Radisson Inn, Fargo
October 8, 1999
|Members Present |
Justice Mary Muehlen Maring, Chair
Judge Ralph Erickson
Judge Deb Kleven
Dr. Kevin Thompson
Deb Carlson Hadland
Chair, Justice Mary Muehlen Maring called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. JUDGE KLEVEN MOVED THAT THE SEPTEMBER 16, 1999, MINUTES BE APPROVED. MARY HALL SECONDED THE MOTION.
Justice Maring informed the committee that she and Dr. Kevin Thompson will attend a National Association of Drug Court Professionals/National Drug Court Institute Research and Evaluation conference in November. This conference will assist in the development of the juvenile drug court evaluation system.
Justice Maring then invited Greg Wallace to discuss the Juvenile Court Management System [JCMS]. Greg stated that the system is currently in the test phase, and will be in full operation in each juvenile court in the sate by January 1, 2000. JCMS will have the capability to track the juvenile's primary charge as will as secondary issues. The program will also be able to track dug test results. Juvenile court personnel will have access to the system. Judges may have access to the system if requested and with the right agreements state's attorneys could also have access.
Next, Dr. Kevin Thompson told the committee of three possible evaluation designs available for evaluating the juvenile drug courts. He said that the strongest design also has significant ethical implications. He stated that the design is to match juveniles to an experimental group and a control group. Each group would contain juveniles with drug and/or alcohol abuse violations. Approximately thirty juveniles would be placed in each group. Dr. Thompson emphasized that one of the groups would be deprived of all treatment services. After some discussion of the model, group members expressed concern with this model.
Dr. Thompson then explained the second evaluation design. The evaluation would compare what juvenile court is doing now versus how drug court would handle the juveniles. Juveniles would be randomly assigned to either group. Dr. Thompson would then evaluate the success of drug court kids over how juveniles placed in the traditional model are succeeding. Dr. Thompson noted that he would like to collect information from the juvenile before entering and after completing drug court. The comparison would be made of the differences of the outcomes. One member voiced some concern with this model, also.
Dr. Thompson stated that the third model for evaluation is based on outcome on a historical level. He would look back at what the outcomes were for the last three years on drug and alcohol charged youth versus the results of drug court youth. He would evaluate recidivism rates, differences in quality of life, and outcomes cost benefits. After some discussion of the three possible drug court evaluation models, group members decided that at this time, the second model is most likely the one which should be used.
Judge Erickson questioned the group on confidentiality of the drug court. Justice Maring noted that information regarding confidentiality would be distributed to the committee members.
Justice Maring then turned the discussion to juvenile drug court eligibility. After an in-depth group discussion, the group members decided that the court will be a mandatory program. The group decided that the juvenile drug court will be post petition/post adjudication with the option of dismissing the petition if the juvenile has successfully completed the drug court program. Juveniles may be referred because of drug and alcohol use and/or alcohol or drugs were used at the time of the committed offense. They must be 14 and under the age of 18. The group members decided modifications may be made to the eligibility criteria after the pilot projects have been in operation for a reasonable amount of time.
Dr. Thompson stated when designing the drug court model, the members should keep in mind the characteristics of the two groups should be as close as possible to make a good, comparable evaluation. Kevin noted that the evaluation process will determine the drug courts success; however, it will not determine what components of the program make them successful. Justice Maring noted that there is a lot of statistical information on the success of adult drug courts; however, there have not been many evaluations on juvenile drug courts. In order to gauge why drug courts work, Steve Mottinger suggested having the juveniles complete an exit interview detailing why the juvenile thought that drug court worked or did not work.
Justice Maring reminded the members that the next meeting will be at the Radisson in Fargo on November 12, 1999. With no further business, she adjourned the meeting.