Substance Use

Drug Related Crime, Race and The High Point Intervention

David Kennedy
Professor of Criminal Justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Key Findings

  • There is a strong disconnect and distrust between police and community conceptions on drugs, crime, family and motives.
  • Race played an important role in the disconnect between police and the community.
  • In 1997, one in three black men were on track to go to prison.
  • In 2005, half of African-American males between ages 20-30 in Baltimore, Maryland were under court supervision.


In the article, “Drugs, Race and Common Ground: Reflections on the High Point Intervention,” Kennedy looks into the High Point Intervention, a successful project that led to the closing of  drug markets and large reductions in violent and drug-related crime without driving crime out of the city into neighboring areas. Kennedy discusses the racial implications that drug crime has and its impact on communities with drug crime. Kennedy notes the disconnect between these communities and the police, which is based on mutual distrust, and attempts to tackle this issue.

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