Swortwood Developing Lab Test for Synthetic Opioids

Madeleine Swortwood

Synthetic Opioids

Madeleine Swortwood is developing a test to identify and quantify synthetic opioids in saliva for toxicology labs.

With the nation in the midst of an opioid pandemic and more synthetic drugs flooding the market, an assistant professor in the Department of Forensic Science is researching a new method to detect these synthetic substances in death and criminal investigations.

Madeleine Swortwood, Ph.D., is developing a testing method to identify four synthetic opioids in toxicology labs using saliva. These drugs, readily found on the internet, mimic the effects of morphine, fentanyl, or prescription pain pills, but are much more potent. One of these synthetic drugs – U-477700 – was temporarily banned by the Drug Enforcement Administration in November after it was implicated in 46 deaths in New York and North Carolina and identified in 88 crime labs across the country.

“Synthetic opioids can be hundreds or thousands of times more potent than heroin and can produce severe intoxication and even fatalities when abused, especially when cut into heroin unbeknownst to the user,” said Swortwood. “While heroin and opioid abuse is common, synthetic opioid use has risen dramatically, causing a public safety concern.”

Swortwood was awarded a $15,000 enhancement grant from Sam Houston State University to develop a method using saliva, a convenient sample source that would allow testing for multiple drugs from a single specimen. The method is proposed for use in a federal research project to detect synthetic opioid use among prisoners, arrestees, and those suspected of driving under the influence.

“Saliva in really easy to collect,” said Swortwood. “Unlike a blood sample, it does not require a nurse to draw it. There are also privacy issues for the collection of urine. This method uses a swab to collect one milliliter of saliva, which along with the buffer provides four milliliters for testing. These samples could be tested on various types of machines and instruments.”

This method could help save time and money in the laboratory by allowing multiple drugs to be tested using a single sample, and by providing greater flexibility in testing by using saliva. The method also could be used for workplace testing and drug treatment programs. Synthetic opioids often are used as an alternative to heroin or prescription drugs to avoid detection, Swortwood said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the death rate for synthetic opioids other than methadone increased by 72 percent from 2014 to 2015. In November, the DEA placed a temporary emergency ban on one of those, citing an “imminent threat to public health and safety.” The drug was found in powder and pill form and mimicked prescription pills or was added to heroin and fentanyl. In addition to testing for this substance, the test will target similar substances as individual look for alternative to the banned drug.

Unlike heroin, which is derived from the poppy plant, synthetic opioids are manufactured. They originally were developed in pharmaceutical labs as a possible alternative to morphine, but later abandoned. They now are manufactured illegally in China, Swortwood said.

Texas Sheriffs Learn Best Practices in Jail Administration & Management


New sheriffs from across Texas received a primer on best practices for managing their jails at the Correctional Management Institute of Texas (CMIT).

College Names New Undergraduate Program Coordinator in CJ Advising Center

As a criminal justice major at Sam Houston State University, Arica Castleberry wanted a career where she could help people reach their full potential. She discovered her calling back where she started – as the new Undergraduate Program Coordinator for the College of Criminal Justice Advising Center.

College of Criminal Justice Seeks CJ Ambassadors

ambassasor TV sign

Ambassadors

The College is looking for three undergraduate students to serve as ambassadors at CJ events and to mentor students. Apply by May 31!

The College of Criminal Justice is seeking an elite group of enthusiastic and involved students to serve as ambassadors at various events and to mentor new and prospective criminal justice students.

Homeland Security Studies Moving Graduate Program to The Woodlands Center

The Woodlands Center

Security Studies

The master's program in Homeland Security Studies is moving to The Woodlands Center in the fall for new graduate students.

The master’s program in Homeland Security Studies will be moving to The Woodlands Center in the fall to accommodate better students and professionals in businesses and government agencies in the greater Houston region.

Hayes and Orrick Presented National Teaching Awards

Brittany Hayes

Top Teachers

Brittany Hayes and Erin Orrick were recognized as among the top new teachers in the field by the Academy of Criminal Justice Science and SAGE.

Two faculty members in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology earned teaching awards from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS), one of the largest professional organizations for academics in the field.

