Patrick Seffrin in suit headshot

Research Study Examines Links Between Drug Use, Violence, and Criminal Justice Involvement among Men

Dr. Seffrin, along with his graduate research assistant, Joseph Teeple, recently had an article accepted for publication at the journal Race and Justice entitled “Making Drug Use Dangerous for Black Men: Race, Drugs, Violence, and Criminal Justice”. This study examined links between drug use, violence, and criminal justice involvement among Black and White men. Below is the article abstract: Differential treatment under the law has historically been the case for African Americans.

This study theorized that the War on Drugs, which was waged disproportionately in majority Black communities, had the unintended effect of making drug use riskier for Black men by limiting the supply of drugs to high-risk populations who commit far more serious and violent criminal offenses. A subsample of the Add Health data containing Black and White male survey participants were compared with respect to drug use, violence, and criminal justice involvement. Drug use was found to be less prevalent, overall, for Black men but its association with violence was greater for Black men than White men. Differential legal treatment for violence and drugs was found to be greater for Black men than White men and had diminishing returns for deterring violence and negative returns for drugs by predicting greater use. Accounting for differential legal treatment did not significantly reduce predicted racial disparities in violence or drug use. Implications of these findings are discussed.

Learn more about the Criminal Justice Degree at Marywood