Judging Addicts: Drug Courts and Coercion in the Justice System

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Overview

The number of people incarcerated in the U.S. now exceeds 2.3 million, due in part to the increasing criminalization of drug use: over 25% of people incarcerated in jails and prisons are there for drug offenses. Judging Addicts examines this increased criminalization of drugs and the medicalization of addiction in the U.S. by focusing on drug courts, where defendants are sent to drug treatment instead of prison. Rebecca Tiger explores how advocates of these courts make their case for what they call ?enlightened ...

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Judging Addicts: Drug Courts and Coercion in the Justice System

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Overview

The number of people incarcerated in the U.S. now exceeds 2.3 million, due in part to the increasing criminalization of drug use: over 25% of people incarcerated in jails and prisons are there for drug offenses. Judging Addicts examines this increased criminalization of drugs and the medicalization of addiction in the U.S. by focusing on drug courts, where defendants are sent to drug treatment instead of prison. Rebecca Tiger explores how advocates of these courts make their case for what they call “enlightened coercion,” detailing how they use medical theories of addiction to justify increased criminal justice oversight of defendants who, through this process, are defined as both “sick” and “bad.”

Tiger shows how these courts fuse punitive and therapeutic approaches to drug use in the name of a “progressive” and “enlightened” approach to addiction. She critiques the medicalization of drug users, showing how the disease designation can complement, rather than contradict, punitive approaches, demonstrating that these courts are neither unprecedented nor unique, and that they contain great potential to expand punitive control over drug users. Tiger argues that the medicalization of addiction has done little to stem the punishment of drug users because of a key conceptual overlap in the medical and punitive approaches—that habitual drug use is a problem that needs to be fixed through sobriety. Judging Addicts presses policymakers to implement humane responses to persistent substance use that remove its control entirely from the criminal justice system and ultimately explores the nature of crime and punishment in the U.S. today.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"In a compelling narrative, Judging Addicts shatters the prevailing assumptions about the novelty and success of contemporary drug courts. This brave and fascinating book is a must-read for scholars, practitioners, and advocates in the criminal justice and public health fields."-Mona Lynch,Professor of Criminology, Law & Society, University of California, Irvine

"Calling addiction a disease has not reduced stigma and suffering but rather widened the drug war's net of punitive social control. This brilliant book shows the uneasy coexistence of punishment and recovery—a sociologically rich story told in crystalline prose." -Craig Reinarman,Professor of Sociology, University of California, Santa Cruz

"Judging Addicts traces the intellectual genealogy of our latest criminal justice reform ‘fix’ to a constellation of ideas about illness and crime, freedom and responsibility, that have driven American justice policies since the Progressive era. An essential read for all of those looking for a real exit to mass incarceration."-Jonathan Simon,Adrian A. Kragen Professor of Law, Berkeley Law School

"Tiger's history and analysis of drug courts are very interesting"-California Lawyer,

"Recommended. Upper-division undergraduate, graduate, and research collections."-P. Lermack,CHOICE

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814784075
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 12/3/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 1,285,024
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author


Rebecca Tiger is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Middlebury College and co-editor of Bioethical Issues, Sociological Perspectives.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

1 Both Bad and Sick 15

2 Criminalizing Deviance: Reconciling the Punitive and Rehabilitative 41

3 "The Right Thing to Do for the Right Reasons": The Institutional Context for the Emergence of Drug Courts 58

4 "Enlightened Coercion": Making Coercion Work 73

5 "Force Is the Best Medicine": Addiction, Recovery, and Coercion 88

6 "Now That We Know the Medicine Works": Expanding the Drug Court Model 115

Conclusion 133

Appendix 151

Notes 157

Bibliography 173

Index 183

About the Author 198

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2014

    Extraordinary book

    Delineates problems w drug courts and offers workable solutions.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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