Health and Justice: Framing incarceration as a social determinant of health for Black men in the United States

Kathryn M. Nowotny, Anastasiia Kuptsevych-Timmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


There has been growing interest in improving the health of Black men and the social determinants of health affecting them. In this paper, we argue that incarceration is an important social determinant of health in contemporary U.S. society for Black men and their families. Mass incarceration has deleterious health effects for those directly affected by it (the incarcerated), and mass incarceration contaminates the communities where it is geographically concentrated. Given the enormous differences in exposure to incarceration for Black men, this group is the most burdened by its effects. By extension, the larger Black community is disproportionately impacted due to the cascading effects of incarceration for families and neighborhoods. Therefore, it is necessary to include incarceration in research and policy addressing the health of Black men in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12566
JournalSociology Compass
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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