The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

Criminal Justice: M.S.


Criminal Justice


School of Public Affairs

First Advisor

D. Lee Gilbertson

Second Advisor

F. Barry Schreiber

Third Advisor

Patty Hlava

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

juvenile substance abuse, prevention of youth substance abuse, interview study


The purpose of this study is to discover the different perceptions of criminal justice practitioners regarding the prevention of youth substance abuse. In the collection of data, eighteen criminal justice professionals were interviewed who have experience working with youth with substance abuse and other issues. Interviews were recorded and transcribed by the researcher.

The data was collected by way of an interview schedule designed by the researcher. Questions include how the subjects are affiliated with the criminal justice system, how long they have worked with youth, whether they have children under the age of eighteen, and whether they are close to someone with a substance abuse problem. Also included are their views on the most effective strategies currently being used, what the ideal criminal justice response is, and what society can do to help reduce substance abuse among juveniles.

The results of this study are difficult to compile. The criminal justice practitioners interviewed had some difficulty in answering questions about what the most effective prevention strategies are in youth substance abuse prevention. They also had multiple views on the topic. Sometimes the interview questions may not have been completely understood. However, most did agree that family support and accountability play major roles in shaping youths’ beliefs and behaviors. Most also felt that a more aggressive approach to dealing with these issues would be beneficial.