Prisoners in US Suffering Dementia May Hit 200,000 Within the Next Decade–Many Won’t Even Know Why They Are Behind Bars

June 26, 2020

(The Conversation) – Caring for these elderly prisoners suffering from physical and mental frailty will create significant challenges for prisons. As an expert in human rights law and a former commissioner on Pennsylvania’s Sentencing Commission, I am concerned about the burden this places on already overstretched prisons, but also the cost to human dignity. Furthermore, my research suggests that indefinitely detaining someone who does not understand why may violate the United States Constitution’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.