Jacqueline G. Lee, an assistant professor of criminal justice in the School of Public Service, co-authored an article on the growing crisis in drug use and overdose deaths for the March 6 edition of The Journal of Criminal Justice.
Between 1999 and 2018, the age-adjusted drug overdose death rate in the U.S. increased by 255%, with over 750,000 individuals dying as the result of an overdose.
Written with Alexander Testa of the University of Texas at San Antonio, “Drug overdose death rates and criminal sentencing of federal drug offenders in the United States” examines the impact of drug overdose rates on sentencing of federal drug offenders.
The study found that drug offenses tend to receive less severe sentences where drug overdose deaths are more common. The study also found that sentences for crimes involving the drugs most closely associated with the overdose epidemic tended to receive shorter sentences in jurisdictions with higher overdose deaths.