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Dying Inside: Elderly in prison

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posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 07:27 AM
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Dying Inside: Elderly in prison



The US' massive prison population is getting older.
Long sentences that were handed out decades ago are catching up with the American justice system. Prisons across the country are dedicating entire units just to house the elderly.

During difficult economic times, the issue has hit a crisis point. Estimates are that locking up an older inmate costs three times as much as a younger one. How are prisons dealing with this issue? Who are the prisoners that are turning gray behind bars?


english.aljazeera.net...



now the age old question,
if a prisoner has dementia and cannot
even remember his name or his crime
and is no longer a threat to anyone and
only a burden to the taxpayers at the
expense of $100K yr each ....
do these folks even need to be behind bars
anymore ???

how do we deal with this dilemma?




posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 07:34 AM
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i hope i put this in the right forum.
I did a search and did not find
this posted before.


+1 more 
posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 07:41 AM
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Absolutely. If you do the crime, you do the time, regardless of whether you can remember what you done or even go to the toilet on your own.



posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 07:47 AM
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Originally posted by Constantlysilenced
Absolutely. If you do the crime, you do the time, regardless of whether you can remember what you done or even go to the toilet on your own.

well I can see ur point,
however, who's gonna pay
all that extra amount to
keep someone on staff
to wipe butts ???

I mean really, some of these prisons
look absolutely nothing like prisons,
but look like the local nursing home.



posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 07:50 AM
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Originally posted by boondock-saint

Originally posted by Constantlysilenced
Absolutely. If you do the crime, you do the time, regardless of whether you can remember what you done or even go to the toilet on your own.

well I can see ur point,
however, who's gonna pay
all that extra amount to
keep someone on staff
to wipe butts ???

I mean really, some of these prisons
look absolutely nothing like prisons,
but look like the local nursing home.


Surely if they are capable of committing the crimes that put them there, they are capable of wiping their own butts. Mind you, some sort of Secured Nursing Home could be an option, payed for out of the offenders own pocket so tax payers aren't burdened.



posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 07:51 AM
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reply to post by boondock-saint
 


Very interesting find.


$100,000 a