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Don Linhorst, Ph.D., M.S.W.

Professor of Social Work
School of Social Work

My area of research is the intersection of the mental health and criminal justice systems, including the insanity defense, mental health courts and jail-based substance abuse treatment. I thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to involve students in my research so they can learn more about these highly vulnerable individuals.

- Don Linhorst, Ph.D., M.S.W.

Courses Taught

Social Work Research, Program Evaluation, Mental Health and Crime


Ph.D., University of Missouri-St. Louis
M.S.W., Saint Louis University
M.A., University of Missouri-St. Louis
B.S.W., University of Missouri-St. Louis

Research Interests

Empowerment of vulnerable persons; the intersection of the criminal justice and mental health systems, particularly the insanity defense, mental health courts, and jail-based substance abuse treatment; prisoner reentry, homelessness

Publications and Media Placements

  1. Dirks-Linhorst, P. A, Linhorst, D. M., & Loux, T. (in press). Criminal court-ordered psychiatric evaluations: Does gender play a role? Women and Criminal Justice.
  2. Dirks-Linhorst, P. A., Linhorst, D. M., & Loux, T. (in press). The role of race in court-ordered pretrial psychiatric evaluations. Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice.
  3. Kondrat, D., Linhorst, D. M., Dirks-Linhorst, P. A., & Horning, E. (2018, July 16). An analysis of readmissions to a mental health court. Social Work Research. Online first.
  4. Linhorst, D. M., Dirks-Linhorst, P. A., & Sy, J. (2018). Criminal justice responses to offenders with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In W. Lindsay & J. L. Taylor (Eds.), The Wiley Handbook on Offenders with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (pp. 86-104). Street Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Press.
  5. Linhorst, D. M., Laux, T. M., Dirks-Linhorst, P. A., & Riley, S., & (2018). Characteristics and outcomes of people with intellectual and development disabilities participating in a mental health court. American Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 123(4), 359-370.
  6. Linhorst, D. M., McGraugh, S., Choate, L, & Dirks-Linhorst, P. A. (2017). A comparison of public defenders and private attorneys representing defendants with mental illness: An analysis of court-ordered pretrial psychiatric evaluations. American Journal of Criminal Justice. Online first.
For a full listing of Dr. Linhorst's publications, please see the curriculum vitae.

Professional Organizations and Associations

  • Council on Social Work Education, member
  • National Association of Deans and Directors of Schools of Social Work, member
  • Society for Social Work and Research, member

Community Work and Service

He serves on the program advisory boards of St. Patrick Center and Salvation Army. He also provides program evaluation services to the Missouri Department of Mental Health, the St. Louis County Department of Justice Services, and the St. Louis County Municipal Mental Health Court.