I have scores or articles about racism in the courts, but this was a real eye-opener!
Excerpts from the Article:
New research has found that Black Americans who have spent time in jail or prison are 65 percent more likely to die prematurely, even if it’s been years since their incarceration, while having no meaningful impact on the long-term health of white former inmates, reports Health Day.
The findings, published by the JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) Network, were based on a study of 7,974 individuals who were followed up from 1979 to 2018. “Racial disparities in the association of incarceration with mortality—as well as in rates of exposure to incarceration—may partially explain the lower life expectancy of the non-Hispanic Black population in the U.S.,” the study concluded.
The way prisons are run could have something to do with the increased rate of death, with solitary confinement being shown to harm a person’s long-term health, and simply being housed with so many others in close quarters increasing the spread of infectious diseases.
In addition, prison food is lousy and meager, often prompting inmates to load up on unhealthy junk food from the commissary.
Black people re-entering society after serving their time also must deal with disruptions in their social networks, educational opportunities and ability to access programs like low-income housing and food stamps.
Further, Black people are less likely to have enough money on hand or enough connections to successfully pick themselves up and become a productive member of society, compared with white people.
“If you or your family have some sort of cushion of wealth to fall back on or a family or social network where there is access to opportunity, there’s just much more opportunity to bounce back from a setback like incarceration,” said Dr. Benjamin Bovell-Ammon, a visiting fellow in general internal medicine at Boston Medical Center and lead researcher for the study.