Christina Minasian Hunt, Psy.D., is a 2018 graduate of the Psy.D. Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, New England

Dissertation Committee:

  • George Tremblay, PhD, Committee Chair
  • Cynthia Whitaker, PsyD, Committee Member
  • Dennis Dion, PhD, Committee Member


Drug court, program evaluation, process evaluation, fidelity assessment, Utilization-Focused Evaluation, Ten Key components, Best Practice Standards

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This study details the application of the Utilization Focused Evaluation model (Patton, 2012) to the Hillsborough County South Drug Court (HCSDC) program evaluation. The program requested an evaluation as part of the National Adult Drug Court model and expressed a desire to better understand their fidelity to the established model. Drug courts across the United States are required to base their programs on the Ten Key Components and the Best Practice Standards. I used this model to evaluate the extent to which the HCSDC team has utilized these concepts in their planning and execution of their drug court. The study begins with some background about drug court and an overview of the Key Components and Best Practice Standards. I discuss program evaluation, process evaluation, and Utilization-Focused Evaluation (UFE) and describe my evaluation tools. I describe my methods which involved direct observation of the program’s activities, collaboration with the team, as well as definition of participant and non-participant characteristics. Analyses included calculating means, recording frequencies of events, and comparing participant and non-participant demographics. This evaluation procedure was also compared to the evaluation guidelines by the national drug court model. Qualitative data were derived from themes derived during HCSDC team member interviews. Results include areas of strength, such as providing a variety of treatment options for many levels of care, collaboration between staff, including the typically adversarial defense and prosecution, as well as mental health and recovery-focused training for all team members. Challenges included having a participant population that is representative of the local county prison, promptly admitting participants to the program, and ensuring cross-training for mental health professionals in legal matters.


Christina Minasian Hunt

ORCID Scholar ID# 0000-0002-4611-0761