Radisson Inn, Fargo
December 2, 1999
Justice Mary Muehlen Maring, Chair
Chair, Justice Mary Muehlen Maring called the meeting to order at 11:00 a.m. and drew the committees attention to the November 12, 1999, minutes. IT WAS MOVED BY GREG WALLACE, SECONDED BY JUDGE DEB KLEVEN, AND CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY THAT THE MINUTES BE APPROVED.
Dr. Kevin Thompson gave the committee an overview of the Research and Evaluation conference he and Justice Maring attended. Dr. Thompson noted that the conference was geared more towards adult drug courts than juvenile drug courts; however, the conference was beneficial. He stated that the other participants had not discussed using comparison groups in their evaluations, but he believes using comparison groups in our evaluation will be effective. Justice Maring stated that they also discussed three types of evaluations: process, outcome, and cost benefit. She stated that process evaluations deal with procedure and developing a management information system. Outcome evaluations deal with how many youth participate in the JDC, complete the program, remain drug free, recidivate, etc. Cost benefit evaluations determine savings to the community. However, Justice Maring noted that cost benefit evaluations are difficult to perform because of attaching a "price-tag" to a juvenile becoming alcohol/drug free. Dr. Thompson stated that he would like to perform both a behavioral outcome and a cost benefit evaluation.
In order to evaluate the effectiveness of JDC, Justice Maring stated that the planning committee must define "recidivism" and "treatment success." The committee decided that recidivism would be defined by tracking both reappearance rates and adjudication. The committee further decided that "treatment success" will be defined by tracking how successful the juvenile is in the JDC program and when the juvenile has graduated, to examine their abstinence from drugs and alcohol.
Dr. Thompson then presented five preliminary behavioral outcomes goals that he developed.
Reappearance for both referrals and adjudication;
Type or nature of reappearance;
Length of time in program and whether the length of time in program affects outcomes; and
Academic achievement (grade and attendance).
After discussion of how often the data would be collected, the members decided to gather behavioral outcomes of the JDC participants at their mid way point through the program, upon graduation, and six month after graduation. Committee members emphasized the importance of gathering similar information from the comparison group in an other judicial district. Greg Wallace stated that he and Dr. Thompson would devise a checklist of information to collect from the comparison group. Dr. Thompson also said that he would input the data. He further explained that before JDC begins he would like to run a pilot study to track youth in order to get a pseudo sense of what type of information he will need to collect. Greg then expressed the importance of reporting to the community the results of JDC.
Justice Maring turned the discussion to the treatment and accountability program plan component of JDC. She led the group in reviewing "treatment" models from Kalamazoo, Michigan; Missoula, Montana; and Las Cruces, New Mexico. All three models have phases of treatment, and are rigorous in their treatment approach to drug court. Members expressed their reluctance to follow a specific model and the need to develop a model to fit the needs of North Dakota. Justice Maring suggested a three phase JDC with each phase being less intensive. After discussion, group members approved implementing a three phase system. The group then turned the discussion to the JDC program length. Mary Hall stated that JDC should not be longer than their "traditional" approach to drug and/or alcohol cases, which is six months. She also expressed concern with case management time. However, Melody Peterson expressed concern with a six month program, because of the need to provide stability and structure in a juvenile's drug and/or alcohol treatment. Judge Erickson stated that it is necessary to have a long enough JDC to actually modify the juvenile's behavior. He also said that the JDC team must be committed to ensuring juveniles remain drugs and alcohol free. Deb Davis stated that the program must be long enough to get to know the juvenile and to identify additional issues the juvenile needs to confront. She said research shows aftercare is an important piece of treatment, but that aftercare may not need to be a part of JDC.
After further discussion of the JDC accountability program JDC team members from the East Central Judicial District determined that the length of their program will be from six to nine months. However, group members from the Northeast Judicial District's JDC team decided that their program will be at least six months, but last up to twelve months. Justice Maring noted that each phase will last approximately three months, and the judge can shorten or extend the program length depending the juvenile's progress in the program.
Justice Maring then asked Mary Hall, Deb Carlson, Melody Peterson, and Deb Davis to work with Alyson in designing the JDC program and what the three phases will entail. Judge Kleven and Judge Erickson both stated that they would hold two hours status review hearings. After the JDC accountability program is designed, the committee will take a look at its design and determine how often status review hearings will be held.
Another Juvenile Drug Court Planning Committee meeting was added to the schedule. It will meet from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. on February 11, 2000. Justice Maring then reminded the committee that the next JDC committee meeting will be held on January 14, 2000, at 10:00 a.m. She noted that the committee will review JDC phases, the JDC accountability program plan and JDC documents. With no further business the meeting adjourned at 2:00 p.m.