The U.S. Prison Population Is Rapidly Graying. Prisons Aren’t Built for What’s Coming

March 13, 2024

Shadowed man in jail cell

(NPR) – The proportion of state and federal prisoners who are 55 or older is about five times what it was three decades ago. In 2022, that was more than 186,000 people. In Oklahoma, the geriatric population has quadrupled in the past two decades. In Virginia, a quarter of the state’s prisoners will be geriatric by 2030. And in Texas, geriatric inmates are the fastest-growing demographic in the entire system.

Prison systems across the U.S. have a constitutional obligation to provide adequate health care, and they’re racing to figure out how to care for the elderly in their custody — and how to pay for it. (Read More)

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