Initial Findings From the Evaluation of APT, a Drug Treatment Program for NYC Adolescents in Detention

Timothy Ross, The Vera Institute of Justice
Milton Mino, The Vera Institute of Justice
Eliel Flores, The Vera Institute of Justice

This paper discusses initial findings from an evaluation of the Adolescent Portable Therapy (APT) program, a new demonstration program operated by the Vera Institute of Justice that provides drug treatment to adolescents involved in the juvenile justice system. Unlike virtually all other evaluations of adolescent drug treatment programs, the APT study involves a randomly assigned control group of kids who met the same drug use and symptom criteria as the treatment group. This report will provide an overview of the program's clients, including their demographic and delinquency characteristics, drug use and substance abuse symptoms, and mental health. The paper also reports preliminary outcomes based on follow-up interviews with the study's treatment and control groups. This will be the first outcome data available from a five-year evaluation effort funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In addition to outcomes, the presentation will also discuss the research challenges involved in interviewing adolescents while in detention.

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Updated 05/20/2006