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June 2018

Lack of Information on Surgical Care for Incarcerated Persons

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of General and Acute Care Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
JAMA Surg. 2018;153(6):503-504. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2018.0314

With 2.2 million incarcerated people, the United States imprisons more people than any other country in the world.1 This mass incarceration is recent, arising from the war on drugs and punitive sentencing policies that began in the 1970s.1 Ethnic minorities and the poor have been disproportionately affected by this increase: more than half of the incarcerated people in the United States are black or Hispanic race/ethnicity.1 Mandatory minimum sentences have ensured that the incarcerated population has aged as it has grown; between 1992 and 2012, the prevalence of incarcerated people aged 55 years or older increased by 550%.2

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