Correlates of Violent Injury in a Population of Arrestees With Substance Abuse Histories

E. Julia Chosy, University of Illinois at Chicago

Criminal offenders and detainees may be at high risk for violence and the physical sequelae of altercations. Those with substance abuse issues may face a higher prevalence of violence-related injuries as a result of involvement in drug use and trafficking. This paper aims to identify the charcteristics common to those offenders with a history of substance abuse problems who have been victims of violent events. With this information, a better understanding the antecedents and correlates of violence within this population can be achieved. One-on-one interviews were conducted with 360 detainees with substance abuse histories in the Cook County jail. Along with questions regarding their drug use history and medical background, subjects were asked about injuries they had sustained as a result of violent acts. Of the sample, 59% had been injured due to violence at least once in their life and 19% had been hurt within the last 12 months.* Specific characteristics common to those with injuries are discussed and strategies for prevention are presented.

*At this time, the data has been collected but only partially entered into our database. Therefore, these numbers may change. This is also the reason for the lack of further results included in the abstract. By November, a more thorough analysis will be complete.

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Updated 05/20/2006