Juvenile Justice Translational Research on Interventions for Adolescents in the Legal System (JJ-TRIALS)

Study Information

NIDA’s Juvenile Justice Translational Research on Interventions for Adolescents in the Legal System (JJ-TRIALS) was a multisite cooperative agreement that launched in 2013 and ended in 2018. JJ-TRIALS was a seven-site cooperative research program designed to identify and test strategies for improving the delivery of evidence-based substance use and HIV prevention and treatment services for justice-involved youth.

The JJ-TRIALS Cooperative conducted an implementation study in 33 sites. The study involved a data-decision making process centered on goal attainment in juvenile justice (JJ) community supervision agencies and their behavioral health (BH) partners, to facilitate movement of youth through the Behavioral Health Services Cascade (Cascade). The Cascade was used to determine progress on screening, initiation, engagement, and retention in evidence-based treatment(s).

A two-year supplement was awarded in 2018 to the Chestnut Health Systems’ Coordinating Center to continue providing infrastructure, data management, analytic, and logistical support for NIDA and six research centers involved in the JJ-TRIALS cooperative agreement. Under the proposed two year supplement, this electronic infrastructure and other supportive services would be extended to other NIDA-funded justice grantees, FY18 HEAL grant supplements, and JCOIN projects.


Through the JJ-TRIALS cooperative, three interrelated studies were conducted:

  • A longitudinal, nationally representative survey of JJ community supervision agencies about policies and practices related to substance use assessment and service delivery
  • A 36-site cluster-randomized control trial (RCT) comparing different approaches to system improvement efforts aimed at improving the identification of substance misuse service needs among justice-involved youth and delivery of services to address those needs
  • A 6-site pilot trial examining the degree to which the model developed in the 36-site RCT could be adapted to meet unmet needs around STI/HIV risk behaviors and service needs for justice-involved youth

Research Findings

Seven research centers were funded as part of the JJ-TRIALS collaborative: Chestnut Health Systems (PIs: Michael Dennis and Christy Scott), Columbia University (PI: Gail Wasserman), Emory University (PIs: Ralph DiClemente and Gene Brody), Mississippi State University (PI: Angela Robertson), Temple University (PI: Steven Belenko), Texas Christian University (PI: Danica Knight), and the University of Kentucky (PI: Carl Leukefeld).

To learn more about the JJ-TRIALS cooperative research grants, findings, resources and more, click here.

Grant number:  UG1DA050074

Link to NIH Reporter record:  https://reporter.nih.gov/project-details/9882684

Study Team

PI: Chris Scott, Danica Knight, Michael Dennis, Gail Wasserman, Ralph DiClemente, Gene Brody, Angela Robertson, Steven Belenko, Carl Leukefeld

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Research Type

Implementation Strategies, Clinical Trial