February 10, 2023
Associate Professor John Eason recently co-authored an article published in the latest issue of SSM - Population Health titled, "The impact of carceral churn and healthcare organizations on HIV/AIDS incidence in Arkansas."
In this study, we will investigate how these trends hold across a nearly all rural Southern state, Arkansas. Arkansas, the focus of this study, has higher-than-average incidences of HIV/AIDS and high incarceration rates (Carson, 2020). Rural, southern places are understudied in research on both HIV/AIDS and mass incarceration. To this end, we explore the link between prison churn, community level factors like disadvantage/organizational density, and HIV/AIDS infection rates, based on data from a twenty-year period of mass incarceration and high HIV/AIDS rates. This important, historical data maps onto the height of both the HIV/AIDS pandemic and mass incarceration, making it particularly relevant for the study. We build specifically from Johnson and Raphael (2009), who find strong association between state level incarceration rates and the rise in state level HIV/AIDS infection rates over time. We take a place-based approach and examine the relationship between prison churn and HIV/AIDS rates across Arkansas.