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Summary and Analysis of the First Juvenile Drug Court Evaluations: The Santa Clara County Drug Treatment Court and the Delaware Juvenile Drug Court Diversion Program

NCJ Number
National Drug Court Institute Review Volume: 1 Issue: 1 Dated: Summer 1998 Pages: 73-85
M Shaw; K Robinson
Date Published
13 pages
Two evaluations of drug courts are provided, one for the Santa Clara County, California, Drug Treatment Court and the other for the Wilmington, Delaware, Juvenile Drug Court Diversion Program.
The Santa Clara County evaluation incorporated both process and outcome data in its methodology, and evaluators reviewed demographic and outcome data on 61 juveniles who participated in the drug treatment court from its implementation in August 1996 to December 1997. The evaluation focused on whether program participants reduced criminal activity and recurring drug abuse as measured by drug tests, program costs, differences between residential placement and community placement outcomes, how program participants perceived the effectiveness of the drug court program, and which drug court program characteristics had the greatest impact on efforts to stay drug-free. Participants in the Delaware Juvenile Drug Court Diversion Program were mostly male and had an average age of 16 years. Demographic and program information was obtained for 144 juveniles admitted to the program from the time of implementation in 1995 to the summer of 1997. Program outcomes were measured in terms of recidivism during treatment and post-program recidivism. Both evaluations indicated juvenile drug courts had a positive impact in the two jurisdictions. In the Santa Clara County drug court, graduates spent more time in the program, had a higher motivation level, and had a higher level of self-disclosure than those still in the program or those who dropped out of the program. In the Delaware drug court, there was a 30-percent reduction in recidivism for the treatment group over the non-treatment group. Additional drug court evaluations are recommended to consider such issues as religious background, school problems, family concerns, employment issues, and drugs of choice. 5 references


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