Christopher Moraff

DISPATCHES is Christopher Moraff’s weekly column for Filter, featuring analysis and beat reporting. Christopher has spent over a decade reporting on the intersection of policing, criminal justice and civil liberties. His immersion reporting from Kensington, Philadelphia, has earned him a reputation as an expert on injection drug culture and the fentanyl crisis. His work has appeared in publications including the Daily Beast, the Washington Post and Al Jazeera America. He is co-host of the podcast Narcotica, and curator of the stock photo site StashHouse.org.

Life Without Parole for a Crime as a Minor: His Story Has Wider Lessons

As the holidays approached, I found myself in one of the most financially precarious situations I had ever experienced. It…

2 weeks

A Dire Shortage of ADD Meds Is Pushing Some Patients to Street Meth

America is beginning—far too late and far too slowly—to get some kind of a grip on deaths and harms involving…

1 month

Equipping Defense Attorneys to Fight Drug-Induced Homicide Charges

Amid the overdose crisis, drug warrior district attorneys across the US have added a new tool to their prosecutorial arsenal:…

2 months

Can Harm Reduction Finally Take Root in America’s Schools?

In my second year in junior high in Philadelphia, I sat with two dozen peers, waiting for the start of…

3 months

Huge Court Win for Philly Safe Consumption Site⁠—But Fight Isn’t Over

October 2 will live long in US harm reduction history. A federal judge ruled that Safehouse⁠—a nonprofit planning to open…

4 months

New Drugs, Bad Policies Leave Philly Harm Reduction Groping in the Dark

The “Walmart of Heroin” is how the New York Times described Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood—in a much-criticized October 2018 story that…

4 months

Fate of Philly Safe Consumption Site Now Hinges on Judge’s Ruling

Nearly two years after Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said his office would not stand in the way of a safe…

5 months

Feds Dispute the Efficacy of Safe Consumption Sites at Safehouse Hearing

On August 19 a federal judge in Philadelphia presided over the opening salvo of a legal battle with the potential…

5 months

Massive Philly Cocaine Bust Is Yet Another Action With Collateral Damage

Customs officials in Philadelphia made an unexpected discovery on June 18 during a routine inspection of a cargo ship arriving…

7 months

Safe Consumption Site in Philly Has 90 Percent Support Among Locals

Communities most impacted by the overdose crisis are more likely to back groundbreaking interventions like safe consumption sites (SCS) in…

8 months