Should Federal or State Prisoners with Dementia or Other Chronic and Debilitating Conditions Get a Pass Because They’re Old?
[When I read this article it reminded me of my times served best working in memory centers, adults with developmental disabilities and I strongly agree with the Osborne Association. Continue to read to learn more…]
By 2030, people over 55 will make up a third of the U.S. prison population; and exploding numbers of seniors in prison and rising costs to care for them are putting the country’s criminal justice system “at risk of collapse,” according to the report by the Osborne Association, a policy advocacy and direct-service organization dedicated to transforming the criminal justice system in New York City.
Elizabeth Gaynes CEO of the Osborne Association
[“Increasing rates of elder incarceration have reached crisis-level and put unsustainable pressure on the justice system as a whole.”]
The crisis, she said, is exacerbated by the fact that prisons were never designed to be geriatric wards for individuals with a whole host of age-related issues— from arthritic knees, to difficulty bathing, to the extensive medical attention required for illnesses like strokes, emphysema, Alzheimer’s and cancer. “Incarcerated individuals experience a mental and physical decline at a much faster rate than people outside of prison. Research shows that 40% of incarcerated older people are diagnosed with cognitive impairment. For some, dementia becomes so pronounced that they cannot even remember why they are incarcerated in the first place.”