Research suggests prison accelerates the aging process and may be a factor in falling U.S. life expectancy

Fred Clasen-Kelly in Undark:

Life expectancy fell in the United States in 2021 for the second year in a row, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That decline is linked to the devastating effect of Covid-19 and a spike in drug overdoses.

Some academic experts and activists said the trend also underscores the lasting health consequences of mass incarceration in a nation with roughly 2 million imprisoned or jailed people, one of the highest rates in the developed world.

A Senate report last year found the U.S. Department of Justice failed to identify more than 900 deaths in prisons and local jails in fiscal year 2021. The report said the DOJ’s poor data collection and reporting undermined transparency and congressional oversight of deaths in custody.

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