Imprisonment and (Inequality in) Population Health
Christopher Wildeman, University of Michigan
This article considers the effects of imprisonment on population health using state-level panel data (1980-2005). Results support four conclusions. First, the imprisonment rate is generally negatively associated with population health. Second, the imprisonment rate is negatively associated with life expectancy for both White and Black women but not significantly associated with life expectancy for men. Third, though effects of the imprisonment rate on population health tend to be small, effects on the Black infant mortality rate are not. Based on these estimates, the Black infant mortality rate would be 1.2 per 1,000 lower had the imprisonment rate stayed at the 1980 level. Finally, models considering age-specific effects of the imprisonment rate show that while the imprisonment rate is associated with increases in mortality risk at most ages, increases in the imprisonment rate are associated with decreased mortality risk for men aged 15-24.
Presented in Session 187: Hispanic and Black Health and Mortality