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Employment Issues Among Drug Court Participants

NCJ Number
Journal of Offender Rehabilitation Volume: 33 Issue: 4 Dated: 2001 Pages: 73-85
Michele Staton; Allison Mateyoke; Carl Leukefeld; Jennfier Cole; Holly Hopper; TK Logan; Lisa Minton
Date Published
13 pages
This article studies the employment issues and hardships that participants in drug court treatment programs encounter.
The authors note that recent research has shown that stable employment increases self-esteem, provides a stable source of income, and offers an environment free from a substance-using subculture. As such, stable employment decreases substance use and criminal activity for ex-drug offenders. The goal of the current study was to develop and evaluate drug court employment intervention in order to improve drug treatment retention and overall success in reducing recidivism. The authors conducted 5 focus groups with 56 Kentucky Drug Court clients (20 female and 36 male). The goal of the focus groups was to gain a clear understanding of the employment needs and hardships that drug court clients faced. The main themes under investigation included the obtainment of employment, maintaining a job, and upgrading a job. The findings from these focus groups suggest that drug court participants face a variety of employment concerns. One of the major concerns that reappeared throughout the study was that participation in drug court treatment programs often conflicted with work schedules, thus making jobs difficult to obtain and maintain. Another theme that emerged was that upgrading to higher paying jobs often depended upon having an education, experience, or training, and having job readiness skills such as resume writing, interviewing, and writing a cover letter. The authors suggest that the implications of this research illuminate the importance of developing employment interventions within drug court treatment programs. The limitations of this study include its small sample size, making generalizations problematic. Table, references