Individualizing Responses to Motivate Behavior Change in Youth: A Four-Pronged Approach

June 12, 2019

Juvenile Drug Treatment Courts (JDTCs) have made strides in implementing evidence-based practices to improve program processes, services, and outcomes. These practices include using screening and assessment tools and substance use disorder treatment interventions specifically tailored for adolescents. In December 2016, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) released the Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Guidelines (JDTC Guidelines), which provide further direction on research-based practices for JDTCs to implement to maximize their effectiveness.
The JDTC Guidelines identify components of Contingency Management that JDTCs should implement, for example: having a process for applying incentives and sanctions in a way that is fair and consistent but also individualized; using ongoing monitoring and case management to address youths’ needs in a holistic manner; and having a range of responses to substance use that considers risk, needs, and responsivity. This Guidebook provides recommendations on processes and procedures that will enable JDTC teams to deliver objective, consistent, and effective responses to youth behavior.