The purpose of this study is to test, for the first time, the association between spatial social polarization and incarceration among people who inject drugs (PWID) in 19 large U.S. metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in 2015. PWID were recruited from MSAs for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 2015 National HIV Behavioral Surveillance. Administrative data were used to describe the ZIP-code areas, counties, and MSAs where PWID lived. We operationalized spatial polarization using the Index of Concentration at the Extremes (ICE), a measure that reflects polarization in race and household income at the ZIP-code level. We tested the association between spatial polarization and odds of past-year arrest and detainment using multilevel multivariable models. We found 37% of the sample reported being incarcerated in the past year. Report of past-year incarceration varied by race/ethnicity: 45% of non-Hispanic white PWID reported past-year incarceration, as did 25% of non-Hispanic Black PWID, and 43% of Hispanic/Latino PWID (N = 9047). Adjusted odds ratios suggest that Black PWID living in ZIP-code areas with a higher ICE score, meaning more white and affluent, had higher odds of past-year incarceration, compared to white PWID. In previous research, incarceration has been found to be associated with HIV acquisition and can deter PWID from engaging in harm reduction activities.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health