Cailyn Green, SUNY Empire State College – The Impact of Employment on Treatment Completion Rates with DWI Offenders

How do we stop drivers from repeatedly driving drunk?

Cailyn Green, assistant professor of addiction studies in the School of Human Services at SUNY Empire State College, discusses one way to cut down on recidivism.

Cailyn Green, MS, Ph.D., CASAC is the Assistant Professor of Addiction Studies at the State University of New York, Empire State College. She has been a part of the SUNY academic team since 2014.

She earned her BA degree in psychology from Wester New England University, her MS degree in forensic mental health from Sage Graduate School and her Ph.D. in criminal justice with a specialization in addiction science from Walden University. Dr. Green is also a Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor in New York State. Dr. Greens area of expertise is supporting clinicians who work in the addiction field to best serve their clients. She spent her hands on clinical time working directly with the recently incarcerated population.

The Impact of Employment on Treatment Completion Rates with DWI Offenders

Drivers under the influence of alcohol cause nearly one third of all fatal motor vehicle accidents. Ambulatory outpatient alcohol abuse treatment has been clinically shown to increase abstinence, which could decrease the chance of subsequent DWI offences. Aiding clients in successful completion of this treatment is imperative to lower the recidivism rates of DWI offenses.  This research question focused on if employment status can predict successful outpatient treatment completion in court mandated adults. The Treatment Episode Data Set-Discharges archival data set (which was collected by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration) was used. This consisted of data collected between 2006—2011 from federally funded substance abuse treatment centers throughout the USA. The variables of treatment level, gender, employment status, and age were used as controls. A logistic regression using a random sample of 4,947 participants determined employment status was significant.

Employment had a strong predictive value with employed clients having a significantly greater likelihood of completing treatment successfully over nonemployed clients. This means when a client is employed, they are more likely to maintain their abstinence from substances. Employed clients may have access to childcare, transportation, and a strong support network.

Treatment Courts and treatment agencies can use this information to offer more employment supports to increase the clients’ chances of completing substance use treatment.  This knowledge can support legal entities, such as parole offices, probation offices and drug courts, to encourage clients to obtain employment quickly to reduce the risk of recidivism.  Reducing these recidivism rates would lower the changes of subsequent DWI’s and potentially fatal motor vehicle accidents.

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