Evaluation of the Juvenile Breaking the Cycle (JBTC) Program

Christopher P. Krebs, RTI International
Pamela K. Lattimore, RTI International

The Juvenile Breaking the Cycle (JBTC) Program, a National Institute of Justice (NIJ) funded initiative,is an ambitious effort to effect major changes in the lives of juvenile offenders in Lane County (Eugene), Oregon. Extensive evidence suggests that juvenile offenders are often involved with alcohol and drugs, and that substance use is one of the etiological factors contributing to delinquency. The JBTC program is a comprehensive yet focused approach for dealing with drug-involved juvenile offenders, as it addresses substance use and other potential disorders, such as mental illness and familial problems. The evaluation of JBTC, which is funded by NIJ, includes a process evaluation, an outcome evaluation, and a cost/benefit analysis. Data for these evaluative components are gathered from three primary sources: (1) individual juvenile offenders; (2) key service providers and programmatic stakeholders; and, (3) program, county, and state management information sources. This paper presents (6 month) outcome data on the relationships between key outcome variables, namely substance use and delinquency, and various juvenile offender characteristics, such as demographics, substance abuse and mental health treatment utilization, risk assessment, substance use, victimization, educational involvement, and mental health diagnoses. These data suggest that participation in the JBTC program substantially reduces substance use and recidivism among juvenile offenders, while controlling for relevant factors that typically produce selection bias and therefore threaten the validity of outcome data.

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Updated 05/20/2006