AP, "Aging inmates straining prison systems"

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Tina Chiu
Aug 16 2010

The Associated Press reports on the effect that aging prisoners are having on corrections departments and state budgets and cites Vera's report It's About Time: Aging Prisoners, Increasing Costs, and Geriatric Release. The story cites American Civil Liberties Union estimates that elderly prisoners are the fastest growing prison population group because of tougher sentencing laws, not because more older people are being convicted of crimes.

Vera's report on this issue examines statutes related to the early release of geriatric inmates in 15 states and the District of Columbia and concludes that these provisions are rarely used, despite the potential of reduced costs at minimal risk to public safety. The author identifies factors that help explain the discrepancy and provides recommendations for addressing it.