CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Norris et al. on Incarceration and Mortality

Samuel NorrisMatthew Pecenco and Jeffrey Weaver (University of Chicago, University of California, Berkeley - University of California, Berkeley and University of Southern California) have posted The Effect of Incarceration on Mortality on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
This paper analyzes the effect of incarceration on mortality using administrative data from Ohio between 1992 and 2017. Using event study and difference-in-differences approaches, we compare mortality risk across incarcerated and non-incarcerated individuals before and after pre-scheduled releases from prison. Mortality risk halves during the period of incarceration, with large declines in murders, overdoses, and medical causes of death. However, there is no detectable effect on post-release mortality risk, meaning that incarceration increases overall longevity. We estimate that incarceration averts nearly two thousand deaths annually in the US, comparable to the 2014 Medicaid expansion.

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