Delaware Juvenile Drug Court Diversion Program
An Effective Practice
The Delaware Juvenile Drug Court Diversion Program helps first-time juvenile misdemeanor drug offenders develop the skills and maturity necessary to prevent further criminal behavior. All juveniles in the program receive case management services from a private agency that provides outpatient drug abuse prevention, intervention, and treatment services to teens. The services the program provides to juveniles include regular urine screenings, court reporting, and accompaniment for monthly court reporting. The program asks that juveniles maintain sobriety, attend all scheduled treatment sessions, and refrain from criminal activity. Owing to the treatment nature of the program, noncompliance does not result in termination. However, to graduate from the program, the juvenile must complete all of his or her treatment goals and be in compliance with the program for a significant period. Graduation results in the dismissal of charges.
Goal / Mission
The goal of this program is to prevent further criminal behavior among first-time juvenile misdemeanor drug offenders.
Results / Accomplishments
The evaluation showed recidivism rates that were consistently lower for drug court youths than comparison group youths at each follow-up. While in the drug court program, recidivism rates for the drug court group were 25.9 percent, compared with 36.4 percent for the comparison group. At six months after program completion, recidivism rates for the drug court group and control group were 24.2 and 32.2 percent, respectively. The evaluation also showed differences in recidivism rates between those who successfully completed the program and those who did not. At 12 months postprogram, the recidivism rate for the group who had successfully completed the program was 35 percent, whereas the rate for the group that had not successfully completed the program was 60 percent and, for the comparison group, 50 percent. As time passed, the differences were less sharp. At 18 months out of program the successful completers, unsuccessful completers, and control group had rates of 47.7 percent, 67.3 percent, 60.5 percent, respectively. The evaluation suggests a completion rate of 64.9 percent.
About this Promising Practice
- Primary Contact
- Christian Kervick, Juvenile Justice Specialist
State of Delaware
820 North French Street, 10th Floor
Wilmington, DE 19801
Health / Substance Abuse
Public Safety / Corrections
Health / Teen & Adolescent Health
- State of Delaware
- The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's Model Programs Guide (MPG)
- Date of publication
- Date of implementation
- For more details
- Target Audience