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Lauren Brinkley-Rubinstein, PhD

Bellwether Collaborative for Health Justice


Lauren Brinkley-Rubinstein is an Associate Professor of Population Health Sciences and core faculty in the Samuel Dubois Cook Center on Social Equity. She is a national expert in examining how the criminal legal system impacts people, families, and communities. During the pandemic, she co-founded the COVID Prison Project, one of the only national data projects that tracks and analyzes COVID testing, cases, and deaths in prison systems across the country. She utilized the infrastructure of the COVID Prison Project to recently launch the Third City Project—a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded big data project that tracks and aggregates publicly available health and health policy data from carceral systems. Additionally, Dr. Brinkley-Rubinstein is the PI of several NIH and foundation grants focused on substance use, HIV prevention, and mortality.


In 2019, she co-edited a special issue of AJPH that explored how mass incarceration is a socio-structural determinant of health. More recently, she was invited by the National Academy of Medicine to attend its Annual Emerging Leaders Forum. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, ProPublica, CNN, Science Magazine, and other media outlets. Her work blends research and policy, which has recently culminated in providing expert consultation to Congress relevant to prison standards and data reporting.

Recent Publications

Puglisi, L. B., Rosenberg, A., Credle, M., Negron, T., Martin, R. A., Maner, M., Brinkley-Rubinstein, L., & Wang, E. A. (2022). Paths to improving pandemic preparedness in jails and prisons: Perspectives of incarcerated people and correctional staff. American Journal of Public Health, 112(S9), S869–S873.


Grundy, S. J., Peterson, M., & Brinkley-Rubinstein, L. (2022). Comprehensive reform urgently needed in hospital shackling policy for incarcerated patients in the United States. Journal of Correctional Health Care, 28(6), 384–390.


Dauria, E., Clemenzi-Allen, A., Nowotny, K., Brinkley-Rubinstein, L., Williams, B., & Wurcel, A. (2022). Increasing availability of COVID-19 vaccine to older adults under community supervision. International Journal of Prisoner Health.


LeMasters, K., Renson, A., Edwards, J. K., Robinson, W. R., Brinkley-Rubinstein, L., Delamater, P., & Pence, B. (2022). Inequities in life course criminal legal system sanctions: Measuring cumulative involvement. Annals of Epidemiology, 76, 83–90.


Brinkley-Rubinstein, L., & Cloud, D. H. (2022). Invited perspective: Uncovering harmful exposures in carceral environments. Environmental Health Perspectives, 130(9), 91305.

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