Death behind the Bars: Prison Mortality in India

Enu Anand, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)
Jayakant Singh, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)

Criminal demography is an unexplored area in spite of rising incarceration rates in India. Previous studies indicate that prison environment and the attitude of prison authorities are unfavorable for a meaningful reformation in India. All of this take a toll on inmates’ health and can be a strong reason of prisoners’ morbidity and mortality. Using data from National Crime Records Bureau, I estimated mortality rate, natural death rate, unnatural death rate and suicide rate of prisoners over last one decade. Further I explored the differentials in adult mortality among prison and general population. Natural deaths contribute 90 percent to overall mortality in prison. Suicides being the leading cause of unnatural deaths have almost doubled in prison within a decade. Death rate of female is increasing faster than the male prisoners.

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 Presented in Session P2. Data and Methods/Applied Demography/ Spatial Demography/ Demography of Crime