Thousands of people like Jordan are released from prisons and jails every year with conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and infectious diseases they developed while incarcerated. The issue hits hard in Alabama, Louisiana, and other Southeastern states, which have some of the highest incarceration rates in the nation.
A major reason the U.S. trails other developed countries in life expectancy is because it has more people behind bars and keeps them there far longer, said Chris Wildeman, a Duke University sociology professor who has researched the link between criminal justice and life expectancy.
“It’s a health strain on the population,” Wildeman said. “The worse the prison conditions, the more likely it is incarceration can be tied to excess mortality.”
Mass incarceration has a ripple effect across society.
Author(s): Fred Clasen-Kelly
Publication Date: 27 April 2023
Publication Site: KFF Health News