AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 17, Supplement 2, pp 145–155 | Cite as

Understanding the Revolving Door: Individual and Structural-Level Predictors of Recidivism Among Individuals with HIV Leaving Jail

  • Jeannia J. Fu
  • Maua Herme
  • Jeffrey A. Wickersham
  • Alexei Zelenev
  • Amy Althoff
  • Nickolas D. Zaller
  • Alexander R. Bazazi
  • Ann K. Avery
  • Jeff Porterfield
  • Alison O. Jordan
  • Dominique Simon-Levine
  • Martha Lyman
  • Frederick L. Altice
Original Paper


Incarceration, particularly when recurrent, can significantly compromise the health of individuals living with HIV. Despite this, the occurrence of recidivism among individuals with HIV has been little examined, particularly among those leaving jail, who may be at especially high risk for return to the criminal justice system. We evaluated individual- and structural-level predictors of recidivism and time to re-incarceration in a cohort of 798 individuals with HIV leaving jail. Nearly a third of the sample experienced at least one re-incarceration event in the 6 months following jail release. Having ever been diagnosed with a major psychiatric disorder, prior homelessness, having longer lifetime incarceration history, having been charged with a violent offense for the index incarceration and not having health insurance in the 30 days following jail release were predictive of recidivism and associated with shorter time to re-incarceration. Health interventions for individuals with HIV who are involved in the criminal justice system should also target recidivism as a predisposing factor for poor health outcomes. The factors found to be associated with recidivism in this study may be potential targets for intervention and need to be further explored. Reducing criminal justice involvement should be a key component of efforts to promote more sustainable improvements in health and well-being among individuals living with HIV.


HIV Jail Recidivism Criminal justice populations 



Enhancing Linkages to HIV Primary Care Services Initiative is a HRSA-funded Special Project of National Significance. Funding for this research was also provided through career development grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (K24 DA017072, FLA), research Grants from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (R01 AA018944, FLA), and an institutional research training grant from NIAID (T32 AI007517, AA). The funding sources played no role in study design, data collection, data analysis, data interpretation, writing of the manuscript or the decision to submit the paper for publication.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeannia J. Fu
    • 1
    • 3
  • Maua Herme
    • 1
  • Jeffrey A. Wickersham
    • 1
  • Alexei Zelenev
    • 1
  • Amy Althoff
    • 1
  • Nickolas D. Zaller
    • 2
  • Alexander R. Bazazi
    • 1
    • 3
  • Ann K. Avery
    • 4
  • Jeff Porterfield
    • 5
  • Alison O. Jordan
    • 6
  • Dominique Simon-Levine
    • 7
  • Martha Lyman
    • 8
  • Frederick L. Altice
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Section of Infectious Diseases, AIDS Program, Department of Internal MedicineYale School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Division of Infectious DiseasesThe Miriam HospitalProvidenceUSA
  3. 3.Division of Epidemiology of Microbial DiseasesYale School of Public HealthNew HavenUSA
  4. 4.MetroHealth Medical CenterCase Western Reserve University School of MedicineClevelandUSA
  5. 5.AID AtlantaAtlantaUSA
  6. 6.New York City Department of Health and Mental HygieneNew YorkUSA
  7. 7.Allies in RecoveryNorthamptonUSA
  8. 8.Hampden County Sheriff’s DepartmentLudlowUSA

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