Student Authors

Nicholas S. Fiore '22, Gettysburg College

Nicholas J. Barrish '22, Gettysburg College

Document Type


Publication Date


Department 1

Public Policy


Even when controlling for demographic characteristics, prisoners are far more likely than people in the general population to suffer from periodontal disease, to have unresolved oral health issues, to have decayed teeth, and/or to be missing teeth. Correlates of poor oral health, such as poor nutrition and smoking, are more prevalent among people of lower socioeconomic status, and this same population is at a higher risk than others for offending and incarceration. For some, prison is the only time in their adult lives when they will have seen a dentist. There are few free dental clinics in communities, regardless of economic climate, and there are almost none that serve adults. Dental care is expensive, and dental insurance is rarely provided to employees in lower income jobs. Therefore, many will enter correctional facilities having been financially precluded from seeking dental care even if they had wanted it. [excerpt]


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