Judging Addicts: Drug Courts and Coercion in the Justice System. By Rebecca Tiger. New York & London: New York Univ. Press, 2013. 208 pp. $23.00 paper.

Date01 December 2014
Published date01 December 2014
important lessons for law and development scholars, particularly
those interested in fragile or war-torn states. Finally, this book will
be essential reading for anyone hoping to understand Sudanese
history or contemporary politics, particularly following the seces-
sion of the South.
Ginsburg, Tom, & Tamir Moustafa, eds. (2008) Rule by Law: The Politics of Courts in
Authoritarian Regimes. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press.
Judging Addicts: Drug Courts and Coercion in the Justice System.By
Rebecca Tiger. New York & London: New York Univ. Press, 2013.
208 pp. $23.00 paper.
Reviewed by Erez Garnai, Department of Sociology, University of
Drug courts began to proliferate in the mid-1990s, following the
War on Drugs, at a time when the prison boom was at its peak. The
ailing criminal justice system, faced with a mass of drug-related
offenders, high recidivism rates, and a general feeling that “nothing
works,” needed a cure. Drug courts were established as a potential
remedy. By now, celebrating their 25th anniversary, there is a rare
consensus on the success of drug courts within a criminal justice
system often criticized for being either “soft on crime” or overly
punitive. In Judging Addicts, Rebecca Tiger, a professor of socio-
logy at Middlebury College, traces the roots of this consensus.
Grounded in a sociology of knowledge perspective, the book delin-
eates the success of drug courts by focusing on the development
of our ideas about addiction. Drug courts, claims Tiger, are a
manifestation of the “historical triumph” of the disease model of
addiction. Moreover, it is a triumph that certifies the formal inte-
gration of the medical model into the heart of the state’s judicial
procedure—profoundly altering the character of “judgment.”
From a philosophy of punishment perspective, the rise of
drug courts in particular, and problem-solving courts in general, is
somewhat perplexing, given the collapse of the rehabilitative ideal in
the 1970s and the proliferation of extremely punitive forms of
984 Book Reviews

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT