"There were disparities in disability by race and ethnicity (exhibit 2). Among the state and federal prison population in 2016, an estimated 58.3 percent of Black, 57.9 percent of Hispanic, 75.0 percent of White, 65.8 percent of other race, and 77.6 percent of multiracial people were disabled. Of the total state and federal prison population, approximately 42 percent were racially minoritized, disabled people (data not shown).

"A higher estimated percentage of incarcerated women reported disability (79.5 percent) compared with incarcerated men (64.6 percent) (exhibit 2). Although women were more likely to be disabled than men, men made up the overwhelming majority of people in prisons as of 2016. Among people incarcerated in state and federal prisons, an estimated 93 percent were men and 7 percent were women (data not shown). Of the total state and federal prison population, an estimated 60 percent were disabled men, 33 percent were nondisabled men, 6 percent were disabled women, and 1 percent were nondisabled women (data not shown).

"Our findings reveal disparities at the intersection of disability, race, ethnicity, and sex. Across all racial and ethnic groups, more women were disabled than men, with the largest sex disparities observed among Black and Hispanic people (exhibit 2). Disabled people made up a larger proportion of the state and federal prison population than nondisabled people within all race, ethnicity, and sex groups."


Laurin Bixby, Stacey Bevan, and Courtney Boen. The Links Between Disability, Incarceration, And Social Exclusion. Health Affairs 2022 41:10, 1460-1469.