Vulnerable Populations: Drug Court Program Clients

Academic Article


  • Substance abuse and addiction are chronic conditions characterized by an inability to control one's urge to use mood- or mind-altering drugs. Recognition of the association between addictions and crime to support the addiction, along with the relapsing nature of addictions, presents treatment and management challenges for clinicians and frustration for patients and their families. Pressures to reduce the burgeoning jail population have resulted in collaboration between the treatment community and the court-a diversion program called drug court. This article reviews the drug court programs, the clients, and the processes of accountability that direct the progress toward sobriety in the drug court clients. It also argues that the drug court clients have unique health needs requiring interventions best suited for the recovering addict enrolled in a diversion program within the criminal justice system. Nurses have the ability to influence these systems and provide safety-net clinics to drug court clients through outreach, case finding, and culturally and linguistically appropriate care that can ultimately help this population to reach a higher level of wellness. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Speck PM; Connor PD; Hartig MT; Cunningham PD; Fleming B
  • Start Page

  • 477
  • End Page

  • 489
  • Volume

  • 43
  • Issue

  • 3