Demography of Health and Aging Seminar: Ruth Wygle, Predoctoral Student, Duke Department of Sociology and Garrett Baker, Predoctoral Student, Sanford School of Public Policy

Demography of Health and Aging Seminar: Ruth Wygle, Predoctoral Student,  Duke Department of Sociology and Garrett Baker, Predoctoral Student, Sanford School of Public Policy

Ruth Wygle, Predoctoral Student,  Duke Department of Sociology, presents. “Identifying Current and Future Uses of Standardized Jail Data Collection Efforts for Healthcare Practitioners Serving Justice-involved Individuals.”

It is estimated that upwards of 10 million unique individuals experience jail incarceration each year in the US. In most states, there is no standardized, centralized mechanism for collecting information from local jails. In contrast, State prisons do have centralized administrative systems, which have the capacity to generate data that can be accessed by myriad actors in the criminal justice system, including practitioners, researchers and advocates. These data are routinely used to identify population trends, target resources to inmates and facilities and evaluate correctional policies and programs. In recent years, a growing number of States have implemented standardized data collection from local jails. Most statewide databases collect information on population counts and demographics, jail staffing and budgets, healthcare utilization, morbidity, and mortality. This type of data collection and analysis can be an important factor in policy innovation and research on a state’s correctional landscape. We sought to understand the context by which States come to develop such databases, as well as their content and their uses. We did so by conducting a thorough review of existing databases in the U.S. by searching state websites, reviewing public documents and interviewing officials in each state correctional office about the history and usage of their databases. Further, we interviewed multiple healthcare professionals serving justice-involved individuals to ascertain their thoughts about what data should be collected in a standardized way in order to improve the health care available to individuals experiencing jail incarceration and the health outcomes of these individuals. Through these efforts, we have developed a list of recommendations both for States considering implementing standardized data collection efforts and for local authorities wanting to improve their data collection efforts even in absence of a State mandate. 

Garrett Baker, Predoctoral Student, Sanford School of Public Policy, presents,  “The Consequences of Paternal Incarceration for Youth’s Expectations and Aspirations”

Children’s future orientation—their expectations and aspirations—has a consistent and substantial effect on a variety of life course outcomes. However, little research to date has considered empirically how future orientation is shaped by adverse events such as experiencing a parent be incarcerated. I leverage the unique nature of Add Health’s retrospective parent incarceration questions to employ an innovative analytic strategy that accounts for selection bias and unobserved heterogeneity above and beyond typical observational methods in this area. Results indicate that paternal incarceration reduces youth future orientation by nearly a full standard deviation and are robust to a variety of models and specifications. Given that parental incarceration is increasingly common and disproportionately experienced by disadvantaged youth, the large magnitude and causal nature of my results reveal an important pathway through which mass incarceration has contributed to the intergenerational transmission of inequality in the U.S. in recent decades.




Event Date
Zoom Seminar. Please contact to obtain Seminar Link.
Event Type