This brief presents findings based on data collected in the 2016 Survey of Prison Inmates, a survey conducted through face-to-face interviews with a national sample of state and federal prisoners across a variety of topics, such as their demographic characteristics, socio-economic background, health, and involvement with the criminal justice system. This brief on disabilities details statistics about demographics and types of disabilities reported by prisoners.
- Nearly 2 in 5 (38%) state and federal prisoners had at least one disability in 2016.
- The most commonly reported type of disability among both state and federal prisoners was a cognitive disability (23%), followed by ambulatory (12%) and vision (11%) disabilities.
- Among all prisoners, 24% reported that a doctor, psychologist, or teacher had told them at some point in their life that they had an attention deficit disorder.
- Nearly a quarter of all prisoners reported participating in special education classes (24%).
- State and federal prisoners (38%) were about two and a half times more likely to report a disability than adults in the U.S. general population (15%).