R.Sims 2012

R.Sims 2012

Structures, Health and Risk among Re-Entrants, Probationers and Partners (SHARRPP) is a federally funded study that analyzes connections between the movement between the criminal justice system and the community and race disparities in HIV-related sexual risk.  We consider how drug policies contribute to this movement, and the characteristic’s of the communities to which individuals return mediate its impact on HIV risk. This study builds on the research methodology and findings produced in a related project that was conducted between 2005 and 2007.

Research Design

SHARRPP conducted longitudinal surveys with 302 people who have been involved in the criminal justice system (i.e. on parole, on probation, and/or recently released from prison).  This project began in the summer of 2011 and concluded in the late fall of 2014.  Participants were recruited shortly after being placed on probation or released to the community from prison and interviewed every six months for three years.  A sub-set of these individuals (45) also participated in a series of longitudinal semi-structured interviews every six months for three years.  Participants were asked to refer their sexual partners to the study and from these referrals 62 longitudinal surveys were administered and 27 semi-structured interviews were conducted with the partners.

From these surveys and interviews we collected data about criminal justice histories, sexual relationships, social supports and family networks, drug use behavior, economic vulnerability, housing insecurity, access to public support and health services utilization.

An active Community Advisory Board including policymakers and program administrators continue to provide guidance in reporting on this research and identifying structural interventions to reduce race disparities in HIV based on.

Study Aims

  • Analyze the relationship between the coercive mobility – the migration between the criminal justice system and the community – and race disparities in HIV-related sexual risk among drug offenders in Connecticut.
  • Examine whether the association between coercive mobility and HIV-related sexual risk is affected by the degree of social disorganization in the re-entrants’ communities.
  • Study the feasibility of recruiting and retaining sexual partners of these individuals to better understand the impacts of criminal justice systems on partners’ HIV-related risk.


Coercive mobility produces race disparities in HIV risk in a number of distinct ways:
  • Blacks are more likely than Whites to be incarcerated, so HIV-related sexual risk associated with coercive mobility can produce race disparities in HIV risk even if the effects of coercive mobility are the same for both Blacks and Whites.
  • Blacks are more likely than Whites to reside in communities experiencing the disorganizing impacts of coercive mobility, so to the extent that social disorganization exacerbates the effects of coercive mobility, it will affect the HIV risks of Blacks to a greater degree than Whites.
  • The sexual partners of Blacks are more likely to come from these same socially disorganized communities, furthering the negative impacts of coercive mobility for both returning inmates and their partners, and contributing to race disparities in HIV risk among women.
  • Blacks are more likely to be penalized by drug policies in ways that increase their movement between prison/jail and the community and their vulnerability to its associated harms.

Funding Information

Principal Investigator:  Kim M. Blankenship, PhD, American University

About The Art

All of the artwork on this website was contributed by SHARRPP participants.  For more information please see the Publications and Findings page.

Funding Source: NIH/NIDA (1R01DA025021-01)
Yale HIC#: 0904005012