Mass Incarceration: Evaluating Health Disparities Among Minority Offenders Pre- and Post- COVID-19

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Mass incarceration has exacerbated pre-existing health disparities and spread of COVID-19 within U.S. correctional facilities. African American, Latinx, and Indigenous communities disproportionately endure these consequences (Kuper & Turanvoic, 2020; Nowotny & Kuptsevych-Timmer, 2018; Ostler, 2020; Yancy, 2020, as cited in Farr, 2021). Although prior research addresses the relationship between mass incarceration and associated disparities, there is little research on the relationship between race, health disparities, and COVID-19. This systematic literature review fills the gap by comparing racial health disparities before and after the emergence of COVID-19. Synthesizing literatures on mass incarceration, race, health, and COVID-19, this review discusses relevant theories and empirical findings concerning the relationship between mass incarceration and health disparities. Without immediate action by U.S. criminal justice authorities to combat new COVID-19 cases and deaths, the health of racial minorities will be significantly impacted (American Civil Liberties Union, 2020, as cited in Bradshaw, 2021).



Mass Incarceration, Racial Health Disparities, COVID-19, Correctional Facilities