AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 17, Issue 8, pp 2703–2714 | Cite as

Incarceration and Sexual Risk: Examining the Relationship Between Men’s Involvement in the Criminal Justice System and Risky Sexual Behavior

  • Andrea K. Knittel
  • Rachel C. Snow
  • Derek M. Griffith
  • Jeffrey Morenoff
Original Paper


In this study, we used data from Add Health Waves II and III to compare men who had been incarcerated to those who had not, and examined whether incarceration was associated with increased numbers of sexual partners and increased odds of concurrent partnerships. We used multivariate regression and propensity-score matching to compare sexual behavior of Wave III male respondents who had been incarcerated with those who had not, and compared sexual behavior at Wave II to identify differences in sexual behavior prior to incarceration. Incarceration was associated with an increased rate of lifetime sexual partnership, but this was attenuated by substance use. Criminal justice involvement was associated with increased odds of having partners who report concurrent partnerships, but no further increase was seen with incarceration. There were no significant sexual behavior differences prior to incarceration. These results suggest that the criminal justice system and substance use may interact to shape sexual behavior.


Incarceration Criminal justice system Sexual behavior HIV risk 



This work was supported by the University of Michigan Medical Scientist Training Program (NIGMS T32GM07863); a Point Foundation Scholarship; the University of Michigan School of Public Health Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, and a King Parks Chavez Future Faculty Fellowship. The authors have no conflicts of interest to report. This research uses data from Add Health, a program project designed by J. Richard Udry, Peter S. Bearman, and Kathleen Mullan Harris, and funded by a grant P01 HD31921 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, with cooperative funding from 17 other agencies. Special acknowledgment is due Ronald R. Rindfuss and Barbara Entwisle for assistance in the original design. Persons interested in obtaining Data Files from Add Health should contact Add Health, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carolina Population Center, 123 W. Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27516 2524 ( No direct support was received from grant P01 HD31921 for this analysis.


  1. 1.
    World Prison Brief. International Centre for Prison Studies: Available from: (2011). Accessed 1 August 2012.
  2. 2.
    West HC. Prison Inmates at Midyear 2009–Statistical Tables. Washington DC, 2010 Contract No.: NCJ 230113.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Western B. Punishment and Inequality in America. New York: Russell Sage Foundation; 2006.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Minton TD. Jail Inmates at Midyear 2009–Statistical Tables. Washington DC, 2010 Contract No.: NCJ 230122.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Mauer M, Chesney-Lind M. Invisible Punishment: the collateral consequences of mass incarceration. New York: New Press; 2002.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Waquant L. Racial Stigma in the Making of America’s Punitive State. In: Loury GC, editor. Race, incarceration, and American values : based on the 2007 Tanner lectures on human values at Stanford. Cambridge: MIT Press; 2008.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hall HI, Song R, Rhodes P. Estimation of HIV Incidence in the United States. J Am Med Assoc. 2008;300(5):520–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Karon JM, Fleming PL, Steketee RW, De Cock KM. HIV in the United States at the turn of the century: an epidemic in transition. Am J Public Health. 2001;91:1060–8.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Comfort M. Doing time together: love and family in the shadow of the prison. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press; 2008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Spaulding AC, Seals RM, Page MJ, Brzozowski AK, Rhodes W, Hammett TM. HIV/AIDS among inmates of and releasees from US correctional facilitities, 2006: declining share of epidemic but persistent public health opportunity. PLoS One. 2009;4(11):e7558.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Johnson RC, Raphael S. The effects of male incarceration dynamics on AIDS infection rates among African–American women and men. Berkeley: University of California; 2005.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Thomas JC, Levandowski BA, Isler MR, Torrone E, Wilson G. Incarceration and sexually transmitted infections: a neighborhood perspective. J Urban Health. 2007;85(1):90–9.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Laumann EO, Gagnon JH, Michael RT, Michaels S. The social organization of sexuality. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press; 1994.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Epperson MW, El-Bassel N, Chang M, Gilbert L. Examining the temporal relationship between criminal justice involvement and sexual risk behaviors among drug-involved men. J Urban Health. 2010;87(2):324–36.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Epperson MW, El-Bassel N, Gilbert L, Orellana ER, Chang M. Increased HIV Risk Associated with Criminal Justice Involvement among Men on Methodone. AIDS Behav. 2008;12:51–7.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Seal DW, Eldrige GD, Kacanek E, Binson D, MacGowan RF, Group TPSS. A longitudinal, qualitative analysis of the context of substance use and sexual behavior among 18- to 29-year-old men after their release from prison. Soc Sci Med. 2007;65:2394–406.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Adimora AA, Schoenbach VJ, Doherty IA. Concurrent sexual partnerships among men in the United States. Am J Public Health. 2007;97(12):2230–7.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Khan MR, Doherty IA, Schoenbach VJ, Taylor EM, Epperson MW, Adimora AA. Incarceration and high-risk sex partnerships among men in the United States. J Urban Health. 2009;86(4):584–601.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Epperson MW, Khan MR, El-Bassel N, Wu E, Gilbert L. A longitudinal study of incarceration and HIV risk among methadone maintained men and their primary female partners. AIDS Behav. 2011;15(2):347–55.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Harris KM, Udry JR. National longitudinal study of adolescent health (Add Health), 1994–2002. Ann Arbor.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Ford K, Sohn W, Lepkowski J. American adolescents: sexual mixing patterns, bridge partners, and concurrency. Sex Transm Dis. 2002;29(1):13–9.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    StataCorp. Stata statistical software. College Station, 2009.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Thomas JC, Sampson LA. High rates of incarceration as a social force associated with community rates of sexually transmitted infection. J Infect Dis. 2005;191(Suppl 1):S55–60.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Drumright LN, Gorbach PM, Holmes KK. Do people really know their sex partners? Concurrency, knowledge of partner behavior, and sexually transmitted infections within partnerships. Sex Transm Dis. 2004;31(7):437–42.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Lenoir CD, Adler NE, Borzekowski DLG, Tschann JM, Ellen JM. What you don’t know can hurt you: perceptions of sex-partner concurrency and partner-reported behavior. J Adolesc Health. 2006;38:179–85.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea K. Knittel
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rachel C. Snow
    • 1
  • Derek M. Griffith
    • 4
  • Jeffrey Morenoff
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Health Behavior and Health EducationUniversity of Michigan School of Public HealthAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.University of Michigan Medical SchoolAnn ArborUSA
  3. 3.Department of SociologyUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  4. 4.Center for Medicine, Health and SocietyVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations