Sociology professor to analyze data for Hardin County Juvenile Court
Dr. Keith F. Durkin, Ohio Northern University professor of sociology, will serve as data analyst and program evaluator for the Hardin County Juvenile Court to facilitate the provision of behavioral health services to post-adjucated youth ages 12-17 who have mental health disorders.
The program was made possible after Hardin County was awarded a $65,210 Competitive RECLAIM Grant from the Ohio Department of Youth Services.
Durkin said, “Last year, the decision was made to secure funding to create specific programs to deal with kids who have mental health problems. I have provided the data analysis for and assistance in applying for various grants, such as the one the Hardin County Juvenile Court just received.”
In 2010, the Hardin County Juvenile Court received a $1.2 million four-year Reclaiming Futures grant to set up a special drug court for juveniles. The Reclaiming Futures grant involved combined funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT); the Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP); and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).
In 2011, Durkin became involved when he was contracted through Reclaiming Futures to serve as the federal site evaluator for the Hardin County Juvenile Drug Court.
Durkin said, “I was responsible for assessing the effectiveness of the programs by providing consultation on data-collection procedures and then analyzing the collected data. I was also responsible for reporting the results of those program assessments to the funding sources.”
Durkin added that it became readily apparent that many youths involved in the juvenile drug court had serious mental health issues. For instance, Durkin’s analysis of the program data found that approximately two-thirds of the participants have an externalizing disorder. Slightly more than half (50.6 percent) are diagnosed with conduct disorder, while 39.7 percent of participants have a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD. Moreover, nearly 40 percent of the participants have been diagnosed with an internalizing disorder, including major depressive disorder (27.8 percent), traumatic stress disorder (24.1 percent) and general anxiety disorder (7.6 percent).