Scott Burris

Scott Burris
Temple University | TU

About

217
Publications
29,042
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5,353
Citations
Citations since 2017
34 Research Items
1812 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250300

Publications

Publications (217)
Article
Full-text available
Throughout the world, laws play an important role in shaping population health. Law making is an intervention with measurable effects yet often unfolds without evaluation or monitoring. Policy surveillance—the systematic, scientific collection and analysis of laws of public health significance—can help bridge this gap by capturing important feature...
Chapter
Legal intervention has featured prominently in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In most places in the world, the legal response has consisted of some combination of traditional disease control measures (individualized testing, contact-tracing, distancing), population-based physical distancing (including school and business closures, stay-at-h...
Chapter
The global COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily increased demand for basic medical equipment and supplies, and disrupted global supply chains. Governments at all levels and the private sector have found themselves scrambling — and often competing — for the supplies they need. Federal law anticipates that emergencies can generate this kind of sudden de...
Article
Objective Law is an important factor in the diffusion of syringe services programs (SSPs). This study measures the current status of, and 5-year change in, state laws governing SSP operations and possession of syringes by participants. Methods Legal researchers developed a cross-sectional data set measuring key features of state laws and regulatio...
Article
Full-text available
Public security and law enforcement have a crucial but often largely unacknowledged role in protecting and promoting public health. Although the security sector is a key partner in many specific public health programmes, its identity as an important part of the public health endeavour is rarely recognised. This absence of recognition has resulted i...
Article
Full-text available
Sound governance is central to effective pandemic management. Key international legal instruments governing pandemic management in the European Union (EU): the International Health Regulations (2005) and Decision 1082/13 require EU Member States to develop national plans and invite them to establish national legal frameworks to support compliance w...
Article
Aims: 1) To describe open source legal datasets, created for research use, that capture the key provisions of U.S. state medical marijuana laws. The data document how state lawmakers have regulated a medicine that remains, under federal law, a Schedule I illegal drug with no legitimate medical use. 2) To demonstrate the variability that exists acr...
Article
Objective: Law powerfully influences health and can be a critical tool for promoting population well-being. Evaluation research is needed to measure the health effects of law and guide policy making and implementation. The purpose of this study was to assess trends in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding for scientific public health law res...
Article
Full-text available
Where the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) seeks to accelerate progress toward a world safe and secure from public health emergencies, the realization of GHSA 'Action Packages' will require national governments to establish necessary legal frameworks to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease. By analyzing the scope and content of ex...
Article
Comparative drug and alcohol policy analysis (CPA) is alive and well, and the emergence of robust alternatives to strict prohibition provides exciting research opportunities. As a multidisciplinary practice, however, CPA faces several methodological challenges. This commentary builds on a recent review of CPA by Ritter et al. (2016) to argue that t...
Article
Objective: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducts research on legal epidemiology, the scientific study of law as a factor in the cause, distribution, and prevention of disease. This study describes a scan of articles written by CDC staff members to characterize the frequency and key features of legal epidemiology articles an...
Article
Full-text available
Successful public health campaigns like tobacco control demonstrate that effective legal interventions can be expeditiously developed, evaluated and diffused, even in the face of powerful opposition. Success for legal health interventions depends on a well-designed and nurtured legal infrastructure that assured the timely delivery of public health...
Article
Full-text available
The opioid overdose epidemic claims the lives of tens of thousands of Americans every year. Opioid overdose is reversible by the administration of naloxone, a pure antagonist now available in formulations specifically designed and labeled for layperson use. Despite broad support for layperson access to naloxone from professional organizations, heal...
Article
Policing matters to public health, and it makes sense to consider how greater cooperation and even integration between health and law enforcement systems might lead to new and better approaches to chronic problems at the intersection of health and security. The fact that policing is important to public health does not mean, however, that police wor...
Article
Governments use statutes, regulations, and policies, often in innovative ways, to promote health and safety. Organizations outside government, from private schools to major corporations, create rules on matters as diverse as tobacco use and paid sick leave. Very little of this activity is systematically tracked. Even as the rest of the health syste...
