Stogner elected 2019 SCJA President!…

The Southern Criminal Justice Association (SCJA) just announced the results of the 2016 election. I am proud to say that I’ll be serving as the organization’s president in 2019! I’ve always valued SCJA and it’s contributions to the field and the broader academy. I’ve been an active member of SCJA since my time as a graduate student at Florida and I look forward to continuing to attend its meetings as long as I work in criminal justice. It an impressive organization and I hope to do it justice during my term.

Students reading this may be curious why the election is held three years before the term. As planning a large academic conference is one of the most important roles and that task is quite time consuming, the president must be selected well in advance. I’ll start planning immediately– working with the board to select a site in the next 12 months. This will be my main role in 2017 as 2nd Vice President (along with overseeing awards committees). I’ll continue to work on the conference in 2018 during my year as 1st Vice President while also creating the program for that year’s conference. In 2019, I’ll oversee the organization and conference. My final year as an officer will be 2020, when I will complete a number of tasks associated with the Immediate Past President position.

Southern Criminal Justice Association

On another note, my three-year term as a member of the executive board is ending in just 18 days. I’d like to congratulate Dr. Christina Policastro of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga for winning the election for that position. She’ll make an excellent addition to the board.

JDI accepts novel drug arrest study…

The Journal of Drug Issues recently accepted a manuscript titled “The arrest and novel psychoactive drug (NPD) relationship: Observations from a young adult population” authored by Bryan Miller, myself, Mitch Miller, and Isa Fernandez. We are very excited to see this study appear in print.

The work focuses on the relationship between novel psychoactive drugs (NPDs; emerging drugs which generally mimic the actions of commonly abused substances) and arrests. Anecdotal evidence pointed to these substances (e.g. Spice, K2, bath salts, etc.) being used as substitutes to avoid positive drug screens.  The study explores the relationship between being arrested and NPDs using self-report survey data obtained from 2,349 young adults. The author team hypothesized that being arrested was linked to an increased likelihood of NPD use since that arrest may result in criminal justice oversight and regular drug testing. Propensity score matching was used to create a comparison between similarly situated groups of individuals with and without a history of arrest. These models indicate that those who have been arrested are more likely to use NPDs than peers with similar behaviors that avoid arrest. It appears that criminal justice involvement is not simply a correlate of NPD use, but may in fact be driving some individuals, motivated by the desire to continue using substances while still avoiding a positive drug screen, to experiment with NPDs. Look for the study in the JDI!


Wild dagga and Charlotte Research Scholars Program…

A student I mentored this summer as part of the Charlotte Research Scholars program just presented his research titled “The context and psychoactive effects of “lion’s tail” (Leonotis leonurus) use: An unobtrusive exploration.”

CRS Poster

CRS is an excellent summer opportunity for promising UNCC undergrads. It pays them a reasonable salary for ten weeks to work on a project under the guidance of a faculty mentor. The selected CRS scholars also get to attend special workshops one day each week that are intended to prepare them for their future as graduate students. This summer I worked with Kevin Johnson. His worked this summer focused exclusively on wild dagga (or “lion’s tail”), a minor psychoactive. He observed and coded videos of substance users before, during, and after wild dagga administration. Kevin plans to expand his work in the future by exploring wild dagga’s effects when used in combination with other “legal highs.” He will present this expanded work at the Southern Criminal Justice Association’s conference in two months.

New Strategies for New Drugs…

I was offered the opportunity to speak in New York as part of a program titled New Strategies for New Psychoactive Substances: A Public Health Approach on June 9th and 10th. This conference was sponsored by the Drug Policy Alliance, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and The New School for Social Research. As part of this program, I spoke at a symposium at John Jay on one day and then at The New School the next afternoon. The program’s goal was to counteract some of the misinformation related to novel drugs that has fueled social and policy responses to NPS with facts and arguments based in scientific study. This summit also covered strategies for intervention, new forms of drug regulation, and how messaging and media about NPS can become more constructive.

A diverse and impressive lineup of speakers took part in the program. I specifically spoke on the etiology of NPS use (why people choose to use novel substances) and later on policy revisions that could less the harms associated with NPS. Overall, I believe the audiences found the presentations insightful and the panels stimulating. Julie Netherland and her team designed an excellent event for New York’s community leaders to learn more about NPS and how to handle them.

