April 29, 2015
This article presents the first look at the prevalence of veteran deaths in state prisons using data from the National Corrections Reporting Program (NCRP). The authors find that overall veterans are not statistically more likely than nonveterans to die in prison, but that differences exist between age groups based on age at admission to prison. Age-adjusted estimates of risk of death show that veterans admitted to prison above 44 years of age are statistically less likely to die in prison, suggesting veterans are healthier than their nonveteran counterparts. In terms of predicted probability of death, veterans admitted between ages 40 and 59 have a 1.3 to 2.1 percentage point lower probability of death over a 20-year period, or between 13 and 21 fewer deaths per 1,000 admissions. Estimates for the youngest ages also suggest the possibility of generational differences, though more research is needed.