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Archive of posts filed under the Exprisoners and HIV category.

New Publication in AIDS and Behavior

Theory, Measurement and Hard Times: Some Issues for HIV/AIDS Research
Samuel R. Friedman, Milagros Sandoval, Pedro Mateu-Gelabert, Diana Rossi, Marya Gwadz, Kirk Dombrowski, Pavlo Smyrnov, Tetyana Vasylyeva, Enrique R. Pouget, David Perlman

Economic and political instability and related “big events” are widespread throughout the globe. Although they sometimes lead to epidemic HIV outbreaks, sometimes they do not—and we do not understand why. Current behavioural theories do not adequately address these processes, and thus cannot provide optimal guidance for effective intervention. Based in part on a critique of our prior “pathways” model of big events, we suggest that cultural–historical activity theory (CHAT) may provide a useful framework for HIV research in this area. Using CHAT concepts, we also suggest a number of areas in which new measures should be developed to make such research possible.
Keywords: Big events, Hard times, Cultural–historical activity theory, Theory, HIV Measurement

See SNRG member Ernie Drucker in the Lancet

Drugs: the third rail of US politics

Brief:In the 2012 US Presidential election, America’s healthcare policies remain hotly disputed. But the issue of drugs and addiction, formerly a prominent public and health concern, is now largely invisible in national political debates. Its public health importance is overlooked in favour of the continued criminalisation and punishment of drug users. America’s HIV/AIDS epidemic, for example, has always implicated drug use among poor and minority communities. New HIV infections in the USA continue at a high rate: the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate 50 000–60 000 new HIV infections in the USA annually. Meanwhile in the more populous European Union, researchers estimate there were about 5000 new HIV infections in 2008—less than 10% of the US incidence. In the USA, drug offences feed the nation’s bloated prison system, and damage the social and economic prospects of America’s poorest families and communities. There are now more drug offenders in US prisons and gaols (more than 1 million) than prisoners in the European Union for all offences. These are vital social and public health matters for the USA, as measured by morbidity and mortality alone, yet are ignored in our Presidential politics. From Afghanistan, to US neighbour Mexico, where violence associated with the trade in illicit drugs has produced 60 000 murders in 6 years, and Central America, a region which now has the highest murder rate in the world, the candidates look away, as the deadly medical and social toll accumulates.

The Ethics of Post Incarceration Association among Ex-Prisoners

A recent submission by SNRG graduate student (PhD Program in Criminal Justice) for the Steve and Elly Hammermnan Prize for Ethics in Criminal Justice.

Can post-incarceration restrictions on association
be made ethical?
Evan Misshula, PhD Candidate (Criminal Justice)
July 12, 2012
Abstract: This paper constructs an ethical framework for ex-prisoners trying to cope with the sometimes contradictory demands of reentry. The proposal is inspired by the Center for Criminal Justice Ethics’ Character Project and seeks to inform the development of character with recent revelations in the health impact of social networks.

New Book by SNRG member Ernest Drucker

“Ernie Drucker has long been a leader in new ways of thinking about issues of crime and drugs. He’s helped us to imagine a true public health approach to these problems.” —MARC MAUR, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, THE SENTENCING PROJECT

In his new book, A Plague of Prisons, Ernest Drucker argues that imprisonment—originally conceived as a response to individuals’ crimes—has become “mass incarceration”: a destabilizing force that undermines the families and communities it targets, damaging the very social structures that prevent crime. This book demonstrates that our unprecedented rates of incarceration have the contagious and self-perpetuating features of the plagues of previous centuries.

Who We Are:


Kirk Dombrowski,  Bilal Khan,  Ric Curtis,  Travis Wendel, Ernie Drucker, and Anthony Marcus

We are interested in research on social networks–from ethnography and network theory, to simulation and public policy.  Our work has been funded by the National Institute of Health, the National Science Foundation, the US Centers for Disease Control, the National Institute of Justice, and others.  We specialize in research on “hard-to-reach” populations, in both the social and geographical senses of the term. Each of our current projects has its own index button in the left margin, with recent posts from all projects located the right hand margin (listed chronologically). The “Papers” page features our recent publications. If you have questions or comments, you can contact us at the email links below.

Kirk Bilal Ric Travis Ernie Anthony