Drug Court Treatment Engagement & Retention (Pilot Study)

Principal Investigator: Jose Ashford

Funding: National Institutes of Health/ National Institute on Drug Abuse, award R24 DA13937 (2002-2007)

A geographical comparison-group design was used to examine the effectiveness of the Pima County (Arizona) Court Assisted Treatment Services (CATS) program and its drug court intervention. The study compared the summary statistics for the volunteers to the family drug court (n=33) with a treatment-refusal group (n=42) and a treatment-as-usual group (n=45) from a matched geographical area. The findings of this study indicate that the family drug court group had higher engagement and completion rates of residential treatment than was true of the other comparison groups. In addition, the volunteers to the family drug court group had fewer parental rights severed, a higher percentage of permanency decisions reached within one year, earlier permanency decisions, and a higher percentage of children placed with their parents. The study's findings have implications for future evaluations of the components of a family drug court intervention.

Ashford, J. B. (2004). Treating substance-abusing parents: A study of the Pima county family drug court approach. Juvenile and Family Court Journal, 55, 27-37. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-6988.2004.tb00171.x.

Stromwall, L. K., Larson, N.C., Nieri, T. A., Holley, L. C., Topping, D., Castillo, J., & Ashford, J. B. (2008). Parents with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse conditions involved in child protection services: Clinical profile and treatment needs. Child Welfare, 87, 95-113.          

Related articles:

Ashford, J. B. (2006). Comparing the effects of judicial versus child protective service relationships on parental attitudes in the juvenile dependency process. Research on Social Work Practice, 16, 582-590. doi: 10.1177/1049731506289726.

Ashford, J.B., & Faith, R. (2004). Testing models of justice and trust: A study of mediation in child dependency disputes. Social Work Research28, 18-27.

Ashford, J. B., Holschuh, J. (2006). Fairness issues in law and mental health: Directions for future social work research. Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare33, 151-172.