Saturday, October 23, 2021

Play

Some states entice people back to the workplace by increasing safety standards and higher minimum wage; Bannon held in Contempt of Congress; and the latest cyber security concerns.

Play

House votes to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress; Trump announces new social media platform TRUTH Social; and the Biden administration says it will continue to expel migrants under Title 42.

Play

An all-Black Oklahoma town joins big cities in seeking reparations; a Kentucky vaccination skeptic does a 180; telehealth proves invaluable during pandemic; and spooky destinations lure tourists at Halloween.

Missouri Takes Steps to Address the "Graying" of Prison Population

Play

Monday, March 28, 2016   

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The number of older Americans serving prison sentences is on the rise, and those facilities weren't originally designed to accommodate an aging population.

Linda Redford is director of the Central Plains Geriatric Education Center at the University of Kansas.

She says Missouri is one state that has gotten ahead of the curve, by setting up enhanced-care units in some of the larger prisons and in some cases, people in prison are learning health-care skills by helping take care of each other.

She says that can benefit the older people, and the younger ones as well.

"I've often heard them say it's a way to pay back for what they've done, for whatever crime they've committed, that they feel now that they're finally able to give back," says Redford. "And in some cases, they know they're probably going to be aging and dying in prison, and they want someone there to care for them."

Redford points out that people in prison age faster than those on the outside, partly because of the lifestyles they led before they were arrested, which often included substance abuse and poverty.

She says most prisons aren't equipped to deal with so many people with cardiac disease, diabetes, dementia and other chronic conditions.

Although some states have an early-release program for elderly prisoners, Redford says that isn't the perfect answer because they often don't have anywhere else to go.

"Partly, we're in this mess because we emptied out all of our state hospitals for the mentally ill, and guess where they ended up," says Redford. "They ended up in our homeless shelters, dead, or in our prisons."

The aging of the prison population costs a lot. The federal Bureau of Prisons saw health-care expenses increase 55 percent from 2006 to 2013, when it spent more than $1 billion.

Every state is having to deal with increases in its older prison population, and Redford says Missouri deserves credit for what's been done so far.

"Missouri has probably moved as quickly as I've seen a state move, in terms of setting up the units within their prisons," says Redford. "But that isn't easy, because you have to retrofit a prison that was never meant for old people."


get more stories like this via email

California has collected more than 600 tons of unwanted prescription drugs since the Take-Back Day program began in 2010. (Dodgerton Skillhause/Morguefile)

Health and Wellness

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, when the Drug Enforcement Administration encourages everyone to clean out …


Health and Wellness

BALTIMORE - This month marks the four-year anniversary of the #MeToo movement, and an art project aims to help incarcerated survivors heal by telling …

Social Issues

OGDEN, Utah - Utah is one of only a handful of states that taxes food, but one state legislator says taxing groceries should become a thing of the …


In a new poll, 71% of all registered voters support strengthening rules to reduce oil and gas methane pollution, including 73% of Independents and 50% of Republicans. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

CASPER, Wyo. - A strong majority of voters across party lines say they want national rules similar to those passed in Wyoming to reduce methane …

Health and Wellness

ARLINGTON, Va. - Although COVID-19 rates have gone down, the virus continues to hit the Hispanic community especially hard. Now, a new campaign aims …

Child-care advocates say if North Dakota doesn't boost funding for the system, more families might pull out of the workforce because of access issues. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. - A portion of American Rescue Plan funding sent to North Dakota has yet to be divvied up. Groups that want to improve the child-care …

Social Issues

PITTSBURGH - As businesses across the country deal with a massive labor shortage, Pennsylvania aims to entice people back to the workplace by …

Environment

ALBANY, N.Y. - Environmental groups want Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign a bill that mandates monitoring the state's drinking water for "emerging …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021