Archive for Friday, January 27, 2012

As inmates age, medical costs soar

January 27, 2012

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Prison inmates across the country are getting older, and more expensive, for states and the federal government, according to a report released Friday by Human Rights Watch.

Two guards enter the maximum-security block at the Lansing Correctional Facility in 2005. Prison inmates across the country are getting older, and more expensive, for states and the federal government, according to a report released Friday by Human Rights Watch.

Two guards enter the maximum-security block at the Lansing Correctional Facility in 2005. Prison inmates across the country are getting older, and more expensive, for states and the federal government, according to a report released Friday by Human Rights Watch.

And Kansas is no exception.

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 older than 65.

The Human Rights Watch report detailed several problems with the graying of the inmate population, and rising medical costs are at the forefront. While the average annual medical care costs for inmates is about $5,400, that doubles as inmates reach age 55. For inmates 80 and older, annual costs reach about $40,000.

“The corrections officials are scrambling,” said Marc Mauer, executive director of the Sentencing Project, a national prison reform advocacy group.

Kansas Department of Corrections Secretary Ray Roberts, at a November meeting of the Joint Commission on Corrections and Juvenile Justice, highlighted the increased needs of the state’s geriatric prison population. Roberts said 470 older Kansas inmates currently require daily living assistance.

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.

“How are justice and public safety served by the continued incarceration of men and women whose bodies and minds have been whittled away by age?” Fellner asked.

One of the problems facing prisons is that many of their health care staff lack expertise in caring for the elderly, according to Linda Redford, director of the geriatric education center at the Kansas University Medical Center.

“It’s a big struggle for them to keep up,” said Redford, who has helped train prison staff and inmates in geriatric care.

“They’re used to having to deal with issues of younger prisoners, such as HIV and substance abuse,” she said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Comments

Cant_have_it_both_ways 3 years, 3 months ago

The inmate population would be much healthier if they would bring back chain gangs. Tie them all together and make them work doing things like cleaning up the parks and roadways.

We pay them to do nothing, while at the same time pay government employees for basically doing nothing and they get a retirement, while at the same time the inmates have a form of retirement.

If you made jail a place you dont want to be, maybe those who would rather steal than work would rather work!

Flame away!

sourpuss 3 years, 3 months ago

And why is no one angry that these prisoners are taking jobs from lawful Americans?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

And if we can tie all that to the vagrancy laws that were implemented after the Civil War in the Deep South, we can reinstitute de facto slavery, just like they did.

You're brilliant!!!

Frank Smith 3 years, 3 months ago

Should you get picked up for a DUI and booked, maybe you'll then realize that few inmates would rather be in jail.

Low IQ & Conservative Beliefs Linked to Prejudice By Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience.com 28 January 12

There's no gentle way to put it: People who give in to racism and prejudice may simply be dumb, according to a new study that is bound to stir public controversy.

The research finds that children with low intelligence are more likely to hold prejudiced attitudes as adults. These findings point to a vicious cycle, according to lead researcher Gordon Hodson, a psychologist at Brock University in Ontario.

Low-intelligence adults tend to gravitate toward socially conservative ideologies, the study found. Those ideologies, in turn, stress hierarchy and resistance to change, attitudes that can contribute to prejudice, Hodson wrote in an email to LiveScience.

geoismeo 3 years, 3 months ago

That really had nothing to do with the topic, A little low on intelligence?

jaywalker 3 years, 2 months ago

" People who give in to racism and prejudice may simply be dumb, according to a new study "

Nice tangent veer, but did there really need to be a 'study' to figure that out?

sourpuss 3 years, 3 months ago

What people should be angry about is that prisoners get guaranteed basic health care, the opportunity to work, to be educated, and a place to lay their head, and "free" people don't. You'd think that the American people would demand BETTER for themselves.

kernal 3 years, 3 months ago

Better that the prisoners learn some job skills while they're in prison so they have a better chance of getting a job upon their release and a better chance of making it on the outside.

As for prisoners taking away jobs from those who aren't in prison, I doubt prisoners are paid the same wages as people on the outside. Plus, those wages probably pay restitution and should reimburse the state, or federal government, for part of the cost of care for the prisoner.

FlintlockRifle 3 years, 3 months ago

Use "Sheriff Joe's" plan, who is the sheriff in Arizona, one tuff jail keeper, if you havn't read about Joe goggle him up, also make sure they are enrolled in obamacare---

kernal 3 years, 3 months ago

Joe's finding out he can't use 19th century law enforcement tactics in the 21st century. If he could get away with it, he'd reinstate the Yuma Territorial Prison hot boxes.

Joe's days as Sheriff of Maricopa County, AZ are numbered.

Frank Smith 3 years, 3 months ago

Sheriff Joe is a grandstanding thief, a professional racist who consorts with neo-Nazis.

Many of those close to him have been busted for malfeasance. His days are certainly numbered.

His methods have cost Maricopa County more than $50 million in lawsuits.

He and his former district attorney friend even brought charges against those elected supervisors who questioned his operations.

On December 15, 2011 the Justice Department released its finding that the Sheriff's department repeatedly arrested Latinos illegally, abused them in the county jails and failed to investigate hundreds of sexual assaults. The Department of Homeland Security, reacting to the Justice Department report, revoked Maricopa County jail officers' authority to detain people on immigration charges. The Justice Department report found that the Sheriff's office carried out a blatant pattern of discrimination against Latinos and held a "systematic disregard" for the Constitution. The Department's racial profiling expert found the sheriff's office to be the most egregious case of profiling ever seen in the U.S.

LadyJ 3 years, 3 months ago

If they are over 65, wouldn't they be on Medicare whether they are in prison or not?

Frank Smith 3 years, 3 months ago

They are not eligible for Medicare if they are incarcerated. The state picks up the tab.

Frank Smith 3 years, 3 months ago

They are not eligible for Medicare if they are incarcerated. The state picks up the tab.

beatrice 3 years, 2 months ago

Brooks Was Here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkSjw9h_FTs

When I think of the elderly in prison, this comes to mind. One of the most powerful and moving scenes in film history.

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