# Lifetime Likelihood of Going to State or Federal Prison

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8 Methodology Life table techniques Life table techniques were used to incorporate the effects of mortality and incarceration into a single statistical model. In generating estimates of the lifetime chances of going to prison, the model assumes a constant set of agespecific mortality and incarceration rates. Since the computations involve two forms of exit from an initial cohort, they represent an application of what is known to demographers as doubledecrement life table techniques. (For other applications, see Shryock and Siegel, The Methods and Materials of Demography, U.S. Department of Commerce, October 1971.) Conceptually, a life table traces a cohort of 100,000 newborn babies through their entire lives under the assumption that they will be subject to currently observed age-specific mortality and incarceration rates. Lifetime estimates are computed by successively reducing this hypothetical population of 100,000 births by the number of persons expected to die and the number of persons incarcerated for the first time at each year of age. The cumulative sum of the projected number of persons incarcerated at each age represents the number of persons per 100,000 expected to be incarcerated over the course of a lifetime. Dividing the total by 1,000 yields an estimate of the percentage of persons likely to be incarcerated during their lifetimes. All of the life table calculations are based on mortality and incarceration rates for single years of age through age 100. Calculations for age groups 0 to 13 and ages 56 or older were based on data for each single year of age and then grouped for presentation. Calculations were closed out at age 100. Appendix table 1. Age-specific mortality rates, July 1, 1991, to June 30, 1992 Age Number dying per 100,000 Age Number dying per 100, or older... Note: These age-specific mortality rates represent the proportion of persons alive at the beginning of the age interval dying during the interval (times 100,000). For basic assumptions and estimation procedures, see Population Projections of the United States, by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin: 1993 to 2050, Current Population Reports, P , November Not shown, because all calculations were based on rates for single years of age. Age-specific mortality rates The Population Division, U.S. Bureau of the Census, provided age-specific mortality data for 12 different demographic groups, defined by sex, race, and Hispanic origin. The rates for each demographic group were estimated for each year of age based on death data reported to the National Center for Health Statistics for the 12-month period ending June 30, Unlike crude death rates (based on the number of deaths divided by the number of persons of the same age), agespecific mortality rates represent the proportion of persons alive at the beginning of an age interval who are expected to die during the age interval. For each year of age, these mortality rates may be interpreted as the probability that persons at their x-th birthday will die before reaching their next birthday. For ease of reporting, these probabilities have been expressed as rates per 100,000. (See Appendix table 1.) 8 Lifetime Likelihood of Going to State or Federal Prison

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