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Mortality in a Multi-State Cohort of Former State Prisoners, 2010-2015

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2022

This report produced by the U.S. Census Bureau’s Center for Economic Studies (CES) examines the deaths of persons after their release from a state prison in the period 2010-2015, with attention to decedents’ demographics, custodial/criminal history,  and the timing of death in relation to release from custody.



The data analyzed are from state prison releases recorded by the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ (BJS’) National Corrections Reporting Program (NCRP), which were linked to the Census Numident to identify deaths that occurred within 5 years from prison release. NCRP records were also linked to previous decennial censuses and survey responses to obtain self-reported race and Hispanic origin if available. The data analysis found that non-Hispanic white former prisoners were more likely to die within 5 years after prison release, and they were more likely to die in the initial weeks after release compared to racial minorities and Hispanics. Reimprisonment, age at release, and a history of multiple prison terms had a similar influence on the likelihood of dying across all race/Hispanic groups. Other factors, such as the type of release and the duration of the last term in prison, were associated with higher risk of mortality for some groups but not others. 6 tables and 3 figures

Date Published: February 1, 2022