This paper studies the health effects of Swedish prison reforms that held sentences constant but increased the share of time inmates had to serve. The increased time served did not harm post-release health and actually reduced mortality risk. We find especially large decreases in mortality for offenders not previously incarcerated, younger offenders, and those more attached to the labor market. Risk of suicide and circulatory death fell for inmates with mental health problems and older inmates, respectively. In-prison health care utilization and program participation increased with time served, suggesting health care treatment and services as the key mechanism for mortality declines.
Hjalmarsson, Randi, and Matthew J. Lindquist.
"The Health Effects of Prison."
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics,
Health: Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law