Juvenile Healing to Wellness Courts
OJJDP Tribal Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center Resources
OJJDP Tribal Youth Program Tribal Juvenile Healing to Wellness Court Website
Tribal Juvenile Healing to Wellness Court Handbook: Practical Planning and Supportive Tools, OJJDP Tribal Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center (2017).
This handbook is designed to support both newly developing and established Tribal Juvenile Healing to Wellness Courts. Sections are designed to support teams that may be working through a strategic planning process to implement or expand a TJHWC. This handbook is provided as an introductory resource and does not make final determinations related to the components that should be included within all TJHWC.
The Tribal Juvenile Healing to Wellness Court Understanding Systems and Impacting Youth: The Tribal Ten Key Components and Tribal Youth Considerations Fact Sheet, OJJDP Tribal Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center (2017).
Tribal Juvenile Healing to Wellness Court Tip Sheet: Consequences and Rewards, OJJDP Tribal Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center (2017).
The Tribal Juvenile Healing to Wellness Court (TJHWC) is a judicial intervention that promotes accountability, healing, and tribal life-ways for court involved youth who suffer from addiction to alcohol and illegal substances. A system of rewards and consequences (also called sanctions and incentives) may be implemented with the TJHWC to support youth behavior change. This system can be helpful for youth as they work toward the development new habits on their path to wellness. Included below are a few tips on creating a consequences and rewards system for youth participants.
Juveniles Drug Court Best Practices
Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Guidelines, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (2016).
The new guidelines provide juvenile courts with an evidence-based, treatment-oriented approach that emphasizes family engagement, and addresses the substance use and often co-occurring mental health disorders experienced by the youth. OJJDP partnered with a research team, experts in the field, and other federal agencies to develop the guidelines to support judges and professional court staff, young people with substance use disorders, and their families. The guidelines are organized into key objectives with corresponding guideline statements, and include rigorous supporting research and considerations for implementation.
Starting a Juvenile Drug Court: A Planning Guide, Betty Gurnell, Meg Holmberg, and Susan Yeres, National Council of
Juvenile and Family Court Judges (Mar. 2014).
This guide maps out a sequence of steps for starting a juvenile drug court, beginning with your first planning meeting. For each step, you'll find background about why the step is importanct, key points to keep in mind as you complete it, and comments from drug court professionals reflecting on their own experience with this area of work. Although reseach on the impact of juvenile drug courts has yielded mixed results, we know that when programs retain fidelity to the JDC model, they demonstrate reductions in criminal recidivism and substance use and, in some cases, cost savings.
Juvenile Drug Courts: Strategies in Practice, Monograph, BJA, NDCI, and NCJFCJ (2003).
This publication functions as a guide to planning, operating, and implementing juvenile (state) drug courts, organized aroung sixteen "strategies": collaborative planning; teamwork; clearly definied target population and eligibility criteria; judicial involvement and supervision; monitoring and evaluation; community partnerships; comprehensive treatment planning; developmentally appropriate services; gender-appropriate services; cultural competence; focus on strengths; family engagement; educational linkages; drug testing; goal-oriented incentives and sanctions; and confidentiality.
Screening and Assessing Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders Among Youth in the Juvenile Justice System: A Resource Guide for Practitoners, Thomas Girsso and Lee A. Underwood, National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Policy Research Associates, Inc. (NCJ 204956, Dec. 2004).
This Resource Guide offers a comprehensive, user-friendly synthesis of current information on instruments that can be used to screen and assess youth for mental health- and substance userelated disorders at various stages of the juvenile justice process. The Guide includes profiles of more than 50 instruments, guidelines for selecting instruments, and best practice recommendations for diverse settings and situations.
The Research: Juveniles in Healing to Wellness Courts/Drug Courts
Research Update on (State) Juvenile Drug Treatment Courts, Douglas B. Marlowe, J.D., Ph.D. (2010).
This small summary provides a review of the research currently conducted on juvenile drug courts, including their effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, and recommendations.
Findings from the National Cross-Site Evaluation of Juvenile Drug Courts and Reclaiming Futures, National Drug Court Institute, Drug Court Review, Volume X, Issue 1 (2016).
