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Multiple Measures Of Juvenile Drug Court Effectiveness

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In this study, the subjects (the study population) examined were 114 youths placed in drug courts compared to 204 youths on standard probation. There were three ethnicities looked at; White, Black and Hispanic. Researchers looked at sex; whether the juvenile was a male or female. Among these three ethnicities, data looked at school status, school grade and the most serious offense committed by the juvenile. Through studies, researchers accumulated data from 3 years.

In October 1997 to November 2000 researchers examined how legal and social variables affect delinquency and drug use patterns once in drug court treatment. In this study, youths placed in drug courts was compared to youth on standard probation. Data collected on the participants, (the 114 youth placed in drug courts and the 204 on standard probation) were demographics, offenses committed/ criminal history and social variable. Social variables and legal variables were measure to see how each of these factors may or may not impact the youth’s success in completing the program. This data were obtained from the Juvenile On-Line Tracking System. The authors found that a total of 50 youths in drug courts were released and 64 youths were still active in the program. There were 15 drug court youths that were successfully release and 70% that were not. For youth that were in drug court, there were offenses that led to an unsuccessful release. These offenses consisted of person crimes, property offenses, drugs and probation violation. For persons crimes there were 2 youths, for property offenses there were 2 youths, for drug offenses there were 4 and for probation violation there were 23. Lastly, there were individuals from drug court released in the community, DOJC, Standard probation and others jurisdictions. There were 15 youth successfully released into the community, 22 released to DOJC, 9 released to standard probation, and 1 released to other jurisdictions. Unfortunately, 3 youths were terminated. The authors also found that a total of 112 youths on standard probation was released and 92 were still active in standard probation. There were 49 youths that was successfully released and 56% who were not. For those that were on standard probation, there were the same offenses from those who was in drug court that led to an unsuccessful release. For person crimes there were 5, for property offenses there were 10, for drugs there were 6 and for probation violations there were 39. Lastly, there were individuals from standard probation released in the community, DOJC, Standard probation and others jurisdictions. There were 49 youths successfully released into the community, 52 released to DOJC, and 3 released to other jurisdictions. Sadly, 4 youths were terminated.

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The biggest limitation of the data is that it was only based off a Juvenile On-Line Tracking System. Another limitation detected from the study was that the researchers only selected subjects from only one county. Moreover, the research only counts offenses resulting in arrest or apprehension. Lastly, the research focused only on delinquency and drug use during and after the treatment and not before.

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