Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Juvenile Justice Residential Services (PA-JJR) 9: Services for Substance Use Conditions

Youth with substance use conditions receive treatment that meets their needs.
NA The organization provides only detention services.
2020 Edition




Juvenile Justice Residential Services promote public safety by providing youth with a supportive, structured setting that helps them address their needs and develop the attitudes and skills needed to make responsible choices, avoid negative behaviors, and become productive, connected, and law-abiding citizens.
Full Implementation, Outstanding Performance
A rating of (1) indicates that the agency's practices fully meet the standard and reflect a high level of capacity.  
  • All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, with rare or no exceptions: exceptions do not impact service quality or agency performance. 
Substantial Implementation, Good Performance
A rating of (2) indicates that an agency's infrastructure and practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement.
  • The majority of the standards requirements have been met and the basic framework required by the standard has been implemented. 
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality or agency performance.

Partial Implementation, Concerning Performance
A rating of (3) indicates that the agency's observed infrastructure and/or practices require significant improvement.  

  • The agency has not implemented the basic framework of the standard but instead has in place only part of this framework.  
  • Omissions or exceptions to the practices outlined in the standard occur regularly, or practices are implemented in a cursory or haphazard manner.  
  • Service quality or agency functioning may be compromised.  
  • Capacity is at a basic level.
Unsatisfactory Implementation or Performance
A rating of (4) indicates that implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all.  
  • The agency’s observed service delivery infrastructure and practices are weak or non-existent; or show signs of neglect, stagnation, or deterioration.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Procedures governing the provision of services for substance use conditions
No On-Site Evidence
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Youth served and their families
  • Verify employment of qualified health professional either directly or via contract
  • Review case records

Fundamental Practice

PA-JJR 9.01

When a youth’s assessment indicates the presence of a substance use condition, the organization determines and arranges for an appropriate level and intensity of care and treatment.
Note: As referenced in PA-JJR 8.08, youth diagnosed as having co-occurring mental health and substance use conditions should receive integrated treatment either directly or through active involvement with a cooperating service provider.


PA-JJR 9.02

Interventions are based on evidence or clinical practice guidelines, where they exist, and are appropriate for youth.


PA-JJR 9.03

Youth are helped to:
  1. identify situations that prompt substance use; and
  2. develop healthier ways of responding to those situations.

Fundamental Practice

PA-JJR 9.04

Medical needs are addressed directly or through an established referral arrangement.
Examples: Needed medical services may include: medical detoxification, medication monitoring and management, physical examinations or other physical health services, laboratory testing and toxicology services, and other diagnostic procedures.

Fundamental Practice

PA-JJR 9.05

A licensed physician, or another qualified health professional, with experience, training, and competence in engaging, diagnosing, and treating alcohol and other drug problems, is responsible for the medical aspects of substance use or dependency treatment, including:
  1. making decisions about the appropriate level and intensity of care and treatment;
  2. prescribing and/or supervising medication, including appropriate monitoring and administration of pharmacotherapy for youth with co-occurring conditions; and
  3. providing or reviewing diagnostic, toxicological, and other health related examinations.


PA-JJR 9.06

Youth are engaged in treatment for a sufficient length of time to attain recovery and promote positive behavioral change.