U.S. Department of Justice

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Responding to the Needs of an Aging Prison Population

Publication year: 2012
Strategies for addressing the challenges arising from an aging prisoner population are presented. Recommended actions explained are: define “older prisoner”; train staff and health care providers on aging; define prison-based functional impairment; develop a tool for correctional dementia screening; expand research on older women prisoners; expand research on geriatric housing units; expand research on transitional programs; create early medical release policies; and expand research on prison-based palliative care programs. “For health, safety, and fiscal reasons, criminal justice professionals, including those involved in correctional health care, must take steps to identify the diverse needs of the older prisoner population, and ensure that the care, expectations, and services provided in prisons are an accurate reflection of the health and safety needs of this group” (p. 4).