Substance Treatment in the Juvenile Probation Population: An Assessment of the Current Practices of Williamson County Juvenile Probation
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Purpose: The first purpose of this study is to describe the practical ideal characteristics of an effective substance treatment program for juvenile probation departments based on a review of the literature. The second purpose is to conduct a case study and assess the current practices of Williamson County Juvenile Services. Finally, this study will present recommendations to assist juvenile probation departments in Texas by more effectively supervising youth who have an ideation toward drug use. Methodology: The methodologies used in this case study of Williamson County Juvenile Services include structured interviews, document analysis, and archival data analysis. Document analysis was conducted by reviewing the County's policy and procedure manual, department pamphlets, and pamphlets from organizations which offer services to families who have children supervised by the probation department. Archival data used included case plans, chronological notes, probation orders, and deferred agreements. Results: Overall, Williamson County adheres to the practical ideal model for juvenile probation departments. Programs, however, could be improved by offering additional services in counseling, defining current offerings more clearly, and developing policies that specify which services are offered to juveniles under supervision.