A Multi-Site Process Evaluation of Juvenile Drug Courts

Matthew L. Hiller, University of Kentucky
Danielle Malluche, University of Kentucky
Barbara Patterson, University of Kentucky
Rebecca L. Abensur, University of Kentucky
Valerie Bryan, University of Kentucky
Connie Payne, Administrative Office of the Courts
Carl G. Leukefeld, University of Kentucky

Like adult drug courts, juvenile drug courts have proliferated at astonishing rates over the past decade (Cooper, 2001), but serious study of this structured court-based intervention for youth with drug and alcohol problems has lagged (Belenko, 2001; Belenko & Logan, in press). Even a general understanding of how juvenile drug courts are structured and how they are implemented is lacking from the drug court research literature. Therefore, the purpose of the current study is to describe a process evaluation of three juvenile drug courts in Kentucky. The structure and design of each program is discussed and detailed findings on the actual implementation of these programs in multiple content areas, including target population, therapeutic activities, available resources, initial and long-term goals, and other program concerns are presented. In addition to this, the during-program outcome data are presented, and findings are reported as a snapshot of what might be expected during one year in the operation of a juvenile drug court. Findings are discussed and may be useful as a reference for other juvenile drug court evaluations and for jurisdictions in which new juvenile drug courts are being developed or planned.

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Updated 05/20/2006