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Breaking the Cycle of Drug Use Among Juvenile Offenders (1999 Update): Final Technical Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 1999
109 pages
This document discusses intervention in the juvenile drug-crime cycle.
The existence of the drug-crime cycle among juveniles is broadly recognized and accepted. It is generally concluded that this relationship is very complex and involves a wide variety of associated behaviors, sociodemographic and economic characteristics, and other situational variables. Development and implementation of successful intervention programs must include knowledge of the unique characteristics of the juvenile alcohol and other drug (AOD) using population as well as known correlates affecting juvenile AOD use and treatment outcomes. Adolescent AOD abusers have shorter substance use histories, are less involved with opiates and have more involvement with alcohol and marijuana, and report greater binge drinking and more polydrug abuse. A brief overview is provided of the juvenile drug-crime cycle and a description of the juvenile substance-using population. A review of programmatic attempts to break the drug-crime cycle for juvenile offenders is provided, including an examination of juvenile justice system processes and the graduated sanctions continuum. Intervention models or modalities that have received the strongest empirical support for effectiveness are recommended. Based on the review of intervention programs, a proposed comprehensive intervention model is presented that will include a focus on the specific elements of successful interventions as well as programs that combine various successful intervention elements. The report is based on an extensive review of existing literature and research reports as well as interviews with researchers that are active in developing and evaluating programs designed to break the drug-crime cycle among juveniles. 16 endnotes, 2 appendices, 241 references

Date Published: November 1, 1999