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Socio-Structural and Neighborhood Predictors of Incident Criminal Justice Involvement in a Population-Based Cohort of Young Black MSM and Transgender Women.

Abstract

Black men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women are disproportionately affected by criminal justice involvement (CJI) and HIV. This study recruited 618 young Black MSM and transgender women in Chicago, IL, using respondent-driven sampling between 2013 and 2014. Random effects logistic regression evaluated predictors of incident CJI over 18 months of follow-up. Controlling for respondent age, gender and sexual identity, spirituality (aOR 0.56, 95% CI 0.33-0.96), and presence of a mother figure (aOR 0.41, 95% CI 0.19-0.89) were protective against CJI. Economic hardship (financial or residential instability vs. neither aOR 2.23, 95% CI 1.10-4.51), two or more past episodes of CJI vs. none (aOR 2.66, 95% CI 1.40-5.66), and substance use (marijuana use vs. none aOR 2.79, 95% CI 1.23-6.34; other drug use vs. none aOR 4.49, 95% CI 1.66-12.16) were associated with CJI during follow-up. Research to identify and leverage resilience factors that can buffer the effects of socioeconomic marginalization may increase the effectiveness of interventions to address the socio-structural factors that increase the risk for CJI among Black MSM and transgender women. Given the intersection of incarceration, HIV and other STIs, and socio-structural stressors, criminal justice settings are important venues for interventions to reduce health inequities in these populations.

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