Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

David Pyrooz

Second Advisor

Michael Radelet

Third Advisor

Tim Wadsworth

Fourth Advisor

Leslie Irvine


Veteran treatment courts (VTCs) are an emerging type of problem-solving court, where a designated criminal-court docket is reserved for people who have served in the US armed forces. Through evidence-based treatment practices, these courts seek to lower criminal recidivism while maintaining public safety by addressing the underlying causes of criminality prevalent among military veterans, including post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse disorder, alcoholism, and mental illness. Drawing on Weberian and Foucauldian explanations of power, this paper contributes to the growing body of research on VTCs by analyzing how the medical and legal institutions exert social control over individual veterans. Using ethnographic data from several Colorado VTCs and interviews with 13 veteran participants, I argue that VTCs institutionally employ a tactic of “strategic masculinity” as a means of encouraging individual veterans to adopt healthy lifestyles that include sobriety and law-abiding behavior.

Included in

Criminology Commons