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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1094043
 
 

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Years of Life Lost to Prison: Racial and Gender Gradients in the United States of America


Robert S. Hogg


Simon Fraser University

Eric F. Druyts


B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS

Scott Burris


Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law

Ernest Drucker


Montefiore Medical Center; Yeshiva University - Albert Einstein College of Medicine; Columbia University - Mailman School of Public Health

Steffanie A. Strathdee


University of California, San Diego – School of Medicine, Division of Global Public Health


Harm Reduction Journal, Vol. 5, No. 4, 2008
Temple University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2008-53

Abstract:     
Background: The United States has the highest rate of imprisonment of any country in the world. African Americans and Hispanics comprise a disproportionately large share of the prison population. We applied a prison life expectancy to specify differences in exposure to imprisonment by gender and race at the population level.

Methods: The impact of imprisonment on life expectancy in the United States was measured for each year from 2000 to 2004, and then averaged. Using the Sullivan method, prison and prison-free life expectancies were estimated by dividing the years lived in each age range of the life table into these two states using prevalence of imprisonment by gender and race.

Results: African American males can expect to spend on average 3.09 years in prison or jail over their lifetime and Hispanic and Caucasian males can spend on average 1.06 and 0.50 years, respectively. African American females, on the other hand, can expect to spend on average 0.23 years in these institutions and Hispanic and Caucasian females can expect to spend on average 0.09 and 0.05 years, respectively. Overall, African American males, the highest risk group, can expect to spend on average 61.80 times longer in prison or jail as compared to Caucasian women, the lowest risk group.

Conclusion: There are clear gender and racial gradients in life expectancy spent in prison in the United States. Future research needs to examine how current imprisonment practice in the United States may influence population health and health disparities.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 17

Keywords: race, incarceration, racial disparities

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Date posted: February 17, 2008 ; Last revised: March 4, 2008

Suggested Citation

Hogg, Robert S. and Druyts, Eric F. and Burris, Scott and Drucker, Ernest and Strathdee, Steffanie A., Years of Life Lost to Prison: Racial and Gender Gradients in the United States of America. Harm Reduction Journal, Vol. 5, No. 4, 2008; Temple University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2008-53. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1094043

Contact Information

Robert S. Hogg
Simon Fraser University ( email )
8888 University Drive
Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6
Canada
778.782.7629 (Phone)
Eric F. Druyts
B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS ( email )
608 - 1081 Burrard Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V6Z 1Y6
Canada
604.806.8477 (Phone)
Scott C. Burris (Contact Author)
Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law ( email )
1719 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States
215-204-6576 (Phone)
215-204-1185 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.temple.edu/lawschool/phrhcs/index.html
Ernest Drucker
Montefiore Medical Center ( email )
111 East 210th Street
Bronx, NY 10467
United States
Yeshiva University - Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Jack and Pearl Resnick Campus
1300 Morris Park Avenue
Bronx, NY 10461
United States
Columbia University - Mailman School of Public Health
600 West 168th St., 6th Floor
New York, NY 10032
United States
Steffanie A. Strathdee
University of California, San Diego – School of Medicine, Division of Global Public Health ( email )
9500 Gilman Drive
Mail Code 0502
La Jolla, CA 92093-0112
United States
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