Aging in Prison: Why continual review of incarcerated people is so important!

screen_shot_2011-07-27_at_1.07.45_pmThe Crisis of the Aging Prison Population
The Crime Report, August 8, 2014

Unkind Life for Young and Old
The New York Times, August 7, 2014

“Prison is no country for old men, or women, but in New York and across the country, nearly a quarter million inmates are age 50 or older. “Someone who is 50 in prison has the medical issues that would face someone 10 years older,” Ms. Gaynes said. The number of inmates 55 or older quadrupled from 1995 to 2010, and is projected to keep swelling, according to “The High Cost of Low Risk: The Crisis of America’s Aging Prison Population,” a report released Thursday by Osborne.”

For Aging Inmates, Care Outside Prison Walls
Christine Vestal, Stateline, The PEW Charitable Trusts, August 12, 2104

“Providing health care to an aging prison population is a large and growing cost for states. Not only do inmates develop debilitating conditions at a younger age than people who are not incarcerated, but caring for them in the harsh environment of prisons is far more expensive than it is on the outside.

“Of the 2.3 million adults in state and federal prisons, about 246,000 are 50 or older, according to the National Institute of Corrections. The U.S. currently spends more than $16 billion annually caring for these aging inmates, and their numbers are projected to grow dramatically in the next 15 years.

“’In a couple of years,” said Donna Strugar-Fritsch, a consultant with Health Management Associates, “this is the only thing people are going to be talking about.  It’s getting worse by the minute.’”

Without Reviews, Inmates Can Get Lost In U.S. Prison System
Laura Sullivan, NPR, April 5, 2013

This is an older story…and a sad one, indeed. It highlights the need for continual reviews of incarcerated individuals so no one gets lost in the bureaucracy. CAP is still working on a compassionate release system that is truly compassionate. Let’s hope the next administration will take this serious issues to heart.


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