Prison Hospital Data Is Omitted From Federal Data Sets

shadow of prison bars

Given the evident impact on health and the historical inequities of the criminal legal system, it is clearer than ever that carceral health is vital to public health.

Yet, we lack basic data about health care being provided to the incarcerated population.

This article, published in Health Affairs, highlights the degree to which this data is missing, as well as the effects of these data omissions.

Key Findings

  • Researchers identified each state (n = 19) that maintains health care facilities dedicated exclusively to the in-patient care of incarcerated patients (n = 28)
  • Researchers contacted the established HCUP partner organization within these states to ask if information from these care facilities was collected and transmitted to the AHRQ
  • These inquiries revealed that these agencies categorically exclude data from prison hospitals in state data sets and subsequent federal reporting