Archive for Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Geriatric Kansas inmates may get new home

February 1, 2012


Older Kansas inmates who have increased health care needs may be getting a new home.

The Kansas Department of Corrections announced earlier this month that it has allocated nearly $3.9 million for fiscal years 2012 and 2013 to reopen the former Labette Correctional Camp in Oswego.

The facility, which closed in 2009 because of budget cuts, will be a medium-custody prison that can house up to 232 geriatric male inmates, as well as 30 minimum-custody inmates.

Kansas Department of Corrections spokesman Jan Lunsford said the facility is slated to open in January 2013 and will employ about 55 corrections workers. In fiscal year 2012, $1.7 million will be used for upgrades to the facility, and $2.2 million is allocated for operations in fiscal year 2013. Lunsford said the facility is needed to keep overcrowding at other Kansas prisons in check and to accommodate the state’s aging prison population.

Since 2000, the percentage of Kansas inmates 50 and older has nearly doubled, from 8.7 percent to 14.9 percent in 2010. That amounts to more than 1,300 Kansas inmates, including 149 inmates older than 65.


verity 6 years, 3 months ago

Shaun, it would be helpful to know why these "geriatric inmates" are in prison and whether any are being released because of ill health.

I'm with theriddler---I'm wondering if at least some of them could be released---good behavior or something. I just did a little research and it appears that most criminals are aged 16-24 and very few people over the age of 65 commit crimes.

Shaun Hittle 6 years, 3 months ago

Verity, Here's an excerpt from a piece we did last week that addresses your question:

"The main reasons for the trend, said Jamie Fellner, author of the Human Rights Watch report, are the long sentences, including life without parole, that have become more common in recent decades, boosting the percentage of inmates unlikely to leave prison before reaching old age, if they leave at all. About one in 10 state inmates is serving a life sentence; an additional 11 percent have sentences longer than 20 years.

The report said the number of aging prisoners will continue to grow unless there are changes to tough-on-crime policies such as long mandatory sentences and reduced opportunities for parole."

Hope that helps to some degree.


verity 6 years, 3 months ago

Thank you, Shaun. I missed that piece and will look for it.

Boston_Charley 6 years, 3 months ago

It's probably not really a "correctional conversation camp." That would be weird.

"Hi, how are you?" "Oh, I ain't doing too bad." "Excuse me, but 'ain't' ain't a word."

Paul R Getto 6 years, 3 months ago

Lots of politicians like to 'play tough' and want to lock more and more people up 'forever.' They rarely discuss the potential costs to the taxpayer. This trend is dangerous and expensive. Gonna need more tax cuts to pay for it, I think.

somedude20 6 years, 3 months ago

Happy to see that prisoners get better health care than the law abiding poor (who cares about them though), the old (they had their fun in the sun, time to die in the shade) and women (if you ain't stayin home and turning out kids, get lost)

Now if only we could put guns in the hands of the blind!

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