Rubin won the contest's Investigative Reporting category for his series "A System Gone Mad," about a mentally ill Vietnam veteran who died of heat prostration after he was released onto the streets.
Rubin will receive the Unity Award on April 21 in Jefferson City, Missouri. The Unity Awards recognize outstanding coverage of minorities.
The same series also earned Rubin the runner-up trophy in the prestigious John Bartlow Martin Memorial writing competition, conducted annually by the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
The top prize for 1996 went to William Finnegan of the New Yorker.
Four of the 12 finalists in that competition were writers for publications owned by New Times, Inc. Among them was executive editor Michael Lacey.
The Martin Memorial award will be presented later this month in Evanston, Illinois.
Rubin, 46, has been a New Times staff writer for 12 years.