Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Cannabis / 05.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nathan J. Connealy Doctoral student John Jay College of Criminal Justice CUNY MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The background, or what prompted this study, is that research on this topic is pertinent right now as more states continue down a path towards legalization. A large share of the research base and public debate centers around the potential adverse effects of marijuana accessibility, consumer-based concerns, and health specific outcomes associated with usage. This research instead focuses on a lesser explored question related to the potential for the physical dispensary locations to impact crime levels, which is also an important consideration when assessing the impact of recreational marijuana legalization. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Cannabis / 14.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Smoking Marijuana” by Martin Alonso is licensed under CC BY 2.0 Ruibin Lu Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Stockton University Absecon, New Jersey MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We are witnessing a trend of legalizing marijuana in the United States and in the world. Many states have either legalized recreational marijuana or are considering it. At the same time, there are concerns about what will happen to our society if weed is legal. One of the concerns is about crime rates: are we going to experience more or fewer crimes after legalizing recreational marijuana? This is a legitimate question that we should consider when making cannabis-related public policies. Our research provides a preliminary answer to this question. It analyzes crime rates before and after the legalization using rigorous scientific methods and provides more information on how marijuana legalization may affect crime rates. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Mental Health Research / 07.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nathan W. Link, PhD Department of Sociology, Anthropology, & Criminal Justice Rutgers University Camden, NJ 08102 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Much literature documents the physical and mental health problems ailing prisoners and those incarcerated in jails. Some research finds that incarceration can bring about or exacerbate these mental and physical health conditions. Beginning from this premise, we ask how this damaged health status influences former prisoners’ ability to return home and remain crime free. We examined physical health limitations and depression among a longitudinal sample of prisoners in twelve U.S. states and found that both dimensions of health problems lead to further criminal behavior and in turn reincarceration. This effect is of health conditions is indirect; it affects crime and reincarceration through adverse impacts on employment and family relationships—factors long known to be related to criminal offending. In this way, we now know that not only can incarceration lead to health problems, but health problems can lead to incarceration. This is important in a society with leading incarceration levels and wide health disparities across race and socioeconomic status. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Brain Injury / 29.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Joseph A Schwartz PhD Public Affairs and Community Service, Criminology and Criminal Justice University of Nebraska Omaha, Omaha, NE MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: My larger research agenda is focused on identifying the ways in which environmental and biological influences work collectively to shape behavioral patterns across major stages of the life course. I am particularly interested in identifying environmental influences that can change biological functioning or activity to result in behavioral change. Brain injury was a natural progression of these interests since brain injury is expected to result in changes in the structure and functioning of the brain, which has been linked to meaningful changes in behavior. There have also been a sizable number of studies that indicate that justice involved populations experience brain injury at a rate that is between five and eight times what is observed in the general population. I was fascinated by this finding and thought that brain injury may be a good candidate influence to investigate further. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, JAMA, Mental Health Research / 28.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Madeleine Liljegren, MD Division of Oncology and Pathology Department of Clinical Sciences Lund University Lund, Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We know from former studies including patients with a clinical diagnosis of dementia, that criminal and socially inappropriate behaviors can be signs of dementia, sometimes even the first signs of a neurodegenerative disorder. We wanted to study this relatively large (n=220) cohort of neuropathologically verified Alzheimer disease (AD) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) patients, who had been followed clinically by specialists in cognitive medicine or geriatric psychiatry during their disease period, to see if we could confirm results from previous studies. In this paper, we further wanted to study potential differences regarding protein pathology and criminal behavior in frontotemporal dementia patients. This has, to our knowledge, never been done before. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Technology / 26.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Cynthia Lum, PhD Professor of Criminology Law and Society George Mason University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Body-worn cameras (BWCs) are one of the most rapidly diffusing technologies in policing today, costing agencies and their municipalities millions of dollars. Recent estimates by the Bureau of Justice statistics indicate that over 60% of local police departments have already acquired BWCs. This adoption has been propelled by highly publicized officer-involved shootings and other death-in-custody events in this decade, as well as more generally by continuing concerns regarding police-citizen relationships, particularly within communities of color. All of these contexts prompt the need to better understand the impacts and effects of BWCs as they diffuse rapidly into policing. Specifically, do BWCs achieve the expectations that citizens, communities, and the police have of them? This article provides a narrative review of 70 studies, representing over 110 findings, about what we know from research across six important Body-worn cameras domains: (1) the impact of BWCs on officer behavior; (2) officer attitudes about BWCs; (3) the impact of BWCs on citizen behavior; (4) citizen and community attitudes about BWCs; (5) the impact of BWCs on criminal investigations; and (6) the impact of BWCs on law enforcement organizations. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Cannabis / 22.