Presents the prevalence of disabilities among prison and jail inmates, detailing the prevalence of six specific disability types: hearing, vision, cognitive, ambulatory, self-care, and independent living. Important differences in each type of disability are highlighted by demographic characteristics. The report also assesses the prevalence of disabilities with other health problems, such as a current chronic condition, obesity, ever having an infectious disease, and past 30-day serious psychological distress. Findings are based on prison and jail inmate self-reported data from BJS's 2011-12 National Inmate Survey (NIS-3). Data from the 2012 American Community Survey (ACS) and 2009-2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) were used to compare the incarcerated populations to the noninstitutionalized general population.
- An estimated 32% of prisoners and 40% of jail inmates reported having at least one disability.
- Prisoners were nearly 3 times more likely and jail inmates were more than 4 times more likely than the general population to report having at least one disability.
- About 2 in 10 prisoners and 3 in 10 jail inmates reported having a cognitive disability, the most common reported disability in each population .
- Female prisoners were more likely than male prisoners to report having a cognitive disability, but were equally likely to report having each of the other five disabilities.
- Non-Hispanic white prisoners (37%) and prisoners of two or more races (42%) were more likely than non-Hispanic black prisoners (26%) to report having at least one disability.
- More than half of prisoners (54%) and jail inmates (53%) with a disability reported a co-occurring chronic condition.