Social Capital, Social Cohesion, Empowerment, Infant Mortality, Drug Court


The purpose of this evaluative study was two-fold; one was to evaluate a grant supported program that used the justice system to offer patient navigation services and the second goal was to provide a qualitative evaluation of the women’s health care experiences as they went through a court mandated drug program. Primary data was obtained from interviews with forty-seven program participants (n=47) from March, 2008 until January, 2010, and participant observation was used to explore treatment modalities and options available to these women. Secondary data was obtained from program staff as well as a review of the survey evaluation process by the staff where data was collected through participant surveys. The findings suggest that poor outcomes for the women and their children are related to socioeconomic and/or behavioral barriers that produce difficulties forging successful relationships with traditional health care providers. When interventions that promote advocacy and empowerment are in place, there seems to be an improvement in outcomes for the mothers and their children.