By Scott Detrow

September 22, 2023

SCOTT DETROW, HOST:

The cost of health care behind bars is getting more expensive. Over the past three decades, the population of elderly people serving time in state and federal prison has skyrocketed. And it’s not just the elderly.

LAUREN BRINKLEY-RUBINSTEIN: Prisons and jails are environments of risk.

DETROW: Lauren Brinkley-Rubinstein is an associate professor at Duke University. She studies the health impacts of the criminal legal system.

BRINKLEY-RUBINSTEIN: People who are incarcerated on average have at least two chronic conditions, so they tend to be very sick, more sick than the general population.