Life Events and Other Stressors of Diversion Drug Court Participants: An Exploratory Analysis of Race and Gender Differences

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Elizabeth Hartsell
Jodi Lane
Saman Valiani


National Key Components (Defining Drug Courts, 2004) and Florida Best Practices guide drug court operations in Florida (Florida Best Practices, 2017). These documents acknowledge that other stressors and life events may occur along with drug court participation and state that in addition to drug and alcohol treatment, programs should include support services- e.g., peer support or twelve step meetings, transportation and housing assistance, services for physical and mental health needs. We sought to understand the domains and types of co-occurring life events and stressors experienced by participants of one diversionary drug court by coding qualitative notes made by team members (i.e., case managers, treatment, and support service staff) in the online administrative data system. We found the most common stressor domains among the full sample were transportation, finances, and physical health. Among men finances were the most common stressor but among women the most common was physical health. Among African American, White, and participants who were another race, transportation and finances were both the most mentioned stressors. Findings can help drug court team members better understand life events and stressors of their participant population which can help team members better connect participants to appropriate support services.


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How to Cite
Hartsell, E., Lane, J. ., & Valiani, S. (2023). Life Events and Other Stressors of Diversion Drug Court Participants: An Exploratory Analysis of Race and Gender Differences. Drug Court Review.
Research Article
Author Biographies

Elizabeth Hartsell, Sam Houston State University

Elizabeth N. Hartsell graduated from the University of Florida with her PhD in the summer of 2022. She is currently a faculty member at Sam Houston State University in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology. Her interests include courts, substance use and mental health in the justice system, and problem-solving courts.

Jodi Lane, University of Florida

Jodi Lane is Professor of Criminology in the Department of Sociology and Criminology & Law at the University of Florida.  Her interests include reactions to crime and evaluation research in the juvenile and criminal justice systems.

Saman Valiani, University of Florida

Saman Valiani is currently a fourth-year undergraduate student at the University of Florida. She is studying both criminology and psychology with an emphasis in behavior analysis. Her interests include substance use, mental health, courts, addiction, applied behavior analysis, and technology-based interventions.