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lonnie M. Schaible PhD Associate Professor School of Public Affairs University of Colorado Denver, CO MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Following legalization of recreational marijuana use in Colorado, strong -- but unsubstantiated -- claims were being made about crime surrounding marijuana dispensaries. We wanted to know what the data would show. We were especially interested in determining whether the addition of recreational facilities had any effects above and beyond those which might exist for medical dispensaries. To better capture the dynamic landscape of marijuana legalization, this is the first study to control for the prior existence of medical dispensaries and assess how effects of both of these types of establishments changed over time. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Alcohol, Author Interviews / 03.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Pamela Trangenstein, PhD While a predoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Research repeatedly shows that alcohol outlet density (the number of businesses that sell alcohol in an area) is associated with violent crime, but studies disagree about whether alcohol outlets that are on premise (e.g., bars, restaurants) or off premise (e.g., liquor stores, beer and wine stores) have a stronger association with violent crime. We used advanced methods that consider both the number of alcohol outlets and their locations to better understand how the association between alcohol outlets and violent crime differs by type of outlet. We found that alcohol outlets that allow off-premise sales like liquor stores had a stronger association with homicide, aggravated assault, and robbery than on-premise outlets like bars and restaurants. We also found that disadvantaged neighborhoods had higher access to the types of alcohol outlets associated with the most harms: off-premise outlets. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, BMJ, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 08.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “police” by istolethetv is licensed under CC BY 2.0 Anthony L. Bui, MPH M.D. Candidate, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA Matthew M. Coates, MPH Associate, Harvard Medical School, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine Ellicott C. Matthay, MPH Ph.D. Candidate, Division of Epidemiology, University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Protests after recent deaths from encounters with law enforcement, the Black Lives Matter movement, and activism over social media platforms have raised the profile of the problem of police violence. Several studies have suggested that the public health community has a duty to address these deaths as a public health problem. These studies have also pointed out that although there is a lack of officially reported statistics on police violence, other journalistic and crowd-sourced efforts such as “The Counted” from The Guardian, FatalEncounters.org, U.S. Police Shootings Database, KilledbyPolice.net, and Mapping Police Violence have relatively complete documentation of deaths from police violence. To help frame the issue as a public health problem, we calculated years of life lost (YLLs) attributed to deaths from encounters with law enforcement. YLLs are, a metric that measures premature deaths, by age, gender, and race/ethnicity. To do this, we followed established methods, subtracting the age of each death from a corresponding standard life expectancy. For example, if an individual who died at age 25 had a life expectancy of 75, their YLL would be 50. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences / 12.06.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Olivia Choy Ph.D. candidate in Criminology Department of Criminology, University of Pennsylvania University of Pennsylvania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The higher rate of offending among males compared to females is a well-documented phenomenon. However, little is known about what accounts for this gender difference. As males have been found to have significantly lower heart rates than females and lower resting heart rates have been associated with higher levels of offending, we tested whether low heart rate may partly account for the gender gap in crime. Resting heart rate at age 11 accounted for 5.4% to 17.1% of the gender difference in crime at age 23. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, JAMA, Karolinski Institute, Mental Health Research / 06.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hanna Sahlin MSc, Lic psychologist, Lic psychotherapist Specialist in clinical psychology PhD-student Departement of Clinical Neuroscience Karolinska Institutet National Self-harm project Centre for Psychiatry Research, CPF Stockholm, Sweden What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This study is the result of wanting to find a more conclusive answer to whether individuals who engage in non-fatal deliberate self-harm are more prone to aggression towards others. There has long been a debate on whether aggression to oneself and aggression towards others co-occur, but the studies that have been conducted thus far have been on smaller samples or with clinical or forensic cohorts. Also, the studies have had great variability regarding the definition of both “deliberate self-harm” and “violence”. Thus, it has been difficult to establish an ”overall” effect size for this association, or to draw firmer conclusions on how and if this association plays out in the general population. We had the opportunity to study this association in several large nationwide population-based registries including all Swedish citizens, and with high specificity regarding the ingoing variables of interest – i.e., non-fatal deliberate self-harm (as registered in the National Patient Register) and violent crime convictions (as registered in the National Crime Register). We found a five times increased crude risk (hazard) of being convicted of a violent crime if one had received self-harm associated clinical care, and vice-versa, that there was an equally increased risk of self-harm if one had been convicted of a violent crime. After controlling for relevant psychiatric comorbidities and socio-economic status, an almost doubled risk of violent crime conviction remained among self-harming men and women compared to individuals not exposed to self-harm. It is important to notice that our study did not find any evidence suggesting that self-harm behaviours cause violent criminality. Therefore, we conclude that the engagement in violence towards oneself and towards others share an underlying vulnerability to impulsive and aggressive behaviours. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews / 13.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Robert Adelman PhD Associate professor of sociology University at Albany, SUNY MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Our study examines Census and FBI data across four decades from 1970 to 2010. We analyze data for 200 randomly selected U.S. metropolitan areas. Our results show strong and stable evidence that for murder, robbery, burglary, and larceny as immigration increases, on average, in American metropolitan areas, crime decreases. We find no impact of immigration on aggravated assault. (more…)