Anthony Marshall, 89, son of late philanthropist and socialite Brooke Astor, became the oldest person ever sent to a New York prison for a non-violent crime, for plundering his mother’s massive fortune, NBC News reports. Some 246,000 convicts above age 50 were imprisoned last year, says the American Civil Liberties Union. By the year 2030, there will be upward of 400,000 elderly prisoners — nearly a third of the projected total penal population, said Inimai Chettiar of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law.
Prisons spend an estimated $16 billion taxpayer dollars a year housing elderly convicts, says the ACLU’s David Fathi. Of that, $3 billion is devoted to providing health care. Prisoners are generally more predisposed to chronic medical conditions than the average person, which accounts for the disparity in expenditures, said Tina Maschi, a Fordham University professor who has studied New Jersey's aging prison population.