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Breaking the Juvenile Drug-Crime Cycle: A Guide for Practitioners and Policymakers

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2001
26 pages
Publication Series
This report summarizes existing knowledge about programmatic efforts to intervene in the juvenile drug-crime cycle and proposes interventions and programmatic changes that will most likely successfully address that cycle.
For more than two decades, researchers, clinicians, and juvenile justice program administrators have known of the link between drug use (including alcohol) and juvenile crime. In recent years, several promising strategies for intervening in the juvenile drug-crime cycle have emerged in the juvenile justice system. The balanced and restorative justice (BARJ) perspective, which has emerged in the past few years, integrates the traditional rehabilitative philosophy of the juvenile court with increasing societal concern about victims' rights and community safety. Consistent with the BARJ philosophy, graduated sanctions hold juveniles accountable for their actions and, at the same time, reward them for positive progress toward rehabilitation. Other promising strategies involve systems collaboration, and integrated case management. In profiling major elements of a comprehensive model that uses the aforementioned strategies as a framework, this paper profiles the following components: single point of entry, immediate and comprehensive assessment, judicial decision making, treatment, and continuing care. Some important intervention-related considerations discussed are evaluation, sensitivity to varying ethnicities and cultures, and the core role of the juvenile justice and treatment systems. The paper concludes with a summary of guidelines for implementation at the local level. 12 notes and appended outline of the contents of the full document from which this summary is taken

Date Published: May 1, 2001