Healthcare News & Insights

Black mens’ death rates better in prison than out of it

No one’s going to mistake a stretch in a supermax prison for a week at a spa, but for some prisoners, the health benefits might be the same.

New research indicates that black mens’ death rates in jail are half what they are outside of it. That’s not the case for whites, who had death rates 12% higher than their peers in the general population. The study appeared in the Annals of Epidemiology. The study reviewed the medical records of 100,000 men between age 20 and 79 held in North Carolina prisons between 1995 and 2005.

It’s counter-intuitive, but for particularly disadvantaged populations, prison offers two big benefits they might not have otherwise: Regular access to health care and protection from deleterious factors like drugs, alcohol and violence.

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