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Policing and Public Health: Advancing Harm Reduction Strategies in Law Enforcement Practices

Wednesday, 02 December 2015,  6:00 -  8:00

Burdens borne by the failures of current community health and social service systems are often unfairly placed on the shoulders of law enforcement, who are gatekeepers to a criminal justice system that disproportionately affects the most disadvantaged communities in the United States. A public health approach to policing is necessary to address the health inequalities, violence, trauma, racism, and poverty at the root of many arrests, including by using the principles of harm reduction to respond to the needs of these marginalized individuals and communities.

This event will bring together the perspectives and experiences of researchers, harm reduction advocates, and law enforcement to describe how to bridge the cultural divide between law enforcement, public health agencies, and community health providers in order to protect the rights and foster the health of the most vulnerable members of society.


  • Brendan Cox is chief of police of the Albany Police Department.
  • David Cloud is a senior program associate for the Substance Use and Mental Health Program at the Vera Institute.
  • Marc Krupanski is a program officer for the Open Society Public Health Program.
Location : Open Society Foundations – New York