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Enhancing Juvenile Drug Court Outcomes With Evidence-Based Practices

This study has been completed.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Medical University of South Carolina Identifier:
First received: November 18, 2010
Last updated: June 17, 2013
Last verified: May 2013

Juvenile drug courts were developed in response to a perceived need to intervene more effectively with youth with substance abuse problems. Close collaboration between the court and substance abuse treatment provider is a defining component of the drug court model and is critical to helping youth achieve positive outcomes. Despite the proliferation of juvenile drug courts in recent years, however, evaluation of their capacity to reduce offender substance use and criminal activity has lagged. Moreover, the Institute of Medicine (IOM, 1998) and leading experts (McLellan, Carise, & Kleber, 2003) have presented a bleak picture of the nation's capacity to meet the treatment needs of substance abusing individuals. Although community-based programs provide the backbone of substance abuse treatment in the nation, their capabilities have not kept up with major scientific advances in the development and validation of evidence-based substance abuse interventions.

Building on our research findings and experience regarding juvenile drug court outcomes as well as the transport of evidence-based practices to community treatment settings, the purpose of this study is to develop and test a relatively flexible and low cost strategy for enhancing the outcomes of juvenile drug courts by integrating components of evidence-based treatments into existing substance abuse services.

Specifically, this project aims to:

Aim 1: Adapt existing intervention and training protocols from evidence-based practices (i.e., Contingency Management for adolescent substance abuse; family engagement strategies from evidence-based treatments of juvenile offenders) for integration into juvenile drug court sites.

Aim 2: Conduct a study to examine youth (e.g., substance use and criminal behavior) and system level (e.g., intervention adherence, feasibility, retention and completion rates, consumer satisfaction, cost estimates) effects of implementing the intervention protocols in juvenile drug courts.

Aim 3: Revise the intervention and training protocols in preparation for a Stage II study if findings are supportive.

Condition Intervention Phase
Adolescent Substance Use Behavioral: Contingency Management-Family Engagement (CM-FAM) Other: Usual Services (US) Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Enhancing Juvenile Drug Court Outcomes With Evidence-Based Practices

Further study details as provided by Medical University of South Carolina:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Substance Use [ Time Frame: Quarterly for up to 1 year post-baseline ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Delinquency [ Time Frame: Quarterly for up to 1 year post-baseline ]
  • Intervention Fidelity [ Time Frame: Monthly for up to 1 year post-baseline ]
  • Cost Estimates [ Time Frame: Annually for 4 years ]
  • Consumer Satisfaction [ Time Frame: Bi-annually for 4 years ]

Enrollment: 172
Study Start Date: September 2007
Study Completion Date: March 2012
Primary Completion Date: March 2012 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: CM-FAM Behavioral: Contingency Management-Family Engagement (CM-FAM)
Evidence-based outpatient intervention for adolescent substance use
Active Comparator: US Other: Usual Services (US)
Typical community-based substance abuse treatment services


Ages Eligible for Study:   12 Years to 17 Years   (Child)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Juvenile Drug Court-involved youth
  • Fluency in English

Exclusion Criteria:

  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01266109

United States, South Carolina
Medical University of South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina, United States, 29425
Sponsors and Collaborators
Medical University of South Carolina
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Principal Investigator: Scott W Henggeler, Ph.D. Medical University of South Carolina