skip navigation


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 Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. 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: 152730 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Transforming California's Prisons Into Expensive Old Age Homes for Felons: Enormous Hidden Costs and Consequences for California's Taxpayers
Author(s): P G Zimbardo
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: Ctr on Juvenile and Criminal Justice
San Francisco, CA 94103
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America

Ctr on Juvenile and Criminal Justice
40 Boardman Place
San Francisco, CA 94103
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Incarcerating elderly offenders costs more than incarcerating younger offenders, and the costs and needs of an increased number of elderly inmates resulting from California's Three Strikes law pose special problems for the criminal justice system.
Abstract: California's Three Strikes law, passed in March 1994, mandates that felons convicted of a third offense be sentenced to an indeterminate life term, from a minimum of 25 years to life. Consequently, the elderly inmate population in California will increase. The cost of incarcerating younger inmates averages $21,000 yearly, while the cost of incarcerating older inmates is about $60,000 per year. The number of prison inmates over 50 years of age in California is projected to increase by over 300 percent during the next 5 years. Meanwhile, evidence indicates that long-term incarceration may have little effect on reducing crime and violence. Direct and indirect costs of housing elderly prisoners are examined, particularly health service costs. Costs associated with recidivism among elderly offenders are also addressed. The author concludes that "crime savings" predictions associated with California's Three Strikes law are questionable, and he proposes short-term and long-term policies to improve the criminal justice system. 43 references, 2 tables, and 1 figure
Main Term(s): Corrections costs
Index Term(s): California; Corrections effectiveness; Cost effectiveness analysis; Criminology; Elderly offenders; Inmate health care; Inmate statistics; Prison costs; State laws
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.