skip navigation

Add your conference to our Justice Events calendar


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the NCJRS Abstracts Database. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

  NCJ Number: NCJ 240311     Find in a Library
  Title: Old Behind Bars: The Aging Prison Population in the United States
  Document URL: PDF 
  Corporate Author: Human Rights Watch
United States of America
  Date Published: 01/2012
  Page Count: 110
  Annotation: This study documents the prevalence of the elderly in the U.S. prison population, along with age-related issues that pertain to the programs in which they participate and services they receive.
  Abstract: Between 2007 and 2010, the number of sentenced State and Federal prisoners age 65 or older increased by 63 percent, while the overall population of sentenced prisoners increased only 0.7 percent during the same period. There are now 26,200 prisoners age 65 or older. It is increasingly costly for correctional systems to meet the needs of their elderly populations. Annual medical expenditures are three to eight times greater for older State prisoners than for other inmates. Older prisoners are more likely than younger ones to develop mobility impairments, hearing and vision loss, and cognitive limitations. Older inmates are also more likely to have chronic, disabling, and terminal illnesses. Prisoners who age while in prisons eventually require assisted living and nursing home levels of care. Although this study did not conduct the type of investigation necessary to evaluate the extent to which the human rights of older prisoners are respected in any given facility, this research, which included visits to 20 prisons, indicates that many older prisoners experience human rights violations. A significant reduction in the overall prison population, in the number of elderly inmates, and/or a significant increase in funding are required if prison systems are to house their elderly inmates in conditions that respect their rights. Policymakers should review sentencing and release laws and practices in order to determine which can be adjusted to reduce the elderly prisoner population without risking public safety. Meanwhile, corrections officials should review the conditions of confinement for their elderly prisoners, including the services and programs available to them. 8 tables and 1 figure
  Main Term(s): Corrections research
  Index Term(s): Life sentences ; Cost effectiveness analysis ; Inmate health ; Inmate health care ; Elderly offenders
  Publication Number: ISBN 1-56432-859-7
  Sale Source: Human Rights Watch
350 Fifth Avenue
34th Floor
New York, NY 10118-3299
United States of America
  Type: Report (Study/Research)
  Country: United States of America
  Language: English
  To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.