Employment and Mental Health Histories at Drug Court Entry in a Rural State

J. Matthew Webster, University of Kentucky
Michele Staton, University of Kentucky
Matthew L. Hiller, University of Kentucky
Thomas F. Garrity, University of Kentucky
Carl G. Leukefeld, University of Kentucky

Employment has been identified as an important factor in decreasing drug use and crime among substance abusers (Platt, 1995). Mental health has been shown to be a correlate of several employment-related issues. Limited research has focused on employment and mental health in rural criminal justice samples. The purpose of this paper is to profile employment and mental health histories for a sample of drug-involved offenders from the rural state of Kentucky. As part of the NIDA-funded Enhancing Drug Court Retention in a Rural State project, 500 drug court participants completed a face-to-face interview during which employment and mental health histories were collected. Implications for assessment practices and vocational-rehabilitation programs are discussed.

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Updated 05/20/2006