The Intersectionality of Forensic Science and the Criminal Justice System
In recent years, there have been outcries from community stakeholders for a massive overhaul of the criminal justice system and the implementation of reform measures, which would address the imbalance of justice faced by minorities and individuals from fragile communities. However, often lacking from the dialogue is the critical role of forensic science and its intersectionality with the criminal justice system. In this talk, several key areas, such as the availability of forensic science legal training, the evaluation of drug policies, and the role of the crime scene and evidence analysis on judicial outcomes, will be explored. Factors that contribute to racial and ethnic disparities in criminal justice outcomes along with policy recommendations will also be discussed.
Dr. Jasmine Drake is an Associate Professor and laboratory coordinator of the Forensic Science Learning Laboratory in the Barbara Jordan- Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University in Houston, Tx. Dr. Drake also currently serves as a Governor-Appointed Commissioner of the Texas Forensic Science Commission. Dr. Drake is a native of Baton Rouge, LA and obtained her Bachelors of Science Degree from Southern University. She later obtained her Doctorate in Chemistry from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA. She currently also works as a Research Fellow at the TSU Center for Justice Research, where her research focuses on the analysis and evaluation of drug policies and forensic analytical methods in order to recommend the implementation of policies and best practices, which will address the imbalance of justice faced by fragile communities.
Check out Dr. Drake’s joint research article “Exploring the impact of the opioid epidemic in Black and Hispanic communities in the United States” here.