Risk of death for prisoners increases significantly after being released, according to a study of over 20,000 persons imprisoned in the state of Georgia. Six causes (HIV infection, cancer, cirrhosis, homicide, transportation and accidental poisoning) accounted for 62 percent of the excess mortality following release.

“Health care planning for prisoners should not ignore long-term health needs,” the study said.

Interventions such as treatment for hepatitis C could result in an appreciable number of years of life gained for persons who pass through a correctional institution.

1. Spaulding AC, Seals RM, McCallum VA, et al. Prisoner survival inside and outside of the institution: implications for health-care planning. American Journal of Epidemiology, published online 14 Jan 2011. (open access)