Policing Pain and Social Distancing During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Author: Sandra Trappen, Ph.D.
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Article Topics: substance use, policing, criminal justice system, Pennsylvania, qualitative research Opioid-related drug overdose is a leading cause of death and injury in the United States. Both prescription as well as illicit opioids continue to play a major role in the growing opioid epidemic. When we consider individuals who use opioids, some of the social factors described in this post may double as risk factors for infectious disease transmission, including COVID-19. Early studies of Middle East Respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-COV) that emerged in 2012 documented that transmissions and outbreaks have been correlated with healthcare settings. Recently, experts have called…

COVID-19 and its impact on intimate partner violence

Author: Penelope K. Morrison, Ph.D., MPH , Richard Wentling, Ph.D.
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Article Topics: family, domestic abuse, criminal justice system Introduction Each year in the United States, nearly 12 million people are the victims of some form of intimate partner violence (IPV) or domestic abuse. Under normal circumstances, IPV is an incredibly difficult public health and socio-judicial issue to address – by nature IPV is “behind closed doors,” and thus, stigma, shame and embarrassment, as well as concerns over safety and privacy, often prohibits individuals experiencing abuse from seeking help. The COVID-19 pandemic has only served to exacerbate this issue by not only increasing the incidence of IPV, but also by adding new…

Impacts of the Coronavirus Pandemic on the Criminal Justice System

Author: Gary Zajac, Ph.D. , Derek Kreager, Ph.D. , Glenn Sterner, Ph.D.
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Article Topics: criminal justice system, policing, courts, corrections, Pennsylvania The global Coronavirus pandemic of 2020 has had an unprecedented impact on the operations of national, state and local governments across all domains of public policy. In this post, we focus on the impacts to the criminal justice system (CJS) as of early April. Because this situation is evolving rapidly, the information presented here may change daily. Although we focus on impacts within Pennsylvania, it is likely that at least some of the impacts discussed are generalizable to the CJS nationally, and perhaps even internationally. We examine system impacts resulting directly from efforts to…