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NCJ Number: 201111 Find in a Library
Title: Graying of American Prisons: Addressing the Continued Increase in Geriatric Inmates
Journal: Corrections Compendium  Volume:28  Issue:6  Dated:June 2003  Pages:1-2,4,22,26
Author(s): Erica Kempker
Date Published: June 2003
Page Count: 8
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the increasing elderly and geriatric inmate community and the costs and problems associated with housing them.
Abstract: As a result of “get tough” legislation for criminals, correctional facilities across the Nation are housing an increasing number of convicted offenders for longer lengths of time. The author discusses the impact of three-strikes laws and similar legislation on the correctional systems across the country. Not only are inmates kept in correctional facilities for greater lengths of time, more inmates are growing old in these facilities, which contributes to rising costs for health care and facility re-design to meet the aging population’s needs. In particular, the author discusses the effects of three-strikes laws on California’s and Washington’s correctional systems. Next, the author discusses the value of legislation that keeps convicted offenders in correctional facilities for longer amounts of time; in particular raising the issue of whether geriatric offenders represent a continued threat to society. In the same vein, elderly inmates may not be safe in prison environments because of their frailty and health problems. The author discusses the possibility of early release for elderly inmates as one solution to lower correctional costs. In conclusion, the author cautions that the geriatric problem will only get worse unless measures are taken to address the problem. Solutions must balance the need for a lawful response to repeat offenders and the need to reduce costs in correctional facilities. References
Main Term(s): Elderly offenders
Index Term(s): Correctional facilities; Correctional institutions (adult); Correctional reform; Corrections costs; Prison costs
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