{"subscriber":false,"subscribedOffers":{}} Jail Conditions And Mortality: Death Rates Associated With Turnover, Jail Size, And Population Characteristics | Health Affairs

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Research Article

Justice-Involved Population

Jail Conditions And Mortality: Death Rates Associated With Turnover, Jail Size, And Population Characteristics

Affiliations
  1. Jessica L. Adler ([email protected]), Florida International University, Miami, Florida.
  2. Weiwei Chen, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia.
PUBLISHED:No Accesshttps://doi.org/10.1377/hlthaff.2022.01229

In 2019, there were approximately ten million admissions to more than 3,000 US jails—facilities that had become increasingly deadly in the prior decades. Between 2000 and 2019, jail mortality rose by approximately 11 percent. Although incarceration is widely viewed as a health hazard, relationships between jail conditions and jail deaths are understudied. Using data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics and Reuters journalists, we assessed mortality rates and conditions in approximately 450 US jails in the period 2008–19. During those years, certain facility characteristics were related to mortality. For example, high turnover rates and high populations were associated with higher death rates. Greater proportions of non-Hispanic Black people in jail populations were associated with more deaths due to illness, and the presence of larger shares of non–US citizens was associated with lower overall mortality rates. Our findings suggest that heavy reliance on incarceration and the prevalence of broad health disparities escalate jail mortality.

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