Alumnus Tackles Race Relations as Presidential Scholar

Presidential Scholar logo

Alumnus

Webster Chief Danny Presley was named a Presidential Leadership Scholar for his project to enhance dialogue between police and the communities they serve.

Webster Police Chief Danny Presley wants to jump-start the dialogue between police and minority communities across the country, and he has U.S. Presidents, cabinet members, and business leaders to help him on his way.

CJ College #1 for Online Graduate Education

#1 Online CJ Graduate Education

U.S. News & World Report ranked the College of Criminal Justice as the top in the country for Online CJ masters’ programs.

Sam Houston State University offers the best online criminal justice program for graduate education in the nation, according to the 2017 rankings released by U.S. News & World Report (USNWR).

NIJ Recognizes CRIMES as Exemplary CJ Technology

computer

CRIMES Award

CRIMES, a record management system developed by the Police Research Center at SHSU, was named a Justice Innovation Center for use by police and probation departments.

A comprehensive records management system developed for law enforcement agencies by the Police Research Center (PRC) at Sam Houston State University (SHSU) was designated a Justice Innovation Center by the National Institute of Justice.

College Celebrates Past, Present and Future at Honors Day

The Sundial

Honors Day

The College of Criminal Justice will honor students, alumni and friends and memorialize those lost in the line of duty at Honors Day on April 20.

Each spring, the College of Criminal Justice sets aside a day of celebration to honor students, alumni, and friends and to memorialize professionals who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

College Mourns Co-Founder of Security Studies Program

steave young

In Memoriam

Steve Young, one of the founders of the Security Studies program, left behind a legacy in his career and teaching.

Steve Young, one of the founders of the Security Studies program at Sam Houston State University, passed away on March 9 in Corpus Christi with his wife and family by his side.

The College of Criminal Justice will honor Young in conjunction with its Sword and Shield Induction Ceremony on April 27 at 5:30pm in the CJ Courtroom. The Sword and Shield is the honor society for those pursuing careers in homeland security, intelligence, emergency management, and protective services.

Beto Chair Lecture: Edward R. Maguire

Beto Lecture

Edward R. Maguire from Arizona State University will present “New Directions in Procedural Justice Research” on April 13.

Beto Chair Lecture: Dr. Edward R. Maguire
April 13, 2017

9:30 to 11 a.m.
Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom

Edward R. Maguire, a Professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University, will present “New Directions in Procedural Justice Research” as part of the Beto Chair Lecture Series.

Protecting the Traveling Public

Justin Bradley

Alumnus

Justin Bradley is a K-9 officer for the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, the third busiest hub in the country.

Justin Bradley and his K9 partner Dzsan are responsible for protecting 64 million people a year in a 30-square mile area the size of Manhattan that spans two counties and four cities.

CJ Graduate Enlisted in Fight Against Zika

Christopher Springer

Alumnus

Sgt. Christopher Springer of the U.S. Army helped develop a vaccine for Zika in his first job at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.

After enlisting in the U.S. Army following graduation, Alumnus Christopher Springer’s first job in the military was to help develop a vaccine against Zika, a mosquito-borne virus linked to microcephaly and other brain malformation in fetuses and Guillain-Barré syndrome in adults.

Study* Investigates Civil Legal Needs of Crime Victims

computer

Legal Services

A study by Leana Bouffard and colleagues investigated the legal service needs of crime victims.

Only two-thirds of victim service providers are trained to identify the civil legal needs of their clients, and there is little consistency or structure in referrals to outside agencies, researchers found.

SHSU Groups Join For Sexual Assault Awareness Events

saam logo

Sexual Assault Awareness

Many departments across campus are coming together in April to raise awareness about campus sexual assault.

by Amanda Horn

Sam Houston State University departments across campus are coming together to raise awareness of various issues in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month during April.

SHSU's SAAM Committee has coordinated a number of events throughout the month to shed light on sexual assault in a variety of ways.

“These events have a bigger impact than people think that they do,” said Georgi McNease, chair of the SAAM Committee. “I think what our committee does during this month is very important.”

--more--

Real Talk w/CJ: Houston Area Multi-Agency Gang Task Force

Real Talk

On March 22, Real Talk will feature the Houston Area Multi-Agency Gang Task Force, which investigates MS-13 gang activities such as homicide, extortion and racketeering.

