Author ORCID Identifier

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Public Policy & Administration

First Advisor

Dr. Amy Cook

Second Advisor

Dr. Henry Brownstein

Third Advisor

Dr. Jill Gordan

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Nancy Morris


Despite the beneficial impacts of drug court participation, access to these programs may not be equitable across racial groups. The reasons behind racial disparities in access to these programs are not well-documented in the current literature. This study investigates disparities in access to drug court and the possible reasons they occur. Chi-square tests are used to assess for disparities in admissions between Black and White individuals referred to drug court. Additional statistical analyses addressed the association of sex and age with admission to provide a broader picture of the impact of a variety of demographic characteristics on admission to drug court. Among individuals who were referred, but not admitted, to drug court, chi-square tests were performed to assess for racial disparities in the recorded reasons these individuals were not admitted. This study found that White individuals were more likely to be admitted to drug court than Black individuals, and women were more likely to be admitted than men. Among those not admitted, Black individuals were more likely to be denied admission due to a history of drug trafficking or distribution charges and the discretion of a team member or gatekeeper who determines eligibility. White individuals were more likely to be denied admission due to technical legal reasons and were more likely to decline to participate.


© Kathryn Genthon

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission