Risk and contextual factors associated with legal intervention injury and hospital outcomes among trauma patients in Pennsylvania

Zhenyu Z. Zhang, Samantha M. Vervoordt, Frank G. Hillary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Police violence has been described as an ongoing public health issue with profound impacts on individuals and communities. We leveraged a state-wide trauma registry to identify patients injured through legal intervention between 1989 and 2019 to examine individual characteristics associated with injuries, contextual factors during legal intervention, and clinical outcomes of injury to capture the nature of legal intervention injury. A total of 1098 patients injured through legal intervention were identified and 1095 patients from the PTOS dataset were matched for comparison with respect to injury and demographic factors. Patients injured through legal intervention were more likely to be male, identify as Black, had pre-existing psychiatric and substance use disorders (PECs), be intoxicated at admission, and have lower socioeconomic status. For White patients, PECs, intoxication, and lower SES were risk factors for worse clinical outcomes. Time of day and location of event also played a role in understanding this type of injury. Police violence disproportionately impacts racial minority groups as well as other disadvantaged and marginalized communities. An intersectional approach may help to understand contextual risk factors that can in turn aid in efforts to reduce law enforcement-related deaths and injuries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPsychology, Crime and Law
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • General Psychology
  • Law

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