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Juvenile Assessment Centers: Early Intervention With Youth Involved in Drug Use  

Author:  Richard Dembo, Ph.d..; Wansley Walters.

Source: Volume 21, Number 01, Summer/Fall 2017 , pp.10-17(8)

Offender Programs Report

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Centralized intake facilities for treating adolescent substance use have been an important part of treatment in many states for some decades now. This article explores the use of single intake facilities by examining the methods and practices at one of the earliest such facilities, the Tampa Juvenile Assessment Center in Tampa Florida. It shows, through examples, how JACs represent an important opportunity to identify the problems of troubled youth and involve them in helping services and intervention programs. These facilities hold the promise of recasting the front end of the juvenile justice system in the communities in which they operate. As a general model, single intake facilities involve representatives from a range of community agencies, including law enforcement, juvenile justice, and human service agencies, who are co-located at the facility. Successfully operating single intake facilities help overcome major workload and juvenile justice “systemic” problems.

Keywords: Juvenile Assessment Centers; Detention Risk Assessment Instruments (DRAI); Diversion and non-diversion Cases

Affiliations:  1: University of South Florida; 2: Ballard Partners; Former Director Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.

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