You can read live tweets from the event under #NS4NPS and the program has been posted here. One of the photographers snapped the photo below of me on one of the debate panels.

Photo By @AverieCole

Photo By @AverieCole

CJS Special Issue…

I’ll be guest editing the 2017 special edition of Criminal Justice Studies titled “Management of Drug Offenders in the Criminal Justice System.” If you’re working on anything that fits the topic, please consider submitting it to CJS. Submissions are due by November 30, 2016 and will undergo blind review. Feel free to email me if you have any questions. Please note that both full-length papers and research notes will be considered. Click here for the call for papers..

Submissions may be related to any of the following:
• Drug treatment courts
• Sentencing for drug offenses
• Substance use treatment within institutional settings
• Substance use among probationers
• Correctional drug treatment outcomes
• Drug-related criminal justice policy and political agendas
• Discrimination (gender, race, orientation, etc.) as related to the management of substance users.
• Management of juvenile substance users.


ACJS Teaching Award…

I recently received one of the ACJS and Sage Junior Faculty Professional Development Teaching Awards.  Sage seems especially dedicated to undergraduate education and funds these awards. They sponsored a teaching workshop at the conference and provided free admission to all of the award winners. It was well attended and very informative. One of the highlights was Dr. Rennison’s session on teaching research methods and statistics. It explored some very creative ways to present methodological/ statistical information; I can see working some of it into my classes. Thanks again to Sage for sponsoring the program and to the committee that selected the winners!

Tales from a Colorado grow…

Here’s an interesting slideshow that I shared with my classes recently. It’s an interesting look inside a “legal” grow in Colorado (the quotation marks refer to marijuana being federally scheduled under the CSA, but being a regulated legal business in Colorado). Most of it will make sense without my narration (you’ve got to enroll at UNCC for that). It has a lot of great pictures and is pretty informative. If you click the grow tour slide below, it should open a full file with about 20 slides. Enjoy!


“They were getting high on what?” at ACJS…

At the recent ACJS meeting, I presented our team’s work titled “They were getting high on what?” A qualitative evaluation of novel psychoactive drug knowledge among practitioners. The study actually appeared in print before the meeting (access it in AJCJ here). I really enjoyed presenting this piece; it was the first academic presentation I delivered “freestyle” (i.e. without MS Powerpoint or other visual aids). The qualitative material was perfect for this style as there was no need to display complex figures or extensive data tables. The audience seemed a little more engaged than the standard presentation where an academic slowly narrates as he/she clicks through slides. I may deliver more presentations in this way when the opportunity allows. Thanks to my coauthor for snapping the nice photos below.

ACJS Drugs Section Steering Committee…

The Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences recently received a petition signed by over 100 of its members to create a section focused on “Drug and Alcohol Studies.” This section will operate like the others within ACJS to promote research, collaboration, and policy reform related to its focus, namely psychoactive drug use. The section hosted its first meeting at the recent Academy meeting in Denver, CO. The attendees were tasked with selecting a steering committee that is responsible for recruiting additional membership and drafting by-laws and policies for the full group to consider and debate at the 2017 Academy meeting. I was honored to be nominated and selected for this steering committee and look forward to helping the new drugs section be as instrumental as ACJS’s other sections.

Alcohol and Alcoholism publishes parental rejection study…

Alcohol and Alcoholism, the fifth ranked substance abuse journal according to JCR impact factor, has just released a study I authored along with Dr. Chris Gibson (University of Florida).  The study, titled “Genetic Modification of the Relationship between Parental Rejection and Adolescent Alcohol Use”is available here.

Briefly, the work notes that parenting practices are associated with adolescents’ alcohol consumption, yet not all youth respond similarly to challenging family situations and harsh environments. The study examines the relationship between perceived parental rejection and adolescent alcohol use, and specifically evaluates whether youth who possess greater genetic sensitivity to their environment are more susceptible to negative parental relationships. Utilizing data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we report a statistically significant gene-environment interaction predicting alcohol use; the relationship between parental rejection and alcohol use was moderated by a genetic sensitivity index, indicating that adolescents possessing more ‘risk alleles’ for five candidate genes were affected more by stressful parental relationships. We conclude that feelings of parental rejection appear to influence the alcohol use decisions of youth, but they do not do so equally for all. Higher scores on the constructed genetic sensitivity measure appear to be related to increased susceptibility to negative parental relationships.


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