INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI and the IU Public Policy Institute are pleased to announce that the Center for Criminal Justice Research is changing its name to the Center for Health and Justice Research.
The center conducts rigorous community-engaged research focused on behavioral health populations and the criminal justice system. Recent projects include a series of studies on opioid risk, naloxone distribution and recipient outcomes, and overdose deaths in Marion County, as well research on mobile crisis-assistance teams and pretrial risk-assessment programs to reduce reincarceration rates and jail populations throughout the state.
"Make no mistake -- this change in name does not mean a change in our mission," said SPEA associate professor Brad Ray, director of the Center for Health and Justice Research.
Instead, Ray says, the new name will better reflect the center's work while ensuring it does not contribute to the stigmatization of the populations involved in that work.
"Words matter, and the words we use to describe these populations also matter," Ray said. "We were troubled by the possibility that we might inadvertently contribute to the stigmatization of people with substance-use disorder by unnecessarily affiliating them with the criminal justice system. It is our hope that the center's new name will help to avoid that."
The Center for Health and Justice Research operates within the IU Public Policy Institute, which in turn is part of SPEA.
Tom Guevara, director of the Public Policy Institute, echoed Ray's statements.
"As the social and financial costs of incarceration continue to climb to unsustainable levels, especially for nonviolent offenders, government needs better information to help it address these challenges before they have to be solved by bigger jails," Guevara said. "The research produced by the Center for Health and Justice Research is helping leaders make better decisions to address our most pressing social problems and reduce the costs of incarceration."
About the IU Public Policy Institute
The IU Public Policy Institute, housed within the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI, produces unbiased research and data-driven, objective, expert analysis that helps those in the public, private and nonprofit sectors make better decisions that directly impact quality of life in Indiana and throughout the nation.
About SPEA Indianapolis
The IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs, or SPEA, at IUPUI prepares students to address the issues of modern society through work in the government, nonprofit and private sectors. SPEA works to improve our communities, states, nation and world through degrees in civic leadership, criminal justice, public safety management, media and public affairs, environmental sustainability, and other tracks.