Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Disabilities Among Prison And Jail Inmates, 2011-12

This report presents statistics regarding "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 ... Highlights: 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; [and] More than half of prisoners (54%) and jail inmates (53%) with a disability reported a co-occurring chronic condition" (website).