Fascinating, if true:
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.
White and Hispanic prisoners are dying at slightly higher rates in prison, but blacks more than compensate.
I’d guess that there are three factors at play here:
- Three hots and a cot. I’d imagine prison food isn’t the most healthy, but it’s probably more balanced than what a lot of people get outside prison.
- Free health care.
- Barriers to drug use and reckless behavior. Only 2% die from alcohol, drugs, or accidental injuries.
These numbers are despite a whopping 8% of deaths being due to homicide or suicide.
In an article entitled “The Irrational 18-Year-Old Criminal,” Joel Waldfogel explains that the latest research indicates that the threat of prison time does not deter criminals.
Maybe the 18 year old criminals aren’t so irrational after all…