Article
Full-text available
A robust health infrastructure in every country is the most effective long-term preparedness strategy for global health emergencies. This includes not only health systems and their human resources, but also countries’ legal infrastructure for health: the laws and policies that empower, obligate and sometimes limit government and private action. The...
Article
The study of a phenomenon as complex as the impact of gun laws requires strong theory and study designs capable of untangling causal pathways, attention to implementation, and precision in the measurement of legal variables. Other scholars have criticised the study by Bindu Kalesan and colleagues [DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(15)01026-0] in those regard...
Article
Objective: Psychiatric emergency hold laws permit involuntary admission to a health care facility of a person with an acute mental illness under certain circumstances. This study documented critical variation in state laws, identified important questions for evaluation research, and created a data set of laws to facilitate the public health law re...
Article
Public Health Law Research used a Delphi process to develop consensus expert standards for policy surveillance. Consensus was reached on a set of core standards for collecting, analyzing, publishing and maintaining legal datasets for monitoring important public health policies. Further efforts are needed to refine standards and develop the infrastr...
Article
Law is a significant factor in public health, and an important tool government can use for protecting and promoting well-being. Legal risks and interventions can only be properly understood through epidemiological and evaluation research. “Legal epidemiology,” the scientific study of law as a factor in the cause, distribution, and prevention of dis...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated the differential effect of mandatory seat belt laws on seat belt use among socioeconomic subgroups. We identified the differential effect of legislation across higher versus lower education individuals using a difference-in-differences model based on state variations in the timing of the passage of laws. We find strong effects of ma...
Conference Paper
Law is a powerful tool in improving population health. Laws can keep people safe and healthy by encouraging the use of seat belts or child restraint systems and by keeping our environment safe from toxins. Laws can also have important unintended effects, both positive and negative, on population health. Understanding how policies vary and how these...
Conference Paper
We convened a committee of experts to build consensus on technical standards for policy surveillance. This committee assisted in proposing standards through a Delphi process. Topics covered included quality control, resources, content expertise, and the publication of legal datasets. The Delphi process unfolded over two rounds of independent assess...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: This review examines the effects of family economic security policies on child and family health outcomes, formulates a framework for possible mechanisms of effect, and introduces our policy surveillance system to measure changes in state laws affecting social determinants of health. Methods: We carried out a comprehensive review of the...
Article
The West African Ebola epidemic is a humanitarian crisis and a threat to international security. It is not surprising that isolated cases have emerged in Europe and North America, but a large outbreak in the United States, with its advanced health system, is unlikely. Yet the handling of the first domestically diagnosed Ebola case in Dallas, Texas,...
Article
"Policy surveillance," the systematic tracking of policies of public importance, is an emerging practice within legal epidemiology that supports both scientific evaluation and the diffusion of policies the work for health. The emergence of policy surveillance as a distinct practice has been gradual. Although there is a long tradition of "50 state s...
Article
Full-text available
In an accompanying Perspective, Scott Burris and Stephen Koester discuss the association between punitive policies and health inequalities and argue for more research focusing on policing and health. Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Conference Paper
Researchers have been conducting evaluations of laws that impact population health for many years with considerable variation in methodological rigor. Starting with a group of 7,158 peer-reviewed articles authored by known public health law researchers between 1985 and 2012, we systematically reviewed abstracts to determine whether each article rep...
Conference Paper
Drug overdose has recently surpassed motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of accidental injury death in the United States. The epidemic is largely driven by prescription opioids, which kill more Americans than heroin and cocaine combined. These deaths over 16,000 per year are almost entirely preventable by the timely administration of nalox...
Conference Paper
Empirical evaluation of injury control laws has supported dramatic injury prevention gains in the past few decades. Studies have demonstrated beneficial effects in reduced injury, and facilitated diffusion of effective policies. A limitation of this research has been its a-theoretical stanceshowing a relationship between a law and injury rates, but...
Conference Paper
Empirical evaluation of injury control laws has supported dramatic prevention gains in the past decades. Studies have demonstrated beneficial effects in reduced injury, and facilitated diffusion of effective policies. Nevertheless, evaluations continue to use research designs characterized by limitations on internal validitythe strength of confiden...
