Reintegrative Shaming in Drug Court

Kevin Whiteacre, Indiana University

Drug courts propose to hold users of illegal drugs accountable for their behavior. They also, however include program elements intended to reward drug users for compliance. Further, many drug courts include a ceremony to symbolically express support for successful completion of the drug court regimen. As such, drug courts appear to utilize principles of Braithwaite's theory of reintegrative shaming. This study, based on observations of drug court proceedings and interviews with defendants, explores the extent to which messages of reintegrative shaming are included in drug court. Implications regarding our understanding of reintegrative shaming as well as policy iplications for drug courts are discussed.

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Updated 05/20/2006