Omni Brain


State prison inmates, particularly blacks, are living longer on average than people on the outside, the government said Sunday.
Inmates in state prisons are dying at an average yearly rate of 250 per 100,000, according to the latest figures reported to the Justice Department by state prison officials. By comparison, the overall population of people between age 15 and 64 is dying at a rate of 308 a year.
For black inmates, the rate was 57 percent lower than among the overall black population – 206 versus 484. But white and Hispanic prisoners both had death rates slightly above their counterparts in the overall population.

I would assume that compared to the portions of society that many of the criminals come from, people in jail would live longer – they get decent medical care, eat better (I guess), exercise, have classes, etc. It’s even more surprising that they live longer than the general population. Why do you think this is happening?

Here is the rest of the article, including stats on what they die from.


  1. #1 Roy
    January 22, 2007

    This is the most damning thing I’ve ever seen about the quality of health care in the US.

    Prisons are horrible noisy dangerous places, but inmates have things the rest of us lack.

    How many cons lose sleep worrying about losing their jobs? About getting dropped from their medical/dental/optical plan? About being able to afford health insurance for their kids? About climbing out of debt? About saving for retirement?

    If a con worries about retirement, all he needs is a 25-to-life and he’s got it made. It’d take him what, two minutes?

  2. #2 Koray
    January 22, 2007

    We outside trade a lot of things for a more “meaningful” life for ourselves or our children.

  3. #3 ebohlman
    January 22, 2007

    My offhand guess is that the 15-64 prison population is pretty skewed to the younger end of that age range and that would account for the disparity.

  4. #4 ClinkShrink
    January 22, 2007

    How the heck did I miss this story?? Thanks Steve. My co-bloggers may not thank you for giving me a chance to get up on my soapbox again, but I blogged about this recently and got it out of my system so maybe I can resist this time.

  5. #5 ClinkShrink
    January 22, 2007

    Oh yeah, and that picture just isn’t accurate. The pants fit.

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