Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Leadership (Ed.D.)

Type of Paper/Work



Jean-Pierre Bongila, Aura Wharton-Beck, Chien-Tzu Candace Chou



Substance abuse is more than an individual problem. Drug abuse and addiction cost American society more than $740 billion annually in lost workplace productivity, healthcare expenses, and crime-related costs (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2017a), which makes it a serious economic and public health problem. The societal problem has been normalized by many but Binder County DWI Court began addressing this problem in 2008 by developing a person- centered program that incorporates mindfulness and motivational techniques. This study is intended to gain more information concerning the effects of the program and low recidivism rate as well as how treatment courts can duplicate the best practices.

This study sought to identify the mechanisms, which a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) Court within Binder county utilized to reduce recidivism. It also examined the elements of those mechanisms that can be adaptable and adoptable in other courts dealing with DWI recidivism. I conducted 3 field experiences, 6 field observations (4 in person and 2 virtual), and interviewed 15 informants including 4 community members, 3 Binder Court DWI staff, and 8 volunteers. Three main findings were found to be the most crucial factors for Binder County DWI Court’s success: Binder County DWI Court as a less punitive program; Binder County DWI Court offers integrated services; Binder County DWI Court utilizing evidence-based practices that includes substance use treatment, group and peer support, mental health therapy, and mindfulness practices such as trauma-informed yoga, generated a number of implications for practice and policy change including adapting evidence-based practices, being trauma-informed, utilizing a collaborative approach, organizing specialized positions, and flexibility to socio-political changes.

Keywords: Addiction, court, DUI, motivation, recidivism, treatment


Addiction, DWI, recidivism, court, motivation, treatment

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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