Responding to Crisis of Aging People in Prison: Global Promising Practices and Initiatives


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

The “aging prisoner” crisis continues to gain international attention. The high human, social, and economic costs of warehousing older adults with complex physical, mental health, social, and spiritual care needs in prison continue to rapidly increase at a disproportionate rate compared to the general prison population. Over the past two decades, there has been some national and international movement in corrections and the community for programs, initiatives, and policies that foster the physical, mental, social, spiritual, and economic well-being of older adults. These promising practices often included comprehensive case management services for medical, mental health, substance abuse, family, social services, housing, education, or vocational programs. Program-specific aspects include one or more of the following: “age” and “cognitive capacity” sensitive environmental modifications, interdisciplinary staff and volunteers trained in geriatric-specific correctional care, complimentary medicine, specialized case coordination, the use of family and inmate peer supports and volunteers, mentoring, and self-help advocacy group efforts.

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