Treatment Retention Predictors of Drug Court Participants in a Rural State

Allison Mateyoke-Scrivner, University of Kentucky
J. Matthew Webster, University of Kentucky
Michele Staton, University of Kentucky
Carl G. Leukefeld, University of Kentucky

Drug courts are designed to alleviate overcrowding, reduce recidivism, decrease drug use, provide access to community resources, increase long-term relapse prevention efforts, and provide cost-effective treatment for drug-involved offenders (Belenko, 1998). Factors distinguishing those who complete treatment from those who fail to complete have been well documented, but fall short of considering differences between urban and rural areas. The present study focuses on mental health,d rug use, criminal activity, and education/employment as factors associated with treatment retention in a rural and urban drug court. Overall, results indicated that age, race, marital status, education level, employment, drug use, and criminal activity predicted treatment completion. For the urban drug court, marital status, emplopyment, drug use and criminal activity predicted whether or not the participant would graduate. For the rural group, however, completion was only predicted by age and juvenile incarceration. Differences between urban and rural groups,a nd graduated and terminated grtoups are also discussed. Findings from this study suggest that there are different factors adssociated with drug court termination between urban and rural participants. Drug court administrators could use this information to better assess potential participants and to ensure success of participants by providing more assistance where needed.

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Updated 05/20/2006