An assessment of juvenile drug courts' knowledge of evidence-based practices, data collection, and the use of AA/NA

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The use of evidence-based practices (EBPs) has become a core component of juvenile drug courts (JDCs). This research, using a sample of JDCs listed with the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, tests two current assumptions in the field: 1) many JDCs do not use or are unaware of their use of EBPs and 2) JDCs tend to overuse sober support groups (e.g., AA/NA), which are thought to be inappropriate for youth. Results suggest that nearly all JDCs, in the sample, reported using EBPs; however, only about a quarter of them collected treatment data and knew the outcomes of the data. Also, only about half of the JDCs use sober support groups (predominantly AA/NA), and nearly all of the sober support groups were tailored toward youth. Overall, these findings suggest that the current assumptions in the field do not accurately reflect the practices reported by these JDCs. Implications are discussed.

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