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Employment Services Utilization and Outcomes among Substance Abusing Offenders Participating in California’s Proposition 36 Drug Treatment Initiative

  • Author(s): Evans, Elizabeth
  • Hser, Yih-Ing
  • Huang, David
  • et al.
Abstract

California drug treatment programs may use funds to address barriers to work faced by Proposition 36 offenders, most of whom are not working at treatment entry, but employment services utilization and related behavioral outcomes have never been studied. This study examined primary data collected on 1,453 offenders by 30 programs during 2004 to explore the characteristics, employment services utilization, and outcomes of those who did and did not receive employment services while in drug treatment. One-year outcomes were mostly similar across groups, however, increases in the proportion of offenders employed, receiving income from employment and family or friends, and being paid for work were significantly greater among the received-employment-services group, and a greater proportion of this group also completed drug treatment. Employment services utilization was less likely for persons recruited from outpatient settings and more likely with greater severity of family/social problems and desire for services. Odds of employment one-year post-treatment entry were higher for those of Hispanic race/ethnicity (vs. White) and for those with treatment completion/longer retention but lower for those who were older, lived in specific counties, had greater employment problem severity at intake, and received other income-related services. Strategies for improving employment services utilization and outcomes among Proposition 36 offenders are discussed.

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