Alex Stevens: Does drug policy matter?

01/25/2011
Vera Institute of Justice

About this Video

The Vera Institute of Justice's Neil A. Weiner Research Speaker Series features Alex Stevens, professor of criminal justice at the University of Kent, England In this podcast, Professor Stevens discusses his research comparing drug policies of five countries—the Netherlands; Portugal; Sweden; the United Kingdom; and the United States—to determine whether drug policy affects drug use. His findings suggest that a penal response to drug use has no discernible correlation to lower drug-use rates. Rather, a greater commitment to treatment and harm-reduction policies--such as distributing clean needles--correlates with less drug use; countries with the lowest levels of welfare support have the highest levels of injectable drug use.