Mass Incarceration Threatens Health Equity in America

robert wood johnsonMass incarceration disproportionately impacts lower-income communities, communities of color, and persons with disabilities, creating a barrier to achieving health equity for both youth and adults. People who are incarcerated face greater chances for chronic health conditions while confined, as well as long after their release. Previously incarcerated individuals often face higher mortality rates and experience limited opportunities for gainful employment, stable housing, education, and other conditions needed for good health.

This report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, produced in partnership with the University of California, San Francisco, examines the links between mass incarceration and health equity; through pairing data with examples of successful approaches, the report shows how mass incarceration negatively impacts health and well-being and suggests solutions for reducing both incarceration and crime rates.