Prisoners are aging rapidly and American prisons, jails and correction officers are unprepared to deal with their needs, says a new report from Human Rights Watch, “Old Behind Bars: The Aging Prison Population in the United States.”
Human Rights Watch visited nine states and 20 prisons to interview prison officials, corrections and gerontology experts, and prisoners. Human Rights Watch found officials scrambling to respond to the needs and vulnerabilities of older prisoners. They are constrained, however, by straitened budgets, prison architecture not designed for common age-related disabilities, limited medical facilities and staff, lack of planning, lack of support from elected officials, and the press of day-to-day operations.
The report found that one in ten prisoners is serving a life sentence The number of US state and federal prisoners age 65 or over grew at 94 times the rate of the total prison population between 2007 and 2010.
To access the report click here.