Panka Bencsik is an Assistant Professor of Medicine, Health, and Society and of Public Policy at Vanderbilt University. Additionally, she is a faculty affiliate at the Vanderbilt Center for Research on Inequality and Health.
Professor Bencsik is an applied microeconomist whose research covers the fields of health economics, crime economics, and public economics. She has worked extensively on topics related to the opioid crisis, mental health, alternatives to prosecution, and gun violence. Her research has been covered by major media outlets, including The Economist and the Chicago Tribune, and by policymakers, such as the Mayor’s Office of Chicago. Professor Bencsik also served as the founding leader of the world’s largest research hub on mental health economics.
Before joining Vanderbilt University, Professor Bencsik was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Chicago, Urban Labs. Prior, she received her PhD in economics from the University of Sussex and was a Fulbright Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC.
Policing Substance Use: Chicago’s Treatment Program for Narcotics Arrests – Working Paper
This working paper sheds light on the effectiveness of diversion programs by showcasing Chicago’s drug diversion program success in reducing drug-related arrests.
Narcotics Arrest Diversion Program (NADP)
The Narcotics Arrest Diversion Program (NADP), implemented by Thresholds, provides supportive interventions for individuals apprehended for drug possession and is the most extensive police-led drug diversion program in the United States.