Criminal Law | Nursing | Substance Abuse and Addiction

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Aim: This study explores the affect drug court treatment programs have on the sobriety and employment status of the participants.

Background: Drug addiction has been an ongoing issue nationwide, and with addiction comes drug related crimes. Currently the preferred solution to this epidemic is to impose longer and longer lengths of incarceration for every incurred infraction. Methods: A descriptive correlational design will be used for this research study to evaluate the effectiveness of drug court compared to incarceration. The participants will be chosen by a random sampling of 100 residents of the Hampton Roads area of Virginia--50 who have graduated drug court and 50 who were incarcerated for drug-related offenses. Each participant must be a legal resident of Virginia for at least 3 years. The participants will be given a close-ended, 18-question questionnaire, titled “One Year Evaluation Post Drug Court.” The questionnaire will be designed to determine the participants’ life one year after graduating from a drug court program or one year after incarceration for a drug-related offense, possible drug and alcohol relapse, and questions on their demographics. Analysis: An analysis will be conducted using descriptive and inferential statistics. A demographic profile will be constructed of the population’s gender, age, ethnicity, level of education, and marital status. The data will be organized using frequency distribution to compare employment status and sobriety of each group. It will be a ratio measurement, and a dependent t-test will be used to verify the means of each group are statistically different. Expected Findings: It is expected that findings will show participation in drug court reduces the rate of recidivism and increases the rate of sobriety maintenance more than incarceration in drug-addicted individuals. Limitations: This study is limited due to the self-reporting nature of questionnaires and small sample size.