Law Enforcement and Harm Reduction: Merging Public Safety and Public Health Roles
Date & Time
Tuesday, April 3, 2018, 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Sean Goodison, PhD, Deputy Director and Senior Research Criminologist , Police Executive Research Forum
Hope Smiley-McDonald, Director, Investigative Science Program, RTI International
Nick Richardson, Public Health Analyst, RTI International
Jeremy Barnum, MA, Research Associate, Police Executive Research Forum
Moderator: Rita Noonan, PhD, Branch Chief, Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CE Certified by: AAFP, GA Bar, GA POST
State and local jurisdictions across the country have implemented a number of innovative policing strategies - such as arrest diversion programs - that reflect the principles of harm reduction. These strategies prioritize: 1) reducing drug use harms; 2) engaging with offenders in a non-punitive manner; 3) linking offenders to rehabilitative services; 4) reducing recidivism; and 5) increasing community health, safety and wellness. Some jurisdictions are implementing data-driven, front-end responses that utilize public health and public safety data to pinpoint emerging problems (e.g., opioid overdose deaths) and develop the most cost-effective and efficient response to them (e.g., police naloxone programs).
Although lauded by criminal justice reformers, implementation of harm reduction approaches has led to a number of challenges for law enforcement. It is important to understand how these changes in policing philosophies have affected police culture, training practices, officer recruitment and community relationships. This session will include discussions of these and other relevant issues, as well as presentation of promising strategies implemented by practitioners from law enforcement and public health.
UPON COMPLETION OF THIS COURSE, PARTICIPANTS WILL BE ABLE TO:
- Discuss some of the social, cultural and political forces that led to a shift in policing philosophies.
- Describe specific harm reduction strategies that have been implemented in various law enforcement agencies.
- Identify some of the barriers and challenges law enforcement have faced when implementing these programs.