The Devastating Effects of Incarceration on Physical and Mental Health

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Updated: Mar 17, 2023
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Being healthy is not just absence of disease/illness. It is a complete wellbeing of physical, mental, spiritual and emotional health. Our health is greatly affected by our environment and surrounding. Incarceration affects the health of an individual who were in prison as well as other family members. The outcomes of incarceration are unfortunate and devastating.In this time period we can say that incarceration is definitely not disrupted across different race. There are more people behind the bars from the minorities groups then the majority group. There is a huge racial imbalance when it comes to incarceration. Majority of prisoners are either black or latino.

When we look deeper at this correlation there are many sociological factors that influence this racial imbalance. Poverty, crime and race are major factors of sociological aspect that helps us understand this correlation better. In my opinion, the overall health of public should not be affected based on their race or their past history. The rising rate of incarceration in the United States does create racial disparities in the united states. People from minority groups are more likely to suffer from health issues due to impartiality that exists in the health care. Inmates are exposed to diseases such as HIV. Chronic pain is also an outcome of the torture that inmates face in the prison. All these problems needs to be solved so the inmates can live better lives however, inmates from minorities groups have limited access to health care. One of the factor that leads to poor health among minorities groups is housing.

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Coming from minority group I understand how greatly it impacts one’s health based on where they live. For example, the hospitals available in the poor neighborhood are not advanced enough to provide adequate care a patient needs. Some people can’t afford insurance therefore, they are not able to get medical help when they need it. They tend to ignore common symptoms of fatal diseases because of financial problem. In healthcare patient from minorities groups are racially discriminated compared to the whites. Incarceration affects larger family unit in many ways. When a parent of minor children is in the prison, the children tend to struggle with social and health issues. For example, if a parent of children under eighteen is in the prison, the children may face challenges academically.

They will not be able to concentrate on their education knowing their beloved parent is in the prison. When a parent of children is released from prison he/she may have difficulty finding employment because of incarceration history. It can be more difficult if they are from minorities group. Unemployment leads to limited access to food and other basic needs which can be difficult for children to have resourcesses that they need in order to success in life. In conclusion, life can be very challenging for incarcerated individual as well as other family members especially for the minorities groups. Problems in healthcare system can be solved when we everyone equally and fairly.

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The Devastating Effects of Incarceration on Physical and Mental Health. (2023, Mar 17). Retrieved from