Real Talk w/CJ: Houston Area Multi-Agency Gang Task Force
Wed, Mar 22, 2017
2 p.m.
Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom

Homeland Security Students Aid Runners in 100 Mile Race

students

Security Studies

Three Homeland Security students served as CERT volunteers, provided first aid and support during the 100-mile Rocky Raccoon Race.

Three Security Studies students who helped provide first aid and support for the Rocky Raccoon Race, a 100-mile trail race through the woods of Huntsville State Park, are new members of the Walker County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

Recent Publications


Here is a list of recent publications by faculty, graduate students and alumni of Sam Houston State University, College of Criminal Justice.

Oliver Pays Homage to the Father of America Policing

Euless Badge

New Book

Willard Oliver pays homage to August Vollmer, the Father of American Policing, in his latest book.

After 10 years of research and a bookcase full of documents, Professor Willard Oliver published a comprehensive biography of August Vollmer, known as the “Father of American Policing.”

Protecting and Serving College Campuses

Euless Badge

Alumnus

Garret Hudson is working for Texas A&M Police, one of the largest college department in the state.

Alumnus Garret Hudson ('10) works for a college police department with jurisdiction in nearly every county in the state.

Countering Radicalization in Terrorism, Hate Groups, Gangs in Communities, Prisons and Jails

flyer for Radicalization

Radicalization

LEMIT and CMIT will present a three-day conference on radicalization, including terrorism, hate groups, and gangs, and how to combat the issue in communities, prison and jails.

The Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT) and the Correctional Management Institute of Texas (CMIT) are teaming up to share information on the radicalization of terrorists, hate groups, and gangs in an effort to build networks to combat the problem in Texas and beyond.

Spanning a Career in Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Alumni

During her career in ICE, Alumna Tonja Marshall switched from investigating commodities to saving human trafficking victims.

Tonja Marshall was planning on a career in corrections or as a criminologist when she took a “leap of faith” on a coop program with U.S. Customs Service.

Advising Students for Future Success

Marissa Aldana

Advising

Meet Marissa Aldana, a first generation college graduate who is paving the way for future students as an advisor at the College.

As a first generation college graduate, Marissa Aldana hopes to guide other students on the right path for academic success and a rewarding career.

LEMIT Launches Online Offering with Body Worn Camera Course

camera lens

LEMIT

LEMIT debuted online courses for Texas law enforcement officers with a mandated primer on body worn cameras.

The Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT) is developing online courses to address current trends and emerging issues in the field and to provide easy access to professional development opportunities for all certified peace officers in the state.

Study Examines Death Penalty Support in Mexico

Mexican flag

Research

A study by Ph.D. Student Alexander H. Updegrove and Assistant Professor Erin Orrick examined public support for the death penalty in Mexico.

In sharp contrast to previous studies of public support for the death penalty conducted in the U.S., Catholics in Mexico were found to be more likely to support capital punishment, whereas older Mexicans and those living in states that bordered the U.S. were less likely to support the death penalty, according to researchers at Sam Houston State University.

Looking for a Career? Ask Carol Adams-Shearer

Carole Adams-shearer

Career Counselor

Meet Career Counselor Carol Adams-Shearer, who can help criminal justice students prepare for the job market.

Carol Adams-Shearer has had many careers packed into one, and she plans to use her diverse experience to help students at Sam Houston State University (SHSU) land their dream jobs.

Ph.D. Graduate Continues Sexual Assault Research in Kentucky

Bradley Campbell

Alumnus

Alumnus Bradley Campbell is using lessons learned at SHSU in a major statewide study on untested sexual assault kits in Kentucky.

A Ph.D. graduate from Sam Houston State University is using skills he learned while at SHSU to lead one of the first statewide studies to examine a backlog of untested rape kits in Kentucky.

College Expands International Program Initiatives

Beto Lecture

Edward R. Maguire from Arizona State University will present “New Directions in Procedural Justice Research” on April 13.

The Office of International Programs at the College of Criminal Justices continues to forge new relationships across the globe for research and practice in the criminal justice field.

