File this under information we’d rather not discover: according to a new study conducted on North Carolina inmates, Black men live longer in prison than they do outside of prison. In essence, the survival rate of Black males is actually improved by prison. Wait til the Tea Party gets ahold of these findings.
The study dealt with 100,000 male prisoners between 20-79 in North Carolina prisons between 1995-2005 – 60 percent of the prisoners were black. Within prison, less than one percent of the men died and there was no difference in the death rates of black men and white men. But outside of prison, the statistics varied greatly as Blacks have a much higher rate of death at any age, than white males.
“[Black men] were less likely to die of diabetes, alcohol- and drug-related causes, airway diseases, accidents, suicide and murder than black men not in prison,” according to Reuters.
The access to healthcare was a big variable in survival rates. “Ironically, prisons are often the only provider of medical care accessible by these underserved and vulnerable Americans,” Hung-En Sung of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York told Reuters.
The findings of the study are bleak but may lead to greater improvements in healthcare. If prisoners are better off in prison, then what does that say about the conditions plaguing low-income communities and the services being offered to people of color?