How mass incarceration harms U.S. health, in 5 charts

The evidence is clear: Mass incarceration is a public health scourge in the U.S.


Most people who die in jails are not convicted.

Suicide rates for incarcerated individuals are three to four times higher than rates for the general public.

In 1980, fewer than one percent of American children under 18 had a parent in prison or jail. By 2008, that shot up to 3.6 percent, or 1 in every 28 children.


The only reasonable response is to limit the unnecessary use of incarceration across the board – as lawmakers in New Jersey and Maryland are attempting to do.


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