Legal Epidemiology in Law Enforcement and Public Health Conference 2021

The Temple University Center for Public Health Law Research convened a satellite conference in conjunction with the 6th International Conference on Law Enforcement and Public Health March 16–19, 2021. This satellite conference, funded by the National Science Foundation Law and Science Program, was a global gathering of people whose work in public health law research (also known as legal epidemiology) informs practice and policy at the intersection of law enforcement and public health. The satellite provided participants with an outlet to share their research, advance scholarship and methods, and support early-career and underrepresented scholars who are interested in studying the effects of criminal law and its enforcement on public health.

Legal epidemiology — the scientific study of law as a factor in the cause, distribution and prevention of disease and injury — is an emerging transdisciplinary field with roots in health, socio-legal and behavioral research. The intersection of law enforcement and public health encompasses both the obvious concerns and questions related to the interaction of law enforcement and communities, and broader questions about the effects of law and policy on security, safety, power, and control. It also asks how these issues interact with health, well-being and equity; all questions legal epidemiologists seek to answer.

Conference Materials

Access all conference materials here.


Pre-Recorded Conference Plenaries

Keynote discussion: Reflections on the Growth of Legal Epidemiology and Opportunities for the Future with eminent public health law researchers on the past, present and future of the field, and its role in supporting the field of law enforcement and public health. Featuring:

  • Jeffrey Swanson, MA, PhD, Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University School of Medicine
  • Alexander Wagenaar, PhD, Research Professor, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University
  • Scott Burris, JD, Professor and Director, Center for Public Health Law Research, Temple University Beasley School of Law and the College of Public Health

Framing a Legal Epidemiology Research Agenda on Policing and Public Health, presentation by Scott Burris, JD

Conference Panels and Methods Briefs

10-minute pre-recorded presentations of abstracts apply legal epidemiology research methods to issues in law enforcement and public health. Issues addressed include the effects of drug policy and its enforcement, the health effects of legal drug use, legal mapping, and the impacts of police practices on health effects and the social determinants of health.

Panelists have also prepared Methods Briefs that outline the methodological approach in greater detail.

Live Conference – March 16-19, 2021

March 16, 1 p.m. ET The future of research on the health effects of policing: discussion with panel and audience


Tim Akers, Assistant Vice President for Research Innovation and Advocacy, Professor of Public Health (Epidemiological Criminologist), Division of Research and Economic Development, Morgan State University

Oscar Alleyne, Chief of Programs and Services, National Association of City and County Health Officials

Brandon del Pozo, postdoctoral researcher, Rhode Island's Miriam Hospital and the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University

Miriam Krinsky, Executive Director, Fair and Just Prosecution
March 17, 1 p.m. ET Measuring the Effects of Drug Policy and Its Enforcement on Health

Universal Precautions: A Methodology for Trauma Informed Policing, Daniel Jones, University of Huddersfield & Edmonton Police Service
Building a Research and Policy Lab in a Prosecutor’s Office, Oren Gur and Michael Hollander, Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office
Jennifer Wood, PhD, Professor of Criminal Justice, Temple University College of Liberal Arts
Miriam Krinsky, Executive Director, Fair and Just Prosecution
March 18, 1 p.m. ET Measuring Health Effects of Legal Drug Use

Racial disparities in the effects of Good Samaritan Laws on overdose mortality, Tarlise Townsend, NYU Department of Population Health
Estimating the impact of prescriber arrest on county-level opioid analgesic supply: New York City and Long Island, New York, 2011-2018, Bennet Allen, Center for Opioid Epidemiology and Policy, Department of Population Health, New York University Grossman School of Medicine
Effects of Problem Court Protocols on participant morbidity and mortality, Elizabeth Van Nostrand, University of Pittsburgh
Impact of algorithms designed into interstate data sharing, Terri Lewis, National Changhua University of Education (Taiwan)
Leo Beletsky, JD, Professor of Law and Health Sciences at Northeastern University School of Law, and Faculty Director, Health in Justice Action Lab
Magdalena Cerdá, DrPH, MPH, Director, Center for Opioid Epidemiology and Policy, and Associate Professor, Department of Population Health, NYU Langone Health
March 19, 3 p.m. ET Legal Mapping

Measuring Tribal Law: Some Considerations, Lorinda Riley, SJD, University of Hawai’i at Manoa
Marital Age and Statutory Rape Laws
, Kaya Van Roost, McGill Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health
Policy tracking with criminal justice and corrections departments, Alexandra Hess, JD, and Sabrina Ruchelli, JD, Temple University Center for Public Health Law Research
Moderator: Evan Anderson, JD, PhD, Senior Lecturer, University of Pennsylvania Nursing
Rosalie Pacula, PhD, Senior Fellow, USC Schaeffer Center, Professor and Elizabeth Garrett Chair in Health Policy, Economics & Law, USC Price School
Corey Davis, JD, MSPH, Network for Public Health Law and Harm Reduction Legal Project
March 19, 5 p.m. ET Impacts of Police Practices on Health Effects and Social Determinants of Health

Presenters:Patterns of Marijuana Enforcement, Spruha Joshi, New York University
Infanticide and reproductive (in)justice in the South Pacific, Kate Burry, Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales
Rosie Frasso, PhD, MSc, MSc, CPH, Professor of Public Health, Thomas Jefferson University

About the Organizing Committee and the Satellite Conference

The satellite conference is hosted by the Center for Public Health Law Research at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law. The organizing committee for this satellite includes Scott Burris, JD, Professor and Director, Center for Public Health Law Research at Temple University Beasley School of Law; Jennifer Wood, PhD, Professor of Criminal Justice, Temple University College of Liberal Arts; and Rosemary Frasso, PhD, CPH, Associate Professor, Program Director, Public Health, College of Population Health, Thomas Jefferson University.