There has been much publicity about the global ageing demographics and its impact on the economy, workforce and government policies.    However, one policy area that has received less notice is the impact on prisons, whose ageing population mirrors that of the world around them and presents as many or more challenges.

An article in The Berkeley Daily Planet outlines the issue in the US and attempts to reduce the number of elderly inmates, not only to make room for the rapidly expanding number of criminals, but also to try to provide care for the older ones who suffer from chronic disease.

In their program, “Dying Inside,” Qatari news agency Al Jazeera also takes a look at ageing inmates within the U.S. prison system.  They note that “[l]ong sentences that were handed out decades ago are catching up with the American justice system,” and that “[e]stimates are that locking up an older inmate costs three times as much as a younger one”.

As noted in the article, this is an international issue being faced by countries around the world.    Take some time to read the article and watch the video.  What is happening in your country to address the growing population of elderly prisoners?

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