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Black Men Survive Longer In Prison Than Out: Study

Black men in North Carolina may find themselves living longer healthier lives if they simply get locked up. A study was conducted and inmates in prison of African-American descent in the Tar Heel state were found to be somewhat protected against alcohol and drug related deaths and certain chronic diseases.

According to findings published in Annals of Epidemiology, white prisoners were more likely to die while incarcerated.

The study involved about 100,000 men between age 20 and 79 who were held in North Carolina prisons at some point between 1995 and 2005.

Researchers linked prison and state health records to determine the cause of death of inmates, then compared those statistics to the expected death of the average males of the same age and race that were not in jail.

Less than one percent of men died during incarceration regardless of race, but outside prison walls, blacks have a higher rate of death at any given age than whites.

“What’s very sad about this is that if we are able to all of a sudden equalize or diminish these health inequalities that you see by race inside a place like prison, it should also be that in places like a poor neighborhood we should be able to diminish these sort of inequities,” said Evelyn Patterson, who studies correctional facilities at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Dr. David Rosen talked about the healthcare in prison that may add to the life expectancy but on the contrary he brought up the loss of family, relationships, employment and opportunity once a man becomes a prisoner.

Does this mean men should go to jail in order to add some years to their lives? Probably not, but it does say that we should be able to avoid the pitfalls of the world without having to be barred from society.