This was very interesting, even if there is a sense of futility in the milling of drug users.
Steve Bogira was given an amazing amount of access to this courtroom for a year. The judges, attorneys, correction workers, baliffs, victims' families, and defendants were very very candid with him. It is also a huge testament to the amount of work he did on this book that the year he spent in the courtroom was 1998, yet the book was not published until 2006. This may sound bad, but it's not. Interviews, fact-checking, and other things necessary to complete this amazing work obviously took a great deal of time. It was so interesting, I even read some of the longer footnotes.
This book deals with the drug problem, race issues, clogged court systems, and politics. At times the book is very cynical - it is well known here that everyone lies on both sides of the courtroom, sometimes you're not totally sure who the good guys and bad guys are, and people's motivations in the courtroom are not always what they seem to be.
If your a cynical person, you will definitely love this book. If you are not a cynical person, you will definitely get in touch with your "inner cynic." And that's not bad. Bogira has put the courts out there, warts and all.
This is probably the best "behind-the-scenes" book I have ever read. Highly highly recommended.
This was a well researched book, however there were a lot of statistics in it. It told the stories of the different cases that came to this courtroom and the outcomes. If you are interested in this, and how courtrooms work then you will like this book. A lot of history about our criminal justice system.