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Older Prisoners-A Challenge for Australian Corrections

NCJ Number
Susan Baidawi; Shelley Turner; Christopher Trotter; Colette Browning; Paul Collier; Daniel O'Connor; Rosemary Sheehan
Date Published
September 2011
8 pages
This study examined the older prisoner and explores the rise in older inmate populations throughout Australia.
The rise in numbers of older prisoners across Australia would be expected to impact across a range of correctional domains. Results indicate that there are numerous and significant issues facing older prisoners in Australia and overseas pertinent to the prisoners themselves, their families, the wider community, corrections administrators, health care professionals and policymakers. While it is apparent that many of the issues presented by older prisoners may also be present in younger prisoner populations , such as chronic health issues and disabilities, as a group, older prisoners appear to be characterized by a higher number of these difficulties. Therefore, the growth of the older prisoner population in Australia necessitates a more systematic approach towards planning for and addressing such needs. There is a dearth of Australian literature concerning older prisoners and policymakers and administrators are heavily reliant on the international literature both to conceptualize the issues posed by this population and to formulate strategies for the management of this prisoner group. Further, Australian research should be systematic and focus on characterization of the domestic older prisoner cohort in terms of its size and the particular issues and challenges faced by corrections services, including corrections, health, and pre- and post-release services in the management of this prisoner group. Understanding these issues is an essential starting point to formulating strategies for the management of older prisoners in the Australian correctional context. Tables and references