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Evaluation of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Treatment Component

NCJ Number
Jennifer J. Zajac; Jessic DeGel; Larry Fish Ph.D.
Date Published
September 2007
275 pages
The purpose of this evaluative study, supported by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, was to assess the implementation of the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Residential Treatment Curriculum (PTSD RTC) at treatment facilities with female juvenile offenders and evaluate the effect of the intervention on participants.
The outcome findings regarding the effectiveness of the PTSD RTC are promising but only suggestive. The findings lack generality, due to the limited sample size. The overall conclusion of the program curriculum indicates that the PTSD RTC is a well-developed guide to treating PTSD in female juvenile offenders. However, several challenges must be addressed before facilities can implement the curriculum as intended and before further evaluation on the intervention's effectiveness. Project leaders must gain a thorough and accurate understanding of the classification status of females in placement. They need to examine how the proportion of delinquent and dependent females has changed, the reasons for the changes, and how the proportion may change in years to come. This information must be considered when determining treatment needs and how to best meet these needs using the PTSD RTC model. If the PTSD RTC is to succeed, it is necessary to support facilities so the intended treatment can be carried out and participate in evaluation activities. A central body must be responsible for providing this support and holding facilities accountable. The PTSD Project began in 1999 and was developed by Alternative Rehabilitation Communities, Inc., with funding from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency to develop and implement a curriculum, the PTSD RTC, to treat PTSD in female juvenile offenders. In 2003, the University of Pittsburgh, Office of Child Development was awarded a grant to conduct an evaluation of the PTSD RTC. References and appendixes A-E