Communities for Alcohol and Drug-Free Youth

Dates: 2004-2012

State: New Hampshire

Client(s): Communities for Alcohol and Drug-Free Youth

Service: Applied Research & Evaluation

Technical Expertise: Adolescent Health, Substance Use, Behavioral Health, Maternal and Child Health, Community Health Coalitions

Communities for Alcohol- and Drug-free Youth (CADY) is a long-standing community coalition dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth through initiatives and strategies that deter alcohol, tobacco and other drug use; that engage and strengthen families, schools and communities; and that promote healthy environments and promising futures. CADY engages in a wide range of evidence-based projects that support the well -being of youth, from leadership development to parenting classes and educational forums.

Since 2004, JSI has provided evaluation and technical support services to CADY. These services include bi-annual administration of a youth risk and resiliency survey in three high schools and one middle school. The information gathered through this process has been instrumental in identifying community trends, for shaping educational messages, for documenting the impact of CADY initiatives, and for supporting acquisition of program funding. In addition to the bi-annual youth survey process, JSI has provided evaluation services for specific CADY programs including the LAUNCH – a leadership development initiative in conjunction with local business leaders – and the Restorative Justice program.

The Restorative Justice program was developed in 2007 in response to community concerns and requests voiced through the area faith community, police departments, schools, the Family and District courts, and other community leaders. The program provides an alternative to court involvement for youth offenders by recruiting and training community members to serve on panels to hear individual cases and to endorse individually-crafted reparative plans such as community service and mentoring opportunities. Evaluation of the Restorative Justice program by JSI has included pre/post surveys of youth, post surveys of parents/guardians and victim representatives, documentation of community service and monetary restitution completed, and recidivism. Evaluation results have demonstrated positive program outcomes and have been instrumental in enabling CADY to continue to acquire financial support for the program.