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Comparing Two Reentry Strategies for Drug Abusing Juvenile Offenders

NCJ Number
Nancy Jainchill; Richard Dembo; Charles Turner; Chunki Fong; Sarah Farkas
Date Published
4 pages
After explaining the rationale and objectives of a study that is comparing two reentry strategies for drug-abusing juvenile offenders, this report outlines the features of the two types of reentry programs and explains the study's methodology.
The rationale and objectives for the study, entitled "Two Reentry Strategies," are to help fill the gap in research that compares interventions for previously incarcerated juveniles returning to their home communities. The reentry strategies involved are project cognitive restructuring (CR) and alternative services (AS). The CR intervention incorporates many traditional principles of cognitive behavioral theory and adapts them for use by probation and parole officers supervising drug-using juvenile who have just been released from secure residential treatment. AS refers to the traditional case management approach that attempts to address client needs through referrals to available community-based services. The study involves both a short-term study (Phase 1) and a longer term study (Phase 2). The short-term study profiles juveniles according to those whose substance use is the primary problem, in contrast to those whose substance use is co-occurring with other problems. Data for the Phase 1 study were collected on youths in residential facilities in Ohio, Pennsylvania (participating only in Phase 1), and Delaware. Information was collected on their substance use, criminal involvement and indicators of potential psychopathy, as well as mental health/psychiatric disturbance. Outcome data were not collected. In Phase 2, youth returning home from secure residential treatment facilities are randomly assigned to one of the two reentry conditions, CR or AS, approximately 45 days prior to their release from the facility. A total of 400 adolescents in residential facilities in Rhode Island (n=120), Delaware (n=130), and Florida (n=150) are expected to be enrolled in the study. The primary baseline and follow-up assessment instruments are described. 7 references