The Juvenile Drug Court and Reclaiming Futures National Evaluation examined ways to improve outcomes in juvenile drug courts by enhancing collaboration between the juvenile justice, treatment, educational, and child welfare systems; increasing youth access to evidence-based substance use disorder and mental health treatment; improving the quality and cultural proficiency of the services delivered; and sustaining youth involvement in continuing care services following discharge from court supervision.
News Article: Tribal Drug Court Works on Early Intervention Youths, Maggie O'Neill, Record Courier, Douglas County, Nevada (
This news articles highlights the effectiveness of the Washoe Tribal Juvenile Drug Court.
Exploring the Evidence: The Value of Juvenile Drug Courts, Jacqueline van Wormer and Faith Lutze, Juvenile and Family Justice Today, 17-20 (2011).
This article focuses on the latest juvenile drug court research findings, and reminds courts about the importance of following Juvenile Drug Courts: Strategies in Practice (16 Strategies in Practice) and maintaining a focus on strong and effective collaboration. New research shows that not only can juvenile drug courts be effective in reducing recidivism and substance use among adolescents, but also that following the model and strategies is critical to program success.
Indian Country Law Enforcement and the Challenges of Enforceing Underage Drinking Laws, American Indian Development Associates, prepared for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (Fall 2002).
This document address issues related to enforcement of underage drinking laws in Indian country. In particular, the document analyzes the nature of alcohol problems among Indian youth; describes some of the legal, structural, and cultural characteristics unique to Indian tribes; and offers several strategies and recommendations for Indian tribes to consider in their efforts to develop, implement, and enforce laws and policies that address the problem of underage drinking in Indian communities.
Usefulness of a Survey on Underage Drinking in a Rural American Indian Community Health Clinic, David A. Gilder, MD, Juan A. Luna, BS, Jennifer Roberts, BS, RN, Daniel Calac, MD, Joel W. Grube, PhD, Roland S. Moore, PhD, and Cindy L. Ehlers, PhD, 20, 2 American Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Research 1 (2013).
This study examined the usefulness of a survey on underage drinking in a rural American Indian community health clinic. One hundred ninety-seven youth (90 male, 107 female; age range 8-20 years) were recruited from clinic waiting rooms and through community outreach. The study revealed that the usefulness of the survey was twofold: Survey results could be used by clinic staff to screen for underage drinking and associated problems in youth served by the clinic, and the process of organizing, evaluating, and implementing the survey results accomplished several important goals of community-based participatory research.
Youth and Trauma
Addressing Trauma in Alaska Native and American Indian Youth, Amanda Lechner, Michael Cavanaugh, and Crystal Blyler, Mathematica Policy Research, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Aug. 24, 2016)
This report summarizes findings from an environmental scan about practices and programs addressing trauma and related behavioral health needs among American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth. The report includes descriptions of trauma-informed and trauma-specific internventions, common elements of behavioral health programs targeted to help AI/AN youth, and issues concerning evidence-based and community-based interventions in Tribal communities.
Juvenile Healing to Wellness Court, presented by Jessica Pearce, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges at the 2015 Tribal healing to Wellness Court Enhancement Training (Sept. 2015).
Juvenile Wellness Court and Veterans Wellness Court, presented by Gregg Roth, Center for Court Innovation and Sarah Reckess, Center for Court Innovation, at the 2013 Tribal Healing to Wellness Court Enhancement Training (Sept. 2013).
This Power Point overviews the general features of a Juvenile Healing to Wellness Court and a Veterans Court, as well as resources to develop one.
Stories of Change Among Justice-Involved American Indian Youth: From the Cross-Site Evaluation of OJJDP's Tribal Green Reentry Program, Tasseli McKay, Christine Linquist, Ada Pecos Melton, and Rita Martinez, RTI International and American Indian Development Associates, Inc. (July 2013).
Understanding what helps justice-involved American Indian (AI) youth to make positive changes in their lives and end or reduce their involvement in the tribal juvenile justice system is important for developing effective supports. This report presents perspectives on personal change among justice-involved youth who participated in the Tribal Juvenile Detention and Reentry Green Demonstration programs in three tribes funded by OJJDP.
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