Article
Full-text available
Although legal interventions are responsible for many sentinel public health achievements, law is underutilized as a tool for advancing population health. Our purpose was to identify critical opportunities for public health lawmaking. We articulated key criteria and illustrated their use with 5 examples. These opportunities involve significant heal...
Article
This book, published in 2013 by Jossey-Bass, describes scientific theory and methods for investigating the development, implementation and effects of public health law. The empirical study of law can be conducted in many disciplines, so there is no special science of public health law research. Epidemiology, economics, physiology, and sociology do...
Article
Background: The behavior of police is an important factor in drug users' access to preventive and therapeutic health services. In China, opiate users must be registered and approved by police before accessing methadone maintenance treatment (MMT). Methods: We conducted a literature review to identify studies reporting original data about the inf...
Article
Legal intervention to influence individual health behavior has increased dramatically since the 1960s. This paper describes the rise of law as a tool of public health, and the scientific research that has assessed and often guided it, with a focus on five major domains: traffic safety, gun violence, tobacco use, reproductive health and obesity. The...
Article
Drug overdose has recently surpassed motor vehicle accidents to become the leading cause of unintentional injury death in the United States. The epidemic is largely driven by opioids such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone, which kill more Americans than heroin and cocaine combined. The demographics of overdose have changed over the past few...
Chapter
This volume forms part of a series exploring key issues in ethics, law and society, published in association with the Cardiff Centre for Ethics, Law and Society. The collection is a celebration of the approach and values embraced within previous volumes in the series. The works collectively address new technological, social and regulatory developme...
Article
The importance of law in the organization and operation of public health systems has long been a matter of interest to public health lawyers and practitioners, but empirical research on law as a factor in health system performance has been limited in quantity and sophistication. The emergence of Public Health Law Research and Public Health Systems...
Conference Paper
Research Objective: To explore legal consciousness of state and local public health officials and their legal counsel, to understand the nature of the lawyer-health official relationship and to identify barriers and facilitators to the relationship. Methods: We surveyed health officials and associated legal counsel in all states and a sample of l...
Conference Paper
Research Objective: To introduce the emerging concept of policy surveillance and demonstrate the utility of such a system for policymakers, practitioners and researchers. Methods: We conducted a systematic review of published literature using coded legal datasets and an online search of existing publicly available legal datasets. We identified ga...
Article
We investigated the effect of mandatory seat belt laws on socioeconomic differences in seat belt use. We identified the differential effect of legislation across socioeconomic groups using a difference-in-difference-in-differences model based on state variations in the timing of the passage of laws. Seat belt laws consistently reduced educational a...
Article
This paper, prepared for the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, reviews the evidence documenting the effects of punitive laws and law enforcement practices on the HIV risk environment for injecting drug users (IDUs). It then provides an overview of global drug policy, drawing on a mixture of regional reports and country case studies. Section lll...
Article
A growing evidence base shows a link between gender-based violence and the spread of HIV. Gender-based violence (GBV) refers to offenses committed against a non-consenting person based on normative beliefs about gender. The physical trauma of rape facilitates HIV transmission. Psychological trauma can increase risky behavior in the future. Fear of...
Article
Theoretically grounded research illuminating mechanisms of legal effect has at least three important benefits for public health law research and practice: Defining the phenomena to be observed, supporting causal inference, and guiding reform and implementation. The choice of what theory or theories to draw upon is a practical one based on research...
Article
Full-text available
The July 2012 workshop Advancing Public Health Through the Law: The Role of Legal Academics was funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Public Health Law Research Program and convened by the Northeastern University School of Law Program on Health Policy and Law. The workshop brought together nationally recognized public health legal scholars...
Article
Context: For three decades, experts have been stressing the importance of law to the effective operation of public health systems. Most recently, in a 2011 report, the Institute of Medicine recommended a review of state and local public health laws to ensure appropriate authority for public health agencies; adequate access to legal counsel for pub...
Conference Paper
Law is recognized as a prominent intervention tool through which government can seek to achieve public health goals. Regulations are an effort by government to improve public health by putting the force of law behind stopping unhealthy behaviors. It might be imagined that the impact of law is straightforward. If a law is passed and backed up by thr...
