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Responding to the Needs of an Aging Prison Population

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2012
4 pages
This report presents the results of a meeting convened to create a policy for improving the care of older prisoners in the country's correctional facilities.
As noted in this report, the number of sentenced prisoners in the United States increased by 17 percent between 2000 and 2009, while the number of older prisoners (age 55 and older) increased by 79 percent during the same time period. To address the issue of caring for the aging prison population, a meeting was held in 2011 at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. Participants at the meeting included 29 experts in correctional health care, academic medicine, nursing, and civil rights. The purpose of the meeting was to provide a list of action items aimed at developing a policy agenda for improving health care for aging inmates. The recommend actions resulting from the meeting and presented in detail and include the following: define "older prisoner"; train staff and health care providers on aging; define prison-based functional impairment; develop a tool for correctional dementia screening; expand research on older women prisoners; expand research on geriatric housing units; expand research on transitional programs; create early medical release policies; and expand research on prison-based palliative care programs. References