Harm Reduction in the Context of Interactions with Law Enforcement - Part 2

In a special collaboration, the Pennsylvania Action Coalition joined forces with Kouvenda Media’s Obscured Journalism Initiative last year to host a thought-provoking panel discussion on law enforcement interactions within the community and the implementation of a harm reduction care model.

Our partners at Obscured captured the insights of our distinguished panelists in two parts, each shedding light on the diverse facets of harm reduction and effective strategies for addressing trauma resulting from interactions with law enforcement. If you have not listened to Part 1, we recommend starting with that episode. Listen here!

Continuing the dialogue in the second part of the panel discussion are moderators Stephanie Marudas from Kouvenda Media and Namaijah Faison, MPH from the Pennsylvania Action Coalition. Joining them is Talitha Smith, BSN, RN, a nurse navigator with the Allegheny Health Network’s Center for Inclusion Health Clinic, RIvER (Rethinking Incarceration and Empowering Recovery). Following Talitha, we delve into the experiences of Chad Bruckner, a retired police detective who now owns and oversees a private investigator firm, Intercounty Investigations & Solutions, Inc. and is a coach and recovery specialist. Wrapping up the discussion is Laurie A. Corbin, MSS, MLSP, who is the Managing Director for Community Engagement at Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC). She oversees a range of programs that provide social services, prevention, intervention, treatment, and education to at-risk individuals and their families.

Obscured Limited Series: From Words to Weapons

  • LISTEN HERE: From Words to Weapons 
  • Fatal law enforcement encounters have understandably – and deservedly – captured our attention. But the tens of thousands of Americans who survive trauma inflicted by law enforcement every year are often overlooked. They go without the kind of support our systems offer to survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and other forms of trauma. If survivors of other traumas often turn first to police, where are survivors of law enforcement trauma supposed to go? Not to mention, law enforcement often plays a significant role in survivor support beyond that (such as by funding other services and advising providers & policymakers). On this episode, Emily and Stephanie preview Obscured’s first limited series, From Words to Weapons. They explain why this topic is the focus of their inaugural series and share highlights of interviews with law enforcement professionals, trauma survivors, healthcare providers, attorneys, social workers, journalists and researchers.

Laurie A. Corbin, MSS, MLSP

Laurie Corbin is Managing Director for Community Engagement at Public Health Management Corporation and has worked for PHMC for 13 years. In this position, Ms. Corbin is responsible for a continuum of programs that provide social services prevention, intervention, treatment, and education to at risk individuals and their families.

This includes responsibility for Forensic Services aka Forensic Intensive Recovery (FIR) Programs, which represents a continuum of programs or services that focus on the diversion and advance release from incarceration for justice- involved individuals. The Community-Based Outreach Programs (CBOP) include a treatment readiness/recovery support program, New Pathways Project and Philadelphia Hepatitis Outreach Project, a prevention education initiative for high-risk individuals. The Homeless and Social Service program area within the division includes a range of services which seek to provide comprehensive, integrated services to the most vulnerable populations. This includes services for chronically homeless adults, youth, and families on the street, and in emergency, transitional, and permanent supported housing. She also oversees PHMC’s Ryan White intermediary services programs, which provide individuals with HIV/AIDS with financial support including transportation, food voucher and utility assistance.


Talitha Smith, MA, BSN, RN

Talitha Smith is a nurse navigator with the Allegheny Health Network’s Center for Inclusion Health clinic: Rethinking Incarceration and Empowering Recovery or RIvER. Ms. Smith has 25 years of experience working with marginalized populations and found her passion in community health after becoming a nurse as a second career. She actively promotes harm reduction and conducts related education, and advocates for access to comprehensive, quality health care for all.

Detective Chad Bruckner (Ret.)

In 2008, Detective Bruckner joined the Lansdale Police Department in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania and in 2012 he was promoted to the rank. of detective. He served as a senior field training officer, a squad leader, an undercover officer, and a coordinator for the Montgomery County Drug Task Force. After 13 years in law enforcement, Detective Bruckner retired in 2021. Since his certification in 2018, Detective Bruckner instructs cadets on various topics at Montgomery County Municipal Police Academy in Pennsylvania. He owns and oversees a private investigation firm, Intercounty Investigations & Solutions, Inc. He continues to serve his community as a part of the Montgomery County Crisis Intervention Stress Management team, and is a certified Mental Health Peer Advocate. Chad reflects on his policing experience in his first book that came out recently, called, The Holy Trinity of Successful and Healthy Police Organizations: Improving Leadership, Culture and Wellness.

 Read the Transcript  


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