investment was announced by The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). RWJF is providing approximately $1 million in additional technical assistance to implement the Reclaiming Futures model.

Juvenile Drug Court in Greene County, MO Graduates its First Youth

Reclaiming-Futures-juvenile-drug-court-team-Greene-County-photoThe recipe necessary to reclaim the lives of youth that have penetrated the juvenile justice system begins in our own kitchens. One part parents, one part community, a dash of judicial intervention (to taste) and we have a life that is once again shining and full of promise. 
Case in point: on September 10, 2009, the Greene County Juvenile Drug Treatment Court (JDTC) -- click on the photo at left for a larger view of our team1 -- successfully graduated one of our youth, due to the engagement of the youth and family, the commitment from the JDTC team, and the overall support from the community in Greene County. This commencement represented a very important milestone for a young man who continually demonstrated a willingness to make positive changes in his life.

Nassau County Juvenile Drug Court Celebrates First Graduation

[This article on the juvenile drug court in the Reclaiming Futures site in Nassau County, NY originally appeared, in a longer form in the Spring 2009 issue of the Nassau News, the newsletter of the 10th Judicial District, Nassau County.]
juvenile-drug-court-Warren-and-GeralynOn March 4, 2009, Nassau County, NY held its first Juvenile Drug Treatment Court (JTC) graduation. Three teenagers successfully completed the program.
It was a little overwhelming to think we already had three graduates. When we first talked about creating the program, it had seemed like a logistical impossibility.
And after we got our first participant, there were immediate doubts: What were we thinking? How do we expect to help this kid get off drugs? We’re not equipped. This is never going to work.

Changing Lives Through Literature in Bristol County, Part 2

This is part 2 of my interview with Estella Rebeiro, senior juvenile probation officer at the Reclaiming Futures site in Bristol County, MA, about a local implementation of the Changing Lives Through Literature program. (See part 1 of her interview.)
Why do you think the program works?
The use of literature aids in the development of self-esteem, mindfulness and emotional well-being.  The topics of discussion promote core values, compassion, hope, respect, integrity and responsibility for self and community.

Positive Youth Development: Changing Lives Through Literature

Looking for an alternative sentencing program that doesn't cost a lot of money and which seems to have significant impact on reducing recidivism and violent offenses? I've got one for you.
It's been around since 1991, has been implemented in as many as 12 states and the U.K. and involves reading and discussing books: Changing Lives Through Literature (CLTL). It was created by Professor Robert Waxler of the University of Massachusetts, and Judge Robert Kane of New Bedford, MA, and begun with the help of probation officer Wayne St. Pierre.

Juvenile Drug Court in Dayton Gets Positive Press

Reclaiming Futures isn't mentioned by name, but its spirit is nicely evoked in this short piece on the juvenile drug court in Dayton, Ohio - one of the original 10 Reclaiming Futures sites. Congratulations, Dayton!
UPDATE: There's also a great 28-photo essay covering the kids' drug court graduation ceremony, and the speech of NBA star Daequan Cook, who came to speak to the graduates

Roundup: Mississippi Private Firm Denies Abuse in Juvenile Detention; New Tool from NIDA for Physicians; Micro-Trainings in Juvenile Drug Courts; and More

  • newspaperMississippi Security Police, the private company that runs the juvenile detention center for the Missisippi county sued earlier this week by the Southern Poverty Law Center, held a press conference yesterday vigorously denying all allegations. The lawsuit charges that youth offenders were physically and emotionally abused and kept in verminous, unsanitary living conditions without access to mental health care. Here's video of the press tour of the juvenile detention facility and details of the company's responses to the suit. (It should be noted that the county is the defendant in the lawsuit; the private company is not named.)
  • The St. Petersburg Times has thorough coverage of decades-old horrors and abuses at the Florida School for Boys that came to light late last year, when former students at the reform school, now in their 60s, found each other on the internet and went public with their accusations. UPDATE: In its weekly roundup, Youth Today reported that an investigation is "going nowhere," according to the former Florida state employee who pushed for an investigation into the scandal and the school's 32 unmarked graves.