Bradley Ray

Bradley Ray

Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice

Bradley Ray


Brad Ray joined Wayne State University’s School of Social Work as Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice in 2019. Ray received his PhD from North Carolina State University in Sociology in 2012 and spent seven years IUPUI where he served as a research director at the Indiana University Public Policy Institute. He is a community-engaged researcher that focuses on mental health and substance use, particularly where these populations intersect with the criminal justice system. Much of his recent research has focused on evaluating policies and interventions aimed at the recent overdose epidemic, and translating evidence-based harm reduction strategies into practice.

Ray is a Michigan native with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Northern Michigan University where he assisted in a census of tribal communities. His early graduate research was on opioid overdose and later focused on mental health courts for his doctoral work. While center director at the Indiana University Public Policy Institute Ray received funding from numerous local, state, federal, and foundation sources to conduct research at the intersection of behavioral health, public health, and criminal justice systems. Much of this research is community-engaged and translational research but Ray has also developed, implemented, and managed clinical research experiments within criminal justice settings. Ray is excited to bring his skills and expertise to his home state—and especially to one of the world’s most remarkable cities—and study the innovative work occurring across the state, and contributing to any positive change.

Click here to view Curriculum Vitae

Google Scholar Website

Degrees and Certifications

  • PhD, Sociology and Anthropology, North Carolina State University, 2012
  • MA, Sociology, DePaul University, 2004
  • BS. Sociology, Northern Michigan University, 2002

Awards and Honors

  • NIH Loan Repayment Program, Funding approved by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2017-2019
  • Bantz-Petronio Translating Research Into Practice Faculty Award, 2019
  • Indiana University Trustees’ Teaching Award, 2016

Teaching Interests

  • Research Methods
  • Drugs, Crime and Policy
  • Mental Health and Criminal Justice Systems

Areas of Expertise

  • Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice Systems
  • Research Design
  • Mixed-Methods Analysis
  • Program Evaluation

Recent Publications

Evan Lowder, Bradley Ray, and Jeff Gruenewald. 2019. Criminal Justice Professionals' Attitudes Toward Mental Illness and Substance Use.” Community Mental Health Journal, 55(3), 428–439.

Kelli Canada, Stacey Barrenger, and Bradley Ray. 2019. Bridging mental health and criminal justice systems: A systematic review of the impact of mental health courts on individuals and communities. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 25(2), 73-91.

Bradley Ray, Evan Lowder, Aaron Kivisto, Peter Phalen, and Harold Gil. 2018. EMS naloxone administration as non-fatal opioid overdose surveillance: 6-year outcomes in Marion County, Indiana. Addiction, 113(12), 2271-2279.

Evan Lowder, Bradley Ray, Philip Huynh, Alfarena Ballew, and Dennis Watson. 2018.“Identifying Unreported Opioid Deaths in Marion County, Indiana Through Toxicology Data and Vital Record Linkage. American Journal of Public Health, 108(2), 1682-1687.

Katie Bailey, Staci Paquet Rising, Evan Lowder, Bradley Ray, Eric Grommon, Evan Lowder, Emily Sights. 2018. Barriers and Facilitators to Implementing an Urban Co-Responding Police-Mental Health Team. Health & Justice, 21(6).

Jeremy Carter, George Mohler, and Bradley Ray. 2018. Spatial Concentration of Opioid Overdose Deaths in Indianapolis: An Application of the Law of Crime Concentration at Place to a Public Health Epidemic. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, 35(2), 161-185.


Principle Investigator. Outcomes and Costs from a Randomized Controlled Trial of a Co-Response Police Model. Arnold Ventures. 2019-2022.

Principle Investigator. The Indianapolis Harm Reduction Team (IHART) Study. Bureau of Justice Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Site-Based Grant. 2019-2021.

Co-Principle Investigator. W.E.B. DuBois Program: Improving the Accuracy and Fairness of Pretrial Release Decisions. 2019-2020

Co-Principle Investigator. Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention for States. CDC and Indiana State Department of Health. 2018-2019.

Principle Investigator. Regional Judicial Opioid Initiative. Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Site-based Program. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance. 2017-2020.

Co-Principle Investigator. Developing SUPPORT, a Community-Driven, Recovery-Oriented System of Care. National Institute of Drug Abuse. 2016-2019.

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