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Evaluating Drug Court Effectiveness And Exploring Racial Disparities In Drug Court Outcomes: A Mixed Methods Study

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Evaluating Drug Court Effectiveness And Exploring Racial Disparities In Drug Court Outcomes: A Mixed Methods Study

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Title: Evaluating Drug Court Effectiveness And Exploring Racial Disparities In Drug Court Outcomes: A Mixed Methods Study
Author: Gallagher, John R.
Abstract: Mixed methods were used to evaluate the effectiveness of the Drug Impact Rehabilitation Enhanced Comprehensive Treatment (D.I.R.E.C.T.) program, and to explore the factors that may contribute to racial disparities in drug court outcomes. The D.I.R.E.C.T. program is an adult drug court located in Fort Worth, Texas. The most predictive variables of graduating the D.I.R.E.C.T. program were being employed or a student at time of admission into the program, having fewer positive drug tests, and being Caucasian. The most predictive variables of not recidivating were not having a violation within the first 30 days of the program and graduating the program. Qualitative data were collected through individual interviews with African Americans who were currently participating in the D.I.R.E.C.T. program. Based on the qualitative findings, factors that may contribute to racial disparities in D.I.R.E.C.T. program graduation rates include: 1) African American participants' beliefs that drug court sanctions were not implemented in a culturally sensitive manner; 2) African American participants' dissatisfaction with being mandated to attend Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings, and belief that the format of AA and NA is not consistent with their culture; 3) African American participants' perceptions that they were not offered enough resources to gain and maintain employment; 4) African American participants' views that they were not receiving individualized treatment; and 5) African American participants' beliefs that they can relate better to individuals from their same ethnicity; however, they did not have ample opportunities to develop these relationships because African Americans are underrepresented in the D.I.R.E.C.T. program. Recommendations are presented to improve the effectiveness of the D.I.R.E.C.T. program, and implications for social policy and social work practice, research, and education are discussed.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10106/11031
Date: 2012-07-25

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