Oliver Receives Accolades from Criminal Justice Organizations

Honors

Willard Oliver was recognized for his outstanding service to the field by ACJS and SWACJ.

Willard Oliver, a professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, received two awards from professional organizations in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the field and preservation of the history of the associations.

Euless Seeking Future Police Officers at SHSU

Euless Badge

Recruiting

The Euless Police Department is coming to SHSU to administer its written and physical test for police officers.

The Euless Police Department is coming to Sam Houston State University to offer the written and physical tests for those interested in serving as police officers in the community.

Major Biosocial Project Underway at SHSU

Biosocial

Danielle Boisvert, director of Graduate Studies, is collaborating on a major biosocial study on criminal behavior and substance abuse.

What do heart rate, facial symmetry, DNA, finger measurements, reaction to stress, and hormones have to do with aggression, criminal behavior, and substance abuse?

CJ Career Week Helps in Job Hunt

Career Fair Logo

CJ Career Week

Get ready for to meet more than 50 potential employers at this year’s Career Fair by attending sessions to help you prepare for the job hunt.

More than 50 employers in policing, corrections, victim services, and homeland security as well as several law schools will converge on the Lowman Student Center Ballroom on March 1 to offer career and internship options for students.

Last year, nearly nine out of 10 employers at the CJ Career Fair said they plan to interview candidates from Sam Houston State University for jobs. To help prepare for those opportunities, the College is offering a series of events during CJ Career Week to put your best foot forward.

LEMIT Launches Fire Marshals Program

Fire marshals

LEMIT

LEMIT is debuting a new professional development program for fire marshals.

The Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT) is partnering with the Texas Fire Marshals’ Association (TFMA) to provide the first executive development program for the discipline in the nation.

Officials Design Model Mental Health Training for Detention Officers

person behind wall

Center of Innovation

The Correctional Management Institute of Texas earned the first Center of Innovation designation from the National Institute of Corrections for a mental health training initiative for jail detention officers.

The Correctional Management Institute of Texas (CMIT) at Sam Houston State University (SHSU) hosted a group representing county jails, mental health professionals, and federal partners to develop a model training initiative for jail detention officers in the State of Texas to address better mental health issues in their facilities.

LEMIT’s Bowden Enlisted to Protect the President

Solitary Confinement

Keramet Reiter of the University of California, Irvine will discuss the growth of solitary confinement in prisons at a special presentation on Feb. 6.

Photo of Rebecca BowdenRebecca Bowden’s first trip to Washington, D.C. was to serve on the protection detail for President Donald Trump along the parade route during his Inauguration as the country’s 45th President.

Honor Students Inducted in Security Society

Alumnus

Jeff Kernohan provides security planning for corporations across the globe.

The Order of the Sword and Shield inducted its second cohort of Security Studies students into the national honor society for those pursuing careers in the homeland security field.

Study Examines Race in Access to Early Release Credits in Federal Prisons

Sentencing

Associate Professor Travis Franklin examines race/ethnicity in "good time" federal benefits.
scales of justice, gavel and law books

Latinos and Native Americans were more likely to be denied access to “good time” benefits during their incarcerations in federal prisons when compared with White and African American offenders, and Asian inmates fared better than all groups in obtaining access to these benefits, according to a study by researchers at Sam Houston State University.

SHSU Ranks #1 for CJ Faculty Publications

#1 Faculty Publications

The College was the top producer of peer-reviewed faculty publication from 2010-14, according to the Journal of Criminal Justice Education.

Faculty in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Sam Houston State University are the most productive scholars in the field, authoring nearly 300 peer-reviewed articles between 2010 and 2014, according to a recent study.

Beto Chair Lecture: Jose R. Almirall -- POSTPONED

Beto Lecture -- POSTPONED

Jose Almirall, a professor at Florida International University, will examine how to standardize forensic practice in the lab for the field.

Beto Chair Lecture: José R. Almirall, Ph.D.
March 10, 2017

9:30 to 11 a.m.
Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom

José R. Almirall, a Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Director of the International Forensic Research Institute (IFRI) at Florida International University (FIU), will present “Physical evidence examinations and comparisons from basic research to standardized forensic practice” as part of the Beto Chair Lecture Series.

