Economic Evaluation of the Juvenile Drug Court/Reclaiming Futures (JDC/RF) Model

  • Kathryn McCollister
  • Pamela Baumer
  • Monica Davis
  • Alison Greene
  • Sally Stevens
  • Michael Dennis


Juvenile drug court (JDC) programs are an increasingly popular option for rehabilitating juvenile offenders with substance problems, but research has found inconsistent evidence regarding their effectiveness and economic impact. While assessing client outcomes such as reduced substance use and delinquency is necessary to gauge program effectiveness, a more comprehensive understanding of program success and sustainability can be attained by examining program costs and economic benefits. As part of the National Cross-Site Evaluation of JDC and Reclaiming Futures (RF), an economic analysis of five JDC/RF programs was conducted from a multisystem and multiagency perspective. The study highlights the direct and indirect costs of JDC/RF and the savings generated from reduced health problems, illegal activity, and missed school days. Results include the average (per participant) cost of JDC/RF, the total economic benefits per JDC/RF participant, and the net savings of JDC/RF relative to standard JDC.



The development of this article was funded by the Department of Justice - Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) through an interagency agreement with the Library of Congress (contract number LCFRD11C0007) and by OJJDP (grant number 2013-DC-BX-0081). Additional support from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (P30DA040500; R21 DA044378). The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official policies of OJJDP, the Library of Congress, or the NIH; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors do not have financial, commercial, professional, or any other conflicts of interest to report.


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Copyright information

© National Council for Behavioral Health 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathryn McCollister
    • 1
  • Pamela Baumer
    • 2
  • Monica Davis
    • 3
  • Alison Greene
    • 3
    • 4
  • Sally Stevens
    • 3
  • Michael Dennis
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Public Health SciencesUniversity of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Soffer Clinical Research CenterMiamiUSA
  2. 2.GAIN Coordinating Center, Chestnut Health SystemsNormalUSA
  3. 3.Southwest Institute for Research on WomenUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  4. 4.School of Public HealthIndiana UniversityIndianaUSA

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