|vidual problems and the formation of bonds of group solidarity become merely abstract if those who discover such problems are not organized to take action to address them. The dominant tendency in drug treatment programs is to isolate clients from community networks and for programs themselves to be self-contained. The goal of removing clients from the influence of those who would encourage them to continue their drug use is laudable. But this goal is better achieved by linking drug treatment with broader strategies of community control over networks and services through a set of interlocked institutions. I have argued that a punishment approach is both unjust to addicted mothers and largely ineffective in preventing harm to babies. A caring treatment approach is far superior to punishment. When caregiving people and institutions deny or ignore the facts of their power, however, they often operate in normalizing ways that strive primarily to adjust clients to existing social structures and expectations. These structures and expectations usually reinforce relations of privilege and oppression. An approach to treatment and policy for pregnant addicts aimed at empowering them is best. I have no doubt that a great many service providers wish to empower their clients. However, if Foucault is correct in stating that bureaucratic and therapeutic institutions are usually normalizing, providers should recognize that empowering clients is very difficult within service providing institutions. An empowering approach to policy for pregnant addicts entails struggle -- by service providers, by clients to whom they listen, and by the rest of us who seek a more just world for women.|
This chapter is revised frorn Iris Young, "Punishment, Treatment, Empowerment: Three Approaches to Policy for Pregnant Addicts", Feminist Studies 20( 1):33-57 ( Spring 1994). Reprinted by permission of Feminist Studies, Inc., c/o Women's Studies Program, University of Maryland, College Park, Md 20742.