Alex Stevens Profile picture
Professor in Criminal Justice @UniKent. Board member @HRInews. Former president @ISSDrugPolicy and helmsman @RNLI. Living with brain cancer since 2014.
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Nov 14, 2022 14 tweets 8 min read
Next week, at the #ISSDP2022 conference, I will present the first paper in preparation for my book with @policypress on ‘Drug Policy Constellations’. It examines the role of morality in influencing UK drug policy. Here’s a summary. 1/11 Three macro policy constellations involved in UK drug policy TL:DR. The contents of drug policy decisions are influenced by the different moralities which bring people together in constellations of policy actors and policy positions. 2/11
Nov 4, 2022 7 tweets 4 min read
A thread on studies by some US economists of the ‘moral hazard’ of harm reduction practices: i.e. the idea that harm reduction increases overall drug use and related harms by reducing the costs and harms of use to the individual, rational decision-maker. 1/7 In 2018/19, @jenniferdoleac, @anita_mukherjee and @analisapackham published working papers on two practices; naloxone & needle and syringe programmes (NSP). Both made strong causal claims that these practices increase deaths. 2/7
Dec 5, 2021 13 tweets 5 min read
Thread: I've just been counting the number of bad ideas in @thetimes report on the new #drugstrategy2021 (text taken from @LexisNexis). Let's start with the premise that (1) there is an 'alarming rise' in drug offences, and (2) half of all murders drug-related... The reason for (1) the increase in drug offences is that the police have been carrying out more stop-and-searches. We don't know what the underlying trend in drug use is, although there are worrying reports of increased drug-related deaths.
Apr 2, 2021 11 tweets 5 min read
The #SewellReport really is a verbose, sloppy and intellectually dishonest piece of work. In the bits I know about (drugs and crime), there is a pattern of misleading readers by mischaracterising the sources it cites. Here are some examples. 1/n To back a claim that cannabis is a 'gateway' drug, it cites a 2002 ACMD report. Here's what a later (2008) ACMD report says on the issue
Mar 31, 2021 4 tweets 1 min read
If not by institutional racism, then how can the commission explain ongoing disadvantage in the criminal justice system, employment, housing, school exclusions? The report apparently states “We found that most of the disparities we examined, which some attribute to racial discrimination, often do not have their origins in racism.” Which is pretty close to MacPherson's definition of *institutional* racism.
Oct 6, 2019 12 tweets 4 min read
I have resigned from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. Recent political vetting and
exclusion of suitably qualified applicants to join means that the ACMD is losing its independence. A thread to explain follows… After the unjustified dismissal of @ProfDavidNutt in 2009, several ACMD members resigned. A
working protocol was put in place to protect the independence of the ACMD from ministerial