BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Medical Problems of Prisoners

Download spreadsheet version (.csv file)

Table 1. Prison inmates who reported a medical problem by gender and age, 2004

  Current medical problem*      Had surgery
   since admission
     Dental problem
   since admission



Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent

State inmates                            
  All inmates 531,500   43.8 %   149,400   12.3 %   609,400   50.3 %
Gender                            
  Male 485,200   42.9 %   139,600   12.4 %   569,600   50.4 %
  Female 46,300   56.7     9,700   11.9     39,800   48.8  
Age                            
  24 or younger 51,500   24.4 %   12,200   5.8 %   76,800   36.4 %
  25-34 136,300   34.1     36,800   9.2     190,500   47.7  
  35-44 184,500   50.0     50,000   13.5     202,300   54.8  
  45 or older 159,200   68.5     50,400   21.7     139,800   60.3  
Federal inmates                            
  All inmates 48,800   38.5 %   15,100   12.0 %   63,200   50.0 %
Gender                            
  Male 44,100   37.5 %   13,700   11.7 %   58,700   50.0 %
  Female 4,700   52.2     1,400   16.0     4,500   50.0  
Age                            
  24 or younger 2,400   21.3 %   400   3.6 %   4,000   35.1 %
  25-34 13,800   28.3     4,200   8.6     21,900   45.0  
  35-44 14,400   39.8     3,700   10.2     18,800   52.0  
  45 or older 18,200   60.0     6,900   22.9     18,500   61.2  

Note: Number of inmates with each problem was estimated
and then rounded to the nearest 100. See Appendix tables for standard
errors for the survey estimates.
*Inmates were determined to have a current medical problem
if they reported currently having at least 1 of 14 specific problems:
arthritis, asthma, cancer, diabetes, heart problems, hypertension,
kidney problems, liver problems, paralysis, problems due to a stroke,
hepatitis, HIV, a sexually transmitted disease, or tuberculosis.


Source: Survey of Inmates in State and Federal Correctional Facilities, 2004.
  See also Methodology.
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