American Journal of Criminal Justice

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 55–69 | Cite as

Mental health, gender, and drug court completion

  • Alison R. GrayEmail author
  • Christine A. Saum


Drug-involved offenders report high rates of mental health problems that can negatively impact criminal justice outcomes. Yet, relatively little attention has been given to the mental health issues of drug court offenders. Therefore, this study examined 449 participants in a Delaware drug court and investigated relationships between mental health, gender, and program completion. Bivariate results indicated that gender was related to both mental health status and completion status. Multivariate findings revealed that two indicators of mental health, depression and being prescribed drugs for a psychological or emotional problem, were significant predictors of drug court completion. Policy implications include assessing the mental health status of all drug court participants at program entry so that services can be provided which aim to improve offender health and increase the likelihood of successful program outcomes. Drug courts must better meet the needs of participants with co-occurring disorders if they are to remain an effective and viable criminal justice intervention.


Mental Health Mental Health Problem Mental Health Status Criminal History Drug Court 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Drug & Alcohol StudiesUniversity of DelawareNewark

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