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Tuesday, March 1, 2022

National Institute of Justice Studies Ways to Disrupt Opioid Distribution Networks

New Research Highlights the Power of Computer Modeling and Community-Based Intelligence

      WASHINGTON – The Office of Justice Programs’ National Institute of Justice today published an article about NIJ-funded research that examines ways to disrupt opioid distribution networks through data driven network analysis and the use of citizen intelligence.

      The research suggests that if citizens have the ability to inform law enforcement investigations of local drug activity, their information, when coupled with participatory mapping, could accurately indicate locations of opioid distribution activity that match official records.  That information may reveal previously unknown locations of potential interest to law enforcement for the disruption of opioid distribution.  Technology, such as network-simulating software tools, can help law enforcement pinpoint the location of local drug activity.

      “America’s substance use crisis—magnified by an epidemic of overdose deaths caused by opioids—demands bold responses that draw on innovative technology and enlist the involvement of community members,” said OJP Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Amy L. Solomon.  “I’m pleased that the findings unveiled by this new research offer a roadmap to better identifying the source of drug activity and interrupting the supply of these illicit narcotics that have already claimed far too many lives.”

      The work described in this article was supported by NIJ funding awarded to The Pennsylvania State University.  This article is based on the grantee report “Identifying and Informing Strategies for Disrupting Drug Distribution Networks:  An Application to Opiate Flows in Pennsylvania,” by Glenn Sterner and Ashton Verderv of The Pennsylvania State University and Shannon Monnat, of Syracuse University.

      TITLE:  Detecting Opioid Distribution Networks Using Network
                    Modeling and Community Based Intelligence

      AUTHOR:  National Institute of Justice

      HERE:  https://nij.ojp.gov/topics/articles/detecting-opioid-distribution-networks-using-network-modeling-community-intelligence

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      The Office of Justice Programs provides federal leadership, grants, training, technical assistance and other resources to improve the nation’s capacity to prevent and reduce crime, advance racial equity in the administration of justice, assist victims and enhance the rule of law.  More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.


OFFICE:  nij.ojp.gov
CONTACT:  Sheila Jerusalem at 202-598-0793 or [email protected]

Date Created: March 1, 2022