Incarceration of Elderly

Incarceration of Elderl

The incarceration of the aging population is an issue of concern. Approximately 2.3 adults in the United States alone are detained either in prison or jail. More so, this accounts for 25 percent of the world population incarcerated in prison, and yet the USA has 5 percent of the global population. The USA surpasses all countries in the world for the sheer number of inmates. Consequently, this has translated to a significant number of aging prisoners. The increasing number of aging inmates has led to many issues and problems. The report, will, therefore, analyze challenges arising from the internment of an aging population and the solutions (Chettiar, Bunting, & Schotter, 2012).

Issues resulting from mass incarceration of an aging population

The alarming rate of the increasing number of elderly people in prison has proved to be enormous in sustainability. Various issues have emerged, both at the jail and national level. The effects range from economic, ethical, social and health implications (Chettiar, Bunting & Schotter, 2012).

Economic cost

The large-scale imprisonment of the aging population in our correctional facilities has proved to be enormously expensive. The government of USA spends massive funds annually on the captivity of individuals older than 50 years. The expenditure amounts to more than the entire budget for the department of energy. More so, it has proven that it is much more expensive to provide medical facilities for the elderly than the younger population (Pew Charitable Trust, 2010).

Health implication

The older population in prison has serious medical concerns usually accelerated by their confinement. Despite the fact that imprisoned citizens have a constitutional right to health care,  writing cpmpany makes it clear that “that they often face setbacks in accessing it. Additionally, not only does incarceration compounds the health problems at hand, but it also increases the chance of further infection”. Lastly, the rate of aging in prison is higher than in the general population (James & Glaze, 2006)

Strain on Correctional Resources

Due to the high prevalence of chronic related medical problem orchestrated by the aging population, there is a great strain of resources in the correctional facilities. The current trend in the number of the elderly population is threatening to push correction facilities in the unsustainable financial territory. As a result, this will lead to overcrowding. Moreover, the health care services for the elderly will be inadequate (Pew Charitable Trust, 2010).

Social Cost

The incarceration of the elderly affects them at not only the individual level, but also those around them. Their close family members are usually most concerned as most of them are breadwinners. Moreover, it leads to fragmented communities with disrupted family structure.

The Approach to the Problem

The issue of increased number of elderly in correctional facilities can be approached in different distinct lines. These can be encompassed as human rights violations, economic problem or weakness in criminal justice. Therefore, dealing with this problem requires a multidisciplinary approach with practical discussion amongst practitioners in criminal justice, health, and gerontology (James & Glaze, 2006).

Various issues have to be tackled in providing a solution to this problem. They range from within the correctional facilities to when the elderly person is released. First and foremost, in addressing health care concerns within the rehabilitation facilities, the screening procedure for elderly prisoners must be improved so as to have a better understanding of individual health issues during captivity. Additionally, development of the best practice in addressing the aging person health risks apart from implementation of senior assessment care policy within the correction center (James & Glaze, 2006).

. Secondly, in addressing the concerns raised by a human rights group for the elderly people, the release mechanisms must be improved. The parole board must exercise transparency and accountability. Consequently, this will ensure efficient utilization of their medical policies. More so, there should be the implementation of the Parole Act: Safe and Fair Evaluation. Eventually, geriatric release policies must be implemented to the fullest (Human Rights Watch, 2012).

Thirdly, to address the public safety concerns of the community around, there must be post-release services to a freshly released elderly inmate. The services include the development of infrastructure for receiving and caring for these individuals. Additionally, precise identification of the concerns and needs of the affected persons and the communities to which they return. Finally, there must be specialized mechanisms designed to ensure a smooth transition from jail to the general population. By this act, the elderly person interacts freely with the public without discrimination (Krause, 2004).


As evident in the report, the increased number of the aging population has led to many problems. The challenges range from economic to social issues as covered in the report. The many difficulties emanating from this incarceration require a multidisciplinary approach due to its diversity. The plan must address all challenges raised from the increased number of incarcerated aging population. Concerns always arise from the human rights groups, the community, and healthcare.

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