Washington D.C. [USA], Sept 9 (ANI): A recent study found that being convicted of a crime not only affects one's mental health but also physical health.
"Many people often think of low-level interactions with the justice system as being inconsequential. For example, if someone is arrested and released, it's seen as 'no harm, no foul'," said April Fernandes, author of a paper on the work and an assistant professor of sociology at NC State.
"We're learning that there can be significant mental health effects from low-level contacts. And there can be significant physical health effects even when convictions are associated with probation or fines, rather than jail time," continued Fernandes.
For this study from North Carolina State University, Fernandes looked at data from a nationally representative sample of about 9,000 young people who participated in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997, focusing specifically on data submitted between 1999 and 2010.
The study participants were between the ages of 18 and 32, reported the study published in the journal 'Social Currents'.
Specifically, Fernandes evaluated self-reported physical and mental health assessments to determine whether there was a change in reported health status associated with justice system contact.
He looked at four types of contact for study participants: being arrested; being charged; being convicted, and being sentenced to jail time.
"People reported an increase in depression and stress across the continuum of contact, from arrest to jail time. That's consistent with previous work," Fernandes said.
"And we knew that jail time affects physical health, for a host of reasons. But the fact that convictions were associated with physical health effects is particularly interesting. It would be worth exploring what drives those outcomes in greater detail," he concluded. (ANI)