HIV Training Program in the Criminal Justice System

National grant supporting HIV and drug abuse prevention in criminal justice system

Columbia University in the City of New York and key community-based partners and policy institutes sits in the heart of the crisis of mass incarceration and is uniquely situated to change the narrative and re-envision justice in America.  Within this context, this T32 training program on HIV and Substance Use in the Criminal Justice System was initially funded in 2014 and recently refunded in 2019 to train the next generation of pre-doctoral scholars in the prevention, treatment, and care of HIV and substance use among individuals in the criminal justice (CJ) system. The training program is a partnership between the Department of Sociomedical Sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health and Columbia University School of Social Work. (SSW), with strong support from longstanding partnerships with a number of research centers, schools, and departments at Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

The training program provides: (1) interdisciplinary research instruction and training for pre-doctoral students on the intersecting issues of substance use (with special emphasis on opioid use disorders and overdose), HIV, and implementation research with the CJ system and CJ-involved populations; and (2) hands-on, mentored experience conducting independent research in the study implementation of evidence-based HIV and/or substance use prevention, treatment, and care for criminal justice-involved populations. This program is designed to strengthen the pool of researchers by increasing the diversity of academic backgrounds—e.g., public health, medicine, sociology, political science, anthropology, history and social work—and those from underrepresented populations—e.g., underrepresented minorities (URM), people with disabilities, individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. Participating faculty are leaders in HIV, substance/opioid use, implementation science, and criminal justice fields, with strong track records of support from NIH and strong records of mentorship.