This analysis examines the association between crack/cocaine use only and the SAVA syndemic (any substance use, being exposed to violence, having HIV/AIDS risk behaviors) at baseline and any felony, misdemeanor, or municipal violations by an 8-month follow-up. Data comes from 317 women recruited from a Municipal Drug Court System in the Midwest. Among the sample, 45% of the women had at least one felony, misdemeanor, or a municipal violation at the 8-month follow-up (felony: 20%; misdemeanor or municipal violation 25%). Multinomial regression revealed that crack/cocaine use and SAVA at baseline were associated specifically with misdemeanors OR 2.21 (95% CI: 1.21, 4.04) and OR 3.60 (95% CI: 1.23, 10.56), respectively, no increases in odds of felonies were evident. Women with a higher number of lifetime arrests were also significantly more likely to have a greater number of offenses postbaseline, while black women were considerably less likely to be charged with misdemeanors. Recent crack/cocaine use with or without the mutually reinforcing issues of victimization, and HIV/AIDS risk behaviors significantly increased the odds of a misdemeanors/municipal violation. However, significant increases in odds of more severe offenses (felonies) were not evident. Interventions aimed to reduce offenses should offer additional support for crack/cocaine users.

Abenaa Acheampong Jones, Catina Callahan O’Leary, Catherine W. Striley, Travis Gerke, Robert Crecelius, James Sullivan & Linda B. Cottler
Journal of Substance Use, 13 Feb 2018