Drug court as both a legal and medical authority

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This article explores how addiction is conceptualized in a drug court program. Through observations and interviews in a drug court in a large northeastern city, the author reveals how the court uses ambiguous and inconsistent medicalized language to describe addiction, extending the label of addiction to behaviors not just associated with using drugs, but with selling drugs as well. Ultimately, drug courts incorporate a medicalized notion of addiction to further their own control over drug-related issues, since they become the authority of both the client's treatment and their punishment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-291
Number of pages35
JournalDeviant Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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