Shocking disparities in population wellness and health in the United States of America have led to multidisciplinary study efforts to help build health equity. Identifying disparities, clarifying the etiological bases of disparities as well as adopting solutions to get rid of health disparities are part of the United States national health program. Ethnic and racial disparities have been acknowledged throughout the cancer prevention continuum in cardiovascular diseases, diabetes as well as other diseases. The causes of these ethnic and racial disparities are multifaceted, condition specific as well as assumed to result from combinations of socio-behavioral and biological factors. Ethnic and racial health disparities in the immense imprisoned communities have been barred from studies, yet are of significant fiscal and ethical concerns to prisoners, governing bodies as well as non-imprisoned communities into which the prisoners return.
Considerably research on ethnic and racial disparities in this distinctive population may help explain the comparative etiologies of health disparities as well as the solutions for developing health equity throughout the entire American population. This study particularly focuses on African Americans who are disproportionately affected by the penal system. Even though prisoners generally suffer from poor health than similar, non-institutionalized adults, it has also been noted that some of the negative effects arise after inmates are released. This clearly shows that the challenges of reintegration into the society are as significant as the conditions of imprisonment. Imprisonment- health relationship is reviewed at an individual as well as at an aggregate level.
Keywords: Health, Incarceration, Racial, Ethnic Disparities, Infectious Disease and Stigma
Incarceration and Racial Health Disparities Overview
There has been a speedy expansion of the correctional scheme which has been viewed as one of the important and remarkable trends in modern American society. By the year 2004, there were an estimated six times more ex-inmates and inmates than in the 1970s. According to Uggen, Manza and Thomson (2006), currently there more than 16 million felons as well as ex-felons in America. Although every racial group in the United States is affected, the rapid expansion has unreasonably affected a variety of subgroups of the population particularly African American males. In 2002, an estimated 12 percent of African American males were in correctional facilities across the United States (Harrison & Karberg, 2003). The lifetime cumulative peril of incarceration of all African American males is more than 20%. Among black males with no high school diploma, the lifetime peril is 58.9%. While stunningly high, these projections are five times higher than that of the Caucasians.
In light of this fast expansion, some observers have reflected on the impacts of increasing size as well as ethnic composition of the correctional facilities. There is a broad as well as increasing literature on how felony and reprimand impact later life outcomes and chances. Research has constantly shown that incarceration significantly lowers the possibility of getting gainful employment, lowers wages in the case of employment and interrupts marital stability (Thomas, James & Elizabeth, 2006). It is quite apparent that the rapid expansion of correctional facilities excessively affects minorities. According to Pager (2003), criminal record is more injurious to the employment prospects of African American than whites. Numerous studies reach comparable conclusions that correctional facility unreasonably impacts on the marriage in African-American communities. Problem Statement
According to Roberts (2004), although the African American male population comprises only...