Improving Graduation Rates in Drug Court Through Employment and Schooling Opportunities and Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Journal of Social Service Research

Publication Date


Date Added



Drug courts have been a key part of the criminal justice system since 1989, and this study contributes to the existing body of research by identifying which participants (n = 248) were most likely to graduate from a drug court in Indiana (United States). Three variables emerged as significant predictors of graduation. First, participants who were employed or were students at the time of admission were nearly 2.5 times more likely to graduate than participants who were not. Second, participants who were using opiates as their primary drug of choice were over 80% less likely to graduate than participants who were using non-opiates as their primary drug of choice. Third, participants who had violations in the first 30 days of the program were nearly 50% less likely to graduate than participants who did not violate in the first 30 days. Offering medication-assisted treatment (MAT), such as methadone, Suboxone, or Vivitrol, to participants who have an opiate use disorder may improve graduation rates for this population. Additionally, graduation rates may also improve by offering more resources to assist participants in gaining and maintaining employment or schooling, and this seems to be especially important within the first month of the program.




Social Work

Comments/Extra Notes

Additional authors: Carlton, Jesse; Woodward Miller, Jane