Consequences of unfair police treatment focus of final Brown Bag talk

Roger Coda
Dr. Christopher Dennison

Dr. Christopher Dennison

“Health-Related Consequences of Unfair Treatment by Police” is both a timely topic and the title of a lecture University at Buffalo Assistant Professor of Sociology Christopher Dennison will deliver in the final Brown Bag Lunch Series talk of the spring semester on Wednesday, May 5, from noon to 1 p.m.

Dr. Dennison will introduce research showing disparities in who are most likely to experience unfair treatment by police, followed by his own research which examines how experiencing unfair treatment by police is harmful and how the consequences differ between White and Black populations.

“The central set of findings from this study is that among both groups, those who experience unfair police treatment, report more depression, illegal drug use and thoughts of suicide compared with those who have never experienced unfair police treatment,” Dennison explained.

“However, some of these differences – that is, the differences in depression, illegal drug use and thoughts of suicide between those with and without experiences of unfair police treatment – were even bigger among White people than among Black people,” he said.

Dennison will also focus on research into the individual and spillover effects of criminal justice system contact. His broader research interests encompass how college enrollment and degree completion relate to crime and well-being across one’s life.

The talk will conclude with discussing potential explanations for these patterns as well as the implications of these findings.

Opening remarks will be given by Department of Communication Associate Professor Roslin Smith.

The Brown Bag talk is free and can be viewed online.

The theme of the year’s Brown Bag series, sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, is “The Health of the Nation.” The series offers monthly, informal talks by Fredonia faculty members and guest speakers. A brief discussion follows each presentation.

The series acknowledges the support of the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Andy Karafa and the Carnahan Jackson Fund for the Humanities of the Fredonia College Foundation.

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