Treatment Approaches in Juvenile Drug Courts

Shelli Rossman, The Urban Institute
Mark B. Coggeshall, The Urban Institute
Jeffrey Butts, The Urban Institute

The application of adult drug court models in programs for juvenile offenders presents a series of challenges, not the least of which is adapting treatment protocols to the specific needs of a juvenile population. Drug abuse interventions for juveniles generally follow a preventive approach rather than an addiction treatment model, a notion that is mostly appropriate for substance-using juveniles. The thirteen principles of effective treatment developed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) may still be the best source of information for developing approaches to treating court-based juvenile populations. This paper examines the application of these principles to juvenile drug courts, with specific attention to treatment effectiveness.

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Updated 05/20/2006