Montgomery County picked for juvenile court drug project

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) last week selected Montgomery County to be in the Juvenile Drug Court Learning Collaborative Project.

A NCJFCJ spokeswoman said a competitive selection process led to 45 applications being reviewed on a 28-point scoring system. Montgomery County and courts in Clackamas County, Ore., Hanis County, Texas, Humboldt County, Nev., Rankin County, Miss. and Salt Lake County, Utah, will join the 12 sites already participating.

“We are really excited and proud to have been selected as one of the six new Learning Collaborative sites,” said Montgomery County Juvenile Court Judge Anthony Capizzi.

The collaborative seeks to build a community of best practices among the 400 drug juvenile courts operating nationally. The effort began in 2014, when staff and faculty selected the first 12 courts to serve as “laboratories of change,” according to a NCJFCJ press release.

The release said “sites received intensive training and ongoing coaching to make significant changes to current practices” that aim to result in “positive outcomes for the youth and families they serve.”

The six new sites will participate in the project from now until Sept. 30, 2018.

“These courts are implementing practical approaches that are based on research and the principals of adolescent development,” said Jacque van Wormer, Ph.D., Spokane regional criminal justice administrator, who serves as a faculty member for the Learning Collaborative Project and was a reviewer during the selection process. “The approaches can be easily replicated courts in order to create a juvenile drug court field that is driven by science in order to improve outcomes for youth and families.”

Founded in 1937 by a group of judges committed to improving services delivered in juvenile and family courts, the NCJFCJ is funded by state and federal sources and is dedicated to providing training to juvenile and family court professionals.