Navigation Links
Prison punishes more people than just the inmates
Date:4/22/2009

ANN ARBOR, Mich.---More people live behind bars in the United States than in any other country, but the American prison system punishes more than just its inmates---it also takes a toll on the health of friends and loved ones left behind.

In the first known study of its kind, University of Michigan researchers found that people with a family member or friend in prison or jail suffer worse physical and mental health and more stress and depressive symptoms than those without a loved one behind bars. Moreover, these symptoms worsen the closer the relationship to the person incarcerated.

The study results could help explain health disparities between minorities and whites, says Daniel Kruger, research professor at the U-M School of Public Health and lead researcher on the study.

African Americans are more likely to know someone in prison and to feel closer to the person incarcerated than whites do, Kruger says.

"It's like a double whammy," he said.

Forty-nine percent of African Americans in the study report having a friend or relative in prison during the past five years, compared to just 20 percent of whites.

According to the study, those who knew someone in prison had 40 percent more days where poor physical health interfered with their usual activities, including work, and 54 percent more days where poor mental or emotional health interfered with these activities.

Others have examined the health effects of incarceration on inmates and a few studies have investigated the health of children whose mothers are in prison, but those studies focused on people already in the system, says Kruger.

"We actually took a representative sample of people in the community and asked them whether they had a friend or relative incarcerated in the last five years," Kruger said. "We also included a powerful array of known health predictors as control variables."

For instance, Kruger and colleagues considered whether a person smoked tobacco, drank alcohol heavily, was overweight or obese, or had adequate nutrition and physical exercise.

The study consisted of 1,288 adults from Flint, Mich., an urban area with high unemployment and crime rates, and surrounding areas of Genesee County. In the study, 67 percent of respondents were white and 26 percent were African American.

"Our study demonstrates that incarceration is not only enormously expensive economically, it also has public health costs and these should be taken into consideration," Kruger said. "In the last 30 years or so, we have seen a more and more punitive system, one where judges no longer have discretion for sentencing."

Moving toward a rehabilitation model may benefit both the offending individuals and society, he says.

"The vast majority of people incarcerated are nonviolent drug offenders," Kruger said. "We should shift oversight of substance use and abuse to the health care sector."

One out of every 100 adults in the United States is incarcerated and more than three times as many African Americans and Latinos live in jails or prisons than college dorms, Kruger says. This particular study looked only at African Americans, not Latinos, because there is not a large population of Latinos in Flint and Genesee County.


'/>"/>

Contact: Laura Bailey
baileylm@umich.edu
734-647-1848
University of Michigan
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. House of Representatives Passes Stop AIDS in Prison Act of 2007
2. HIV/AIDS Cases Among State and Federal Prison Inmates Fell for the Sixth Straight Year During 2005
3. Florida Doctor Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison for Medicare Fraud
4. Four Miami Health Care Company Owners Sentenced to 57 Months in Prison For Medicare Fraud
5. Study quantifies cost-benefit of hospital-based program to keep youth out of prison
6. Medicare Fraud Strike Force Cases Result in Long Prison Terms for Five Health Care Company Owners
7. Whats health care like in Americas prisons and jails?
8. Two Florida Men Sentenced To Prison For Medicare Fraud
9. Owner of Medicare Billing Service Sentenced to 10 Years In Prison For Role in $170 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme
10. Prisoner HIV program leads to continuum of medical care after release
11. Owner of Medical Equipment Company Sentenced to 130 Months in Prison for Health Care Fraud
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/5/2016)... NY & Salt Lake City, UT (PRWEB) , ... February 05, ... ... Founder of Activz Whole-Food Nutrition , announced that the much-anticipated feature with author ... the New Really Cool Humans Amateur TV Network. , Each week, on his weekly ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... The event is being held ... Event Center in Minneapolis, Minn. Triumph Over Parkinson’s will fund nearly $100,000 for research ... Schneiderman’s Furniture, lives with Parkinson’s disease and is the architect of this informative event ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... ... addition of micro-needling services in their Napa Valley office. The technique utilizes the ... Surgery Associates, Dr. Canales and Dr. Furnas, are part of only a select ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... ... H. Van Allen have signed a joint enrollment and degree completion agreement. ... toward associate and baccalaureate degrees at FHU|Dickson. , The agreement allows students ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... ... exclusively to funding innovative lymphoma research and serving the lymphoma community through a ... to once again host, Swirl, A Wine Tasting Event at the La Gorce ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... , Feb. 4, 2016 Summary Breast ... cancer and the most common cancer in women worldwide, ... disease exceedingly prevalent. The number of women diagnosed with ... but the number of deaths has declined due to ... treatment has been revolutionized in the past four decades, ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... Feb. 4, 2016 Mettler-Toledo International Inc. (NYSE: ... 2015.  Provided below are the highlights: , ... compared with the prior year.  Reported sales decreased 3% ... quarter. , Net earnings per diluted share as ... prior- year period.  Adjusted EPS was $4.65, an increase ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... 2016  Blueprint Medicines Corporation (NASDAQ: BPMC ... selective investigational kinase medicines for patients with genomically ... board of directors of Lonnel Coats , ... of industry-related experience. Jeffrey Albers ... strong strategic experience developing and commercializing numerous oncology ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: