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The drug court model combines judicial processes with substance abuse programs in order to offer an alternative to jail time for drug offences. However, the model has only been partially successful in dealing with the “revolving door” phenomenon. Facing continuous challenges in their work, some drug court programs (as well as academic scholars studying these issues) have begun to look at “social capital” (Bourdieu 1986, Putnam 1996, Coleman 1986) as a potential candidate to come up with a more holistic recovery and reintegration model (May 2008). Studies have suggested that drug users tend to have either impoverished social networks and/or are members of cohesive deviant groups that tend to resist “positive” change (Gilmore et al. 2005). Inspired by this assumption, this exploratory case study will look at a regional drug court program, using college students, who are abundant in social capital and do not use/ abuse drugs and/or alcohol, as a comparison group to better understand these phenomena. Social capital is defined by the sum of four types of network resources – economic, emotional, normative and cultural– the study aims to map out a slice of social orbits in which drug court participant move. We are especially interested how social capital dynamics affect the likelihood of an individual to “make progress” in the drug court program and to what degree demographic factors may come into play. To that end we are employing a mixed-method approach that aims to shed further light at dynamics, occurring at the network level (to study issues of resource availability) as well as at the individual level (to understand resource access/resource use). [Poster]


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  • Event location
    • Library Technology Center 3rd Floor Open Area

  • Event date
    • 29 March 2012

  • Date submitted

    18 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Daniel Hatch and Toralf Zschau