ACLU: Prisons Are Not Equipped to Handle the Geriatric Population
Date:  12-23-2016

Push to expand compassionate release meets resistance
From Kaiser Health News

As the number of older prisoners soars, more inmates are dying in prison of diseases that afflict the elderly, new data from the Department of Justice show.

A total of 3,483 inmates died in state prisons and 444 in federal prisons in 2014, the highest numbers on record since the bureau started counting in 2001, according to data issued Thursday by the department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics. In addition, 1,053 inmates died in local jails, where suicide is on the rise.

The U.S. has the world’s largest prison population, with over 2 million people behind bars. While that population has been shrinking in recent years, deaths in custody have climbed steadily.

The deaths reflect a dramatic shift in the prison population: The number of federal and state prisoners age 55 or older reached over 151,000 in 2014, a growth of 250 percent since 1999. Continue reading >>>