Conference Paper
The National Program Office for Public Health Law Research was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation starting in 2009 to advance the field of public health law research. After two years, the program has funded more than 30 research proposals and commissioned several white papers to examine the many dimensions of how law impacts population he...
Conference Paper
This session will describe public health law research's feasibility, utility, and methods, including legal data sets; tools for studying the mechanisms of legal effect on behavior; design of legal studies; and examples of legal research. Depending on participants' interests, practice setting, and project type, examples may include collecting legal...
Article
State laws limiting the use of mobile communications devices (MCDs) by drivers are being enacted at an accelerating pace. Public health law research is needed to test various legislative models and guide future legal innovation. To define the current state of the law, facilitate new multi-state evaluations, and demonstrate the utility of systematic...
Article
Mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders constitute a global public health problem of enormous proportions. Developing and implementing cost-effective interventions to improve the lives of people with mental illnesses and comorbid substance abuse disorders remains a challenge for multiple, interfacing service systems, from public health to so...
Article
No one who attended the 2010 national public health law conference hosted by the Public Health Law Association (PHLA) and the American Society of Law, Medicine, and Ethics (ASLME) could miss the sense of excitement and momentum. The revival of this annual public health law meeting, with the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the...
Article
Research over the past three decades has shown convincingly that population health is shaped powerfully by the contexts in which people live, learn, work, and play - also called social determinants of health or fundamental social causes of disease. The World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Robert Wood Jo...
Article
The essay that follows is an effort to take on a narrow but important question in a serious, though limited, way. The question is whether there is a MORAL case for lifting primary responsibility for Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention from the shoulders of those who know they are infected. The question is important because, for many peopl...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Research on the nature and effects of violent criminal behavior has been influenced in large part by theories and methods developed within the fields of criminology and criminal justice. While criminologists have traditionally sought to advance biological, psychological and sociological perspectives on the nature of crime, scholars of criminal just...
Conference Paper
Public health law has received considerable attention in recent years with much less attention to the empirical study of public health law. The National Program Office for Public Health Law Research was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation starting in 2009 to advance the field of public health law research. We define public health law resea...
Conference Paper
Many types of public health law research, from mapping studies that describe the legal landscape across the states to controlled analyses of the effects of particular laws on health outcomes, involve the creation of a database of state laws. The quality and reproducibility of such research hinges on development and application of a rigorous, reliab...
Article
Full-text available
Racial minorities suffer disproportionately high rates of almost all major diseases including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity. Few diseases reflect this process as clearly as HIV/AIDS. Since its emergence in the early 1980s, the incidence of HIV has been higher for African Americans than any other racial or ethnic group in the United S...
Article
With the publication of the final report of the WHO Commission on the Social Determinants of Health, it becomes clear that there is considerable convergence between a policy agenda rooted on social epidemiology and one rooted in a concern for human rights. As commentators like Jonathan Mann have argued, concern for human rights and the achievement...
Article
Public health law research (PHLR) has been defined as the scientific study of the relation of law and legal practices to population health. The scientific collection of legal data is a precondition for epidemiological or behavioral research in which law is the independent variable. This commentary discusses some of the challenges that arise out of...
Article
Public health law has received considerable attention in recent years and has become an essential field in public health. Public health law research, however, has received less attention. Expert commentary. This article explores public health law research, defined as the scientific study of the relation of law and legal practices to population heal...
Article
Globalization has led to an appreciation of a global politics beyond the control of nation-states and the traditional system of international relations. Global politics is characterized by a pluralization of governance mediated by a constant effort to establish shared norms of global public goods and bads to constrain the exercise of power or, expr...
Article
Full-text available
Throughout the world, millions of people suffer pain caused by late-stage HIV/AIDS, cancer and other conditions; and millions more suffer the harms associated with addiction to illicit opioids, particularly heroin. Medical best practice recognizes that therapeutic opioids are central to the treatment of severe pain, and indispensible in palliative...
Conference Paper
Abtract: Considerable evidence supports the view that criminal laws and law enforcement practices can shape individual and community health. People engaged in illegal activities -- drug users, sex workers -- are particularly vulnerable, but policies and practices of police, prosecutors, judges and jail/prison managers can all also influence the hea...

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