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Use and Evaluation of Hair Analysis, Urinalysis, and Ion Mobility Spectrometry in a Juvenile Diversion Program in New Orleans, Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
220 pages
This document reports on the implementation of the Juvenile Diversion Program in New Orleans and assesses the use of three drug-testing technologies.
This document describes the Juvenile Diversion Program, which is modeled after New Orleans’ Adult Diversion Program. More specifically, this document discusses the integration of three drug-testing technologies into the program and the results of their inclusion in the program. The three drug testing technologies that are incorporated into the Juvenile Diversion Program are hair analysis, urinalysis, and ion mobility (IMS). The authors explain that the Juvenile Diversion Program is an important method for treating drug addicted juvenile offenders. The diversion program offers a wide range of services, aid, and support in addition to offering traditional correctional monitoring. Drug testing is an important component of the program as it ensures compliance with the minimum requirements. Most of the document is devoted to documenting and assessing the results of the hair analysis, urinalysis, and ion mobility testing. The authors explain that at intake, each juvenile has an IMS-based analysis of a skin wipe and a vacuum scan of their clothing and hands. A urine sample and a hair sample are also collected from each juvenile for screening at a local laboratory. This study collected data on 253 juveniles in the program. In general, the results of the drug-testing, when compared to juveniles self-reported drug use, varied in accuracy by type of drug used and type of drug-test employed. The authors found that hair analysis and IMS particle tests tended to be more effective for cocaine detection than urinalysis. Urinalysis and hair assay were more effective for detecting marijuana usage. However, when compared to self-reported drug use, the urinalysis and hair assay detected marijuana use only 30 percent of the time. In conclusion, the authors argue that the Juvenile Diversion Program is justified based on the degree and quality of juvenile crime and the implications of drug use on juvenile criminality. Incorporating accurate drug-testing measures is an important component of an effective treatment program. References, appendices

Date Published: January 1, 2002