Here’s an example of the high cost of caring for elderly prisoners: Nick Montos, the oldest Massachusetts inmate, has died at 92. The Boston Globe says he began his career in crime as a teenager in Florida, landed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list twice, and committed his last offense at 78, when he tried to rob an elderly antiques storeowner who beat him with a baseball bat. Montos had asked Governor Deval Patrick to commute his sentence because of poor health, but the Parole Board had not acted on the request.
Nancy Ahmadifar of End the Odds, a volunteer group that advocates for prisoners’ rights – lamented that the board never approved Montos’s request to let him live his last days with an elderly sister in Florida. She pushed for his release, primarily because of his age and the tens of thousands of dollars it costs each year to incarcerate him. “He was no longer a threat to society,” she said. Montos, who walked with a cane, suffered a heart attack a couple of weeks ago that prompted doctors to implant a pacemaker. In a request for parole that was rejected this year, Montos said he had triple bypass surgery in 2000, could walk no more than 10 to 15 feet because of shortness of breath, and had prostate cancer and other medical problems.