In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Public Health Effects of Incarceration

  • Introduction

Criminology Public Health Effects of Incarceration
Bryan L. Sykes, Ernest Chavez, Evelyn Patterson
  • LAST MODIFIED: 11 January 2018
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195396607-0234


The rise of mass incarceration since the early 1970s has profoundly affected the labor market prospects and familial relationships of former inmates. Yet, a burgeoning literature is now focused on the collateral consequences of incarceration for the physical health and psychological well-being of ex-offenders and their family members. While many studies have focused on the contraction, spread, and treatment of infectious diseases during and after periods of incarceration, recent scholarship has shifted to understanding the impact of criminal justice contract on premature mortality, mental health stability, and the post-release health of former offenders. Growth in imprisonment has also increased the number of women incarcerated and the modal age of inmates, necessitating increased use of hospices and particular forms of specialized health care for pregnant women and elderly prisoners. This bibliography examines four main areas of the public health effects of mass incarceration: drug use, infectious diseases, and incarceration; the general health and well-being of inmates and their families; the health and mortality of current and former inmates; and growing old behind bars (i.e., the health care and aging process of older inmates).

Drug Use, Infectious Diseases, and Incarceration

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