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Newly-Funded Projects

Illuminating the Opioid Drug Crisis in Pennsylvania: Trends, Patterns, and Correlates of Drug and Opioid Law Violations across Rural and Urban Pennsylvania Counties from 2000 to the present

Drs. Darrell Steffensmeier and Jeffery Ulmer (Professors of Sociology and Criminology and Justice Center for Research Faculty Affiliates) will provide an assessment of the patterns and trends in opioid-drug law violations over the 2000-2017 period across a rural-continuum of counties in Pennsylvania as based on major markers of opioid abuse and/or social control responses to this abuse: arrests, convictions, imposition of intermediate punishments (e.g., treatment programs), and incarcerations.

Linking Accidental Overdoses to Medical Professionals and Pharmacies: A Population-Based Social Network Analysis

Drs. Oren Gur (Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, PSU Abington) and Glenn Sterner (Justice Center for Research Postdoctoral Scholar) will provide needed insight into the relationship between legitimate dispensations of prescription opioid painkillers via medical professionals and pharmacies, and fatal overdoses from opioids.

Mechanisms of Firearm-Related Family Violence

Dr. Amy Marshall (Associate Professor of Psychology) will build a foundation for a uniquely externally-valid examination of two alternative mechanisms by which firearms may contribute to violent behavior: psychological priming and threat reactivity.

The Ethics of Policing

Dr. Eduardo Mendieta (Professor of Philosophy, Associate Director of the Rock Ethics Institute) will provide an interdisciplinary and international conference on the ethics of policing that brings together political scientists, criminologists, philosophers, legal experts, and others. The Rock Ethics Institute will host this conference September 20-22, 2018, at PSU’s University Park Campus.

Effects of Permanency on the Adult Criminality of Former Foster Care Youth

Dr. Sarah Font (Assistant Professor of Sociology) will ascertain whether, and under what circumstances, adoption produces superior outcomes as compared with aging out of care among youth who enter the foster care system as adolescents.