Getting a Bird’s Eye View of Police Work

police badge

Internship

Senior Dana Barger experienced the round-the-clock life of a police officer during her internship with the Irvington Police

Dana Barger got a round-the-clock look at policing during her internship with the Irving Police Department.

Tracking Evidence at the Montgomery County Crime Lab

Internship

Senior Taylor Robinson got a firsthand look at crime scene investigations during her internship at the Montgomery County Crime Lab.

Taylor Robinson served in the hub of crime scene investigations (CSI) during her internship with the Montgomery County Crime Lab – in the Evidence and Property Room.

Taiwanese Delegation Gets Inside Look at Texas Prisons


The College of Criminal Justice recently hosted a delegation of correctional experts and scholars from Taiwan who wanted to learn more about management practices and innovative programs at Texas state prisons.

Forensic Science Faculty Appointed to Texas Commission

State Appointments

Drs. Sarah Kerrigan and Sheree Hughes-Stamm were appointed to the Texas Science Commission to oversee the discipline in the state.

Drs. Sarah Kerrigan and Sheree Hughes-Stamm were appointed by Governor Gregg Abbott to serve on the Texas Forensic Science Commission (TFSC), a statewide body which accredits crime labs and investigates complaints of professional negligence or misconduct in forensic science.

Dr. Oliver Presents Policing in America

New Book

Dr. Willard Oliver released a primer on policing in contemporary law enforcement agencies.

Dr. Willard Oliver recently penned a new policing textbook to provide a primer on theory and practices in the field and to promote a better understanding of issues facing contemporary agencies.

Real Talk w/CJ: U.S. Secret Service Agent Corbin Rowe

Real Talk

Special Agent Corbin Rowe of the U.S. Secret Service will discuss his 20-year career with the federal agency.

Real Talk w/CJ: Special Agent Corbin Rowe, U.S. Secret Service
Wed, Feb 8, 2016
2:00 pm
Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom

Corbin Rowe has served as a Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service for 20 years.
As a Special Agent in Salt Lake City, UT, Boise, ID, and Cheyenne, WY, Rowe was responsible for protecting dignitaries, investigating and preventing counterfeit currency, and safeguarding the payment and financial system of the U.S. from financial and computer-based crimes. He now serves as a recruiter for the Houston office.

Building and Strengthening Bridges Between Academics and Practice

Theory to Practice

Dr. Dennis Longmire named Director of Practice Development to bridge the gap between research and the field.

Dr. Dennis Longmire was appointed Director of Practice Development to strengthen existing bridges between academics at the College and agencies in the field in Texas and around the world and develop new ones to help enhance the relationship between theory, research, and practice.

CVI Releases Report on Victimization in Texas

Victim Services

The Crime Victims' Institute published a five-year snapshot of victimization in Texas.

The Crime Victims’ Institute (CVI) released a summary of key indicators of victimization in Texas, which reflects changes in reported incidents, service utilization, and offender accountability over the last five years.

Real Talk w/CJ: Special Agent Corbin Rowe, U.S. Secret Service

Wed, Feb 8, 2016
2:00 pm
Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom

Alumnus Donates Memorabilia from Branch-Davidian Siege

Alumnus

Former McLennan County Sheriff Larry Lynch donated memorabilia on the Branch-Davidian Siege.

Former McLennan County Sheriff Larry Lynch still vividly remembers the fire that rocked the Branch-Davidian compound outside Waco after a 51-day siege, which resulted in the death of Leader David Koresh and 82 followers as well as four agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) in 1993.

23/7: Pelican Bay Prison and the Rise of Long-Term Solitary Confinement

Solitary Confinement

Keramet Reiter of the University of California, Irvine will discuss the growth of solitary confinement in prisons at a special presentation on Feb. 6.
Mon, Feb 6, 2017
9:00am
Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom

Photo of Professor Keramet ReiterPelican Bay Prison in California was designed as one of the first “supermax” facilities in response to a perceived risk of black radicalism in the 1970s. Extreme conditions sparked statewide hunger strikes in 2011 and 2013 involving up to 30,000 inmates, which led to a rise in the use of solitary confinement.

Member of The Texas State University System