Drug courts first originated 27 years ago with the purpose to serve as an alternative option to help individuals who are struggling with drug addiction. The way society has handled drug addiction has drastically changed throughout history. Strict laws have led to punishment, but recently, there has been a slow shift in how society approaches addiction, which has led to more support for treatment as opposed to punitive action. My Independent Study uses one court as a case study to examine whether drugs courts are functional in the context of treating addiction and how they are working to meet the goals of the court and of the individual. Comparing and contrasting the program manual and interviews with courthouse officials, I closely examine exactly how the drug court implements the process. Emile Durkheim, Howard Becker, and Joseph Gusfield are the theorists that I use to help explain my findings. The results of my study indicate that this particular drug court succeeds in reaching high levels of accountability and individualism for the participants; however, the drug court as an institution should reconsider the structure in order to better benefit a wider range of people struggling with addiction.
Sociology and Anthropology
Trescher, Claire E., "Misunderstood and Mistreated: A Case Study of Drug Court as a Functional Treatment Method for Drug Addicts" (2016). Senior Independent Study Theses. Paper 7269.
Social and Behavioral Sciences
drug addiction, treatment, drug court
Bachelor of Arts
Senior Independent Study Thesis
© Copyright 2016 Claire E. Trescher