Leveraging community health workers to improve SARS-CoV-2 testing and mitigation among criminal justice-involved individuals accessing a corrections-focused community-based organization

Project: Research project

Project Details


Abstract. The United States (U.S.) has experienced higher mortality than any other nation due to COVID-19 with nearly 13.5 million cases and over 268,103 deaths. Due to the limited ability to socially distance, poor ventilation, and limited hygiene supplies, U.S. prisons and jails have observed explosive transmission of SARS-CoV-2 accounting for the 10 largest U.S. outbreaks. Because 95% of criminal justice-involved individuals reenter society COVID-19 transmission extends beyond those who are currently incarcerated. As justice-involved individuals reenter the community, they face high rates of homelessness, and many others live in other congregate settings such as converted hotels and halfway houses. The increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 while incarcerated coupled with the likelihood of living in congregate settings after incarceration, create conditions ripe for rapid COVID-19 transmission that will be critical to address in order to gain control of COVID-19 in the U.S. The goal of this study is to test the impact and cost-effectiveness of an intervention to mitigate SARS-CoV-2 transmission among justice-involved individuals recently released from incarceration. We will conduct a randomized trial to compare the effectiveness of an onsite Point-of-Care SARS-CoV-2 testing and education intervention with community health workers (CHWs) as a central component compared to the standard of care at a community-based organization (CBO) that provides services to justice-involved individuals in New York City. We will measure costs of testing, education, and navigation, and explore the cost-effectiveness of the onsite Point-of-Care intervention compared to the standard of care. Our specific aims are to: 1) Test the effectiveness of an onsite PoC SARS- CoV-2 intervention in a corrections-focused CBO; 2) Model the cost-effectiveness of an onsite PoC SARS-CoV- 2 intervention among CJIs compared to SoC. Because testing, education, and navigation will be provided by CHWs in a culturally-sensitive environment and test results will be received in minutes (rather than days), we hypothesize that O-PoC will be associated with improved testing uptake and receipt of test results, mitigation behaviors (mask wearing, hand hygiene, social distancing), and those who attend more O-PoC sessions will have better adherence to mitigation behaviors.
Effective start/end date9/21/215/31/22


  • National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities: $751,585.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.