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Evaluation of the Health Link Program [New York City]: The Community Reintegration Model to Reduce Substance Abuse Among Jail Inmates, 1997-2002

Resource Type
Dataset : clinical data, survey data
  • Burghardt, John (Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.)
  • Needels, Karen (Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.)
Other Title
  • Version 1 (Subtitle)
Publication Date
Funding Reference
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Free Keywords
case management; community service programs; female offenders; HIV; jail inmates; postrelease programs; social reintegration; substance abuse; substance abuse treatment; women; youthful offenders
  • Abstract

    This evaluation study, funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, was designed to provide a rigorous assessment of the effects of making Health Link's community-based services available to former inmates of New York City's jail system at Rikers Island. The goal of the Health Link Project was to promote healthy reintegration of persons leaving Rikers into their communities by (1) providing direct services to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated clients, (2) assisting community organizations that served this population, (3) establishing linkages between organizations, and (4) strengthening linkages between them and public agencies. The signature component of Health Link was case management in the community. Meeting with clients after their release from jail, caseworkers provided a support structure, made referrals to services, offered crisis intervention and counseling, and served as advocates for clients. Only adult females and adolescent males were included in the study. Eligible inmates who volunteered for the evaluation study were assigned to one of two groups: the Jail-and-Community Services group (JC group) or the Jail Services Only group (J group). JC group members were eligible for Health Link's intensive discharge planning and community case management services, while J group members were eligible for less intensive discharge planning services and ineligible for Health Link's community case management services. Evaluation subjects initially completed an intake questionnaire, which collected information on age, race, Hispanic origin, ethnicity, place and type of residence, family relations, criminal background, employment and education, substance abuse, health and medical history, sexual at-risk behavior and reproductive health, and history of trauma. Follow-up interviews were conducted, on average, about 15 months after release from jail, a sufficient time to observe the 12-month period for which clients were eligible for community-based services. Topics covered in the follow-up 12 Month Questionnaire included involvement in the criminal justice system, criminal activity, substance abuse, participation in substance abuse treatment programs, education and employment outcomes, health status, access to and utilization of health care services, sexual activity and HIV risk, housing, and involvement with family and community. Subjects who were not incarcerated at the time of their follow-up interview were asked to voluntarily provide hair samples, which were tested for metabolites of cocaine, opiates, PCP, methamphetamine, and marijuana.
  • Methods

    Response Rates: Intake survey: 99 percent. Twelve month survey: 74 percent. Eighty percent of the unincarcerated follow-up respondents provided a hair sample. Incarcerated follow-up respondents were not asked to provide a hair sample.
  • Table of Contents


    • DS0: Study-Level Files
    • DS1: Intake Data
    • DS2: 12 Month Follow-Up Data
    • DS3: Hair Test Data
    • DS4: Introduction and Index of All Health Link Variables
Temporal Coverage
  • 1997 / 2002
    Time period: 1997--2002
  • 1997 / 2002
    Collection date: 1997--2002
Geographic Coverage
  • New York (state)
  • New York City
  • United States
Sampled Universe
Adult female and adolescent males incarcerated in the New York City jail system at Rikers Island between July 1997 and May 2000.
Health Link staff recruited for the evaluation inmates who showed interest and likely commitment to receiving case management services, who expected to return to the community within a year because their sentence in Rikers was less than one year and they did not expect to be transferred to the New York State prison system, and who were willing and able to receive services in the South Bronx or Harlem in New York City. Subjects were randomly assigned to either the JC group or to the J group. Slightly more than 350 women and 350 adolescent males were selected for each group, for a total sample of 1,416.
Collection Mode
  • The data files are comma-delimited with one record per case, and variable names are provided in the first record of each data file. Hence, the number of records in each file is one more than the number of cases.

Funding insitution(s): Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (31735).
One or more files in this study are not available for download due to special restrictions; consult the study documentation to learn more on how to obtain the data.
Alternative Identifiers
  • 3978 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Needels, Karen, James-Burdumy, Susanne, Burghardt, John. The Evaluation of Health Link: The Community Reintegration Model to Reduce Substance Abuse Among Jail Inmates, Technical Report. Submitted to The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.Princeton, NJ: Mathematica Policy Research. 2004.
  • Stapulonis, Rita A., Kovac, Martha D.. Conducting Surveys with the Formerly Incarcerated: What Works Best. Mathematica Policy Research. 2004.
  • Needels, Karen, James-Burdumy, Susanne, Burghardt, John. The Evaluation of Health Link: The Community Reintegration Model to Reduce Substance Abuse Among Jail Inmates, Summary Report. Submitted to The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.PP03-53, Princeton, NJ: Mathematica Policy Research. 2003.
  • Richie, Beth E., Freudenberg, Nicholas, Page, Joanna. Reintegrating women leaving jail into urban communities: A description of a model program. Journal of Urban Health.78, (2), 290-303.2001.
  • Travis, Raphael Jr.. Hidden Trajectories of Influence for Youth Before, During and After Incarceration: Examining Reentry and Positive Youth Development [poster]. San Marcos, TX: Texas State University. .
    • ID: (URL)

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 6 | Registration Date: 2015-06-15

Burghardt, John; Needels, Karen (2004): Evaluation of the Health Link Program [New York City]: The Community Reintegration Model to Reduce Substance Abuse Among Jail Inmates, 1997-2002. Version 1. Version: v1. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.