The aging of America has critical implications for state governments on a range of issues, including corrections.
As the American population continues to grow older, so do inmates in state prisons nationwide and the increasing number of elder inmates presents enormous challenges for the states, including problems related to overcrowding and rising health care costs. A panel of experts addressed these concerns at the Public Safety and Justice task force policy meeting Friday, Dec. 1, during CSG’s annual meeting.
Dr. Ronald H. Aday believes the aging prison population is of critical concern to state policy makers, especially as the baby boomer generation becomes older: “Almost 500,000 persons ages 50 plus are arrested each year and 24.5 percent of inmates sentenced between 1995-2003 between 40-54 years old accounted for 46 percent growth of prison population during this period.”
Managing these inmates has brought new challenges, including an increase in the health care costs a correctional facility must bear.