The Consequences Are Black and White: Race and Poor Health Following Incarceration


Kuper, J. L. & Turanovic, J. J. (2021). The Consequences Are Black and White: Race and Poor Health Following Incarceration. Race and Justice.


Incarceration is a health damaging experience that disproportionately impacts Black Americans. Although existing research has explored broader racial disparities in the health consequences of imprisonment, little research has examined within-individual changes in health declines following incarceration. Accordingly, in this study, we examine whether the negative health effects of incarceration are more pronounced for Black versus White individuals. Data from Waves I through IV of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) and hierarchical generalized linear models (HGLM) are used to estimate within-person changes to self-rated health following first incarceration (N = 23,627 person-waves) for non-Hispanic Black and non-Hispanic White individuals. Findings indicate that Black respondents reported within-person health declines that were more substantial than those of Whites after first incarceration. Additional analyses revealed that these race differences were more pronounced among Black males. Taken together, this study adds to the literature highlighting the racialized and negative health impacts of incarceration. Efforts to reduce imprisonment and increase access to quality health care in Black communities are needed. © The Author(s) 2021.



health disparity


Export Date: 25 March 2021

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Race and Justice


Kuper, J. L.
Turanovic, J. J.

Year Published




Reference ID