Alex Stevens Does drug policy matter?

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.


No One Should Be Sentenced to Die in Prison

Incarcerating elderly people does nothing to advance public safety.

At 68 years old, Greg Mingo was granted clemency and released from a New York State prison after being unjustly convicted of a crime he did not commit. After spending more than 39 years in prison, he expected to die there. In freedom, he advocates for the release of other incarcerated older people. “When I left prison a few months ago, I left many ...

  • Marta Nelson
    Marta Nelson
  • Erica Bryant
    Erica Bryant
January 17, 2024

Women's Pathways Into and Out of Jail in Buncombe County

Findings from Research with Women Detained in Buncombe County and Recommendations for Reducing the Use of Jail

This report presents an analysis of women’s experiences with the local criminal legal system in Buncombe County, North Carolina: their pathways into and out of the jail, their living conditions and concerns during detention, and their perspectives on how services and systems in the county can improve. This study occurred in September 2021 at a time ...

  • Jennifer Peirce, Tara Dhanraj Roden, Sandhya Kajeepeta, Elizabeth Swavola, Jesmeen Grewal
November 16, 2022

What Happens When We Send Mental Health Providers Instead of Police

Police have become the default first responders for people experiencing mental health crises. Some cities are realizing that needs to change.

For Daniel Prude, Patrick Warren Sr., and Ricardo Muñoz, 911 calls led to tragedy. They are three of at least 97 people killed just last year after police responded to reports of someone behaving erratically or having a mental health crisis, according to Mapping Police Violence. Our approach to mental health treatment in the United States has made ...

  • Nazish Dholakia
    Nazish Dholakia
  • Daniela Gilbert
    Daniela Gilbert
May 27, 2021