Cost of Old Inmates Cripples State; STAYIN' IN Many Sentenced to Life as Young Adults Are Now Nearing Middle Age as State Prisoners; Those over 65 Cost Nine Times More Than Younger Inmates. MOVIN' OUT State Has Started Seeking out Ones Who Could Be Released on a Medical Pardon

By Jones, Walter C. | The Florida Times Union, August 1, 2010 | Go to article overview

Cost of Old Inmates Cripples State; STAYIN' IN Many Sentenced to Life as Young Adults Are Now Nearing Middle Age as State Prisoners; Those over 65 Cost Nine Times More Than Younger Inmates. MOVIN' OUT State Has Started Seeking out Ones Who Could Be Released on a Medical Pardon


Jones, Walter C., The Florida Times Union


Byline: WALTER C. JONES

ATLANTA - As state officials learn to cope with the reality of long-term budget difficulties, they are also dealing with a wave of prisoners whose health care is the most expensive: the geriatric inmates.

In 2000, just 3.5 percent of the state's 44,000 prisoners were age 55 and older. Today, that percentage has doubled to 7 percent as the total prison population grew, too, by 10,000.

Georgia has 27 inmates in their 80s, 218 in their 70s. And their numbers are a ripple compared with the tidal wave of prisoners sentenced to life as young adults under the two-strikes-and-you're-out legislation who are approaching middle age.

Providing medical care for a prisoner over age 65 is nearly nine times higher, averaging $8,500 per year compared with just $961 for younger inmates, according to state figures.

"That's a big part of these older prisoners. The medical expenses just eat the state budget alive," said Mark Jones, an author and professor of criminal justice at East Carolina State University.

Georgia's constitution empowers the Board of Pardons and Paroles to release any prisoner over age 62 or a younger one who is "entirely incapacitated." That definition of incapacitated, though is subject to interpretation.

"Georgia could apply an expansive definition of who is eligible," said Melanie Velez, a lawyer with the Southern Center for Human Rights. "There is a growing number of people who would not pose a threat to society."

Legislation stalled this year in the House, after passing the Senate unanimously, that would put into law the definition used by the Parole Board. It uses the same rules the Department of Community Health uses for nursing-home patients.

An inmate needing assistance with two daily life activities - eating, breathing, using the toilet, walking or bathing - is a candidate.

Thirty-five states have similar provisions for a medical release, and a half dozen relaxed them in the last three years, according to Alison Lawrence, policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures. Compassion and costs are driving the trend.

"Like Georgia, there are not a whole lot of inmates being released," she said.

Georgia has released 180 in the last three fiscal years. While the numbers of those applying for release has fluctuated between 100 and 128, the percentage of those gaining release has steadily risen from 42 percent three years ago, to 55 percent last year and up to 65 percent in the fiscal year that ended June 30. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Cost of Old Inmates Cripples State; STAYIN' IN Many Sentenced to Life as Young Adults Are Now Nearing Middle Age as State Prisoners; Those over 65 Cost Nine Times More Than Younger Inmates. MOVIN' OUT State Has Started Seeking out Ones Who Could Be Released on a Medical Pardon
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.