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Older and incarcerated: policy implications of aging prison populations

Older and incarcerated: policy implications of aging prison populations PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to explore the policy Implications of aging prison populations.Design/methodology/approachAn examination of the worldwide aging trend in prison and its implications for correctional policy, including an examination of population aging in California prisons as a case example of needed reform.FindingsPrison populations worldwide are aging at an unprecedented rate, and age-related medical costs have had serious consequences for jurisdictions struggling to respond to the changes. These trends are accompanied by a growing body of evidence that old age is strongly correlated with desistance from criminal behavior, suggesting an opportunity to at least partially address the challenges of an aging prison population through early release from prison for appropriate persons.Originality/valueSome policies do exist that aim to reduce the number of older, chronically ill or disabled and dying people in prison, but they have not achieved that goal on a sufficient scale. An examination of the situation in California shows that recognizing how the healthcare needs of incarcerated people change as they age – and how aging and aging-related health changes often decrease an older person’s likelihood of repeat offense – is critical to achieving effective and efficient policies and practices aimed at adequately caring for this population and reducing their numbers in prisons when appropriate. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Prisoner Health Emerald Publishing

Older and incarcerated: policy implications of aging prison populations

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1744-9200
DOI
10.1108/IJPH-09-2016-0053
pmid
28299972
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to explore the policy Implications of aging prison populations.Design/methodology/approachAn examination of the worldwide aging trend in prison and its implications for correctional policy, including an examination of population aging in California prisons as a case example of needed reform.FindingsPrison populations worldwide are aging at an unprecedented rate, and age-related medical costs have had serious consequences for jurisdictions struggling to respond to the changes. These trends are accompanied by a growing body of evidence that old age is strongly correlated with desistance from criminal behavior, suggesting an opportunity to at least partially address the challenges of an aging prison population through early release from prison for appropriate persons.Originality/valueSome policies do exist that aim to reduce the number of older, chronically ill or disabled and dying people in prison, but they have not achieved that goal on a sufficient scale. An examination of the situation in California shows that recognizing how the healthcare needs of incarcerated people change as they age – and how aging and aging-related health changes often decrease an older person’s likelihood of repeat offense – is critical to achieving effective and efficient policies and practices aimed at adequately caring for this population and reducing their numbers in prisons when appropriate.

Journal

International Journal of Prisoner HealthEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 13, 2017

References