Aging Behind Bars
The number of prisoners aged 65 or older has grown 94 times faster than the general prison population between 2007 and 2010. Between 1981 and 2010, the number of state and federal prisoners age 55 and over increased from 8,853 to 124,900. By 2030, that number is projected to grow to 400,000, an increase of 4,400 percent from 1981. The number of inmates serving life sentences has quadrupled between 1984 and 2008, and the number of inmates serving life without parole has more than tripled between 1992 and 2008. As these prisoners age, their need for quality healthcare grows. Caring for aging prisoners is a burden on the prison system budget, as 72 percent of all healthcare costs spent on aging prisoners is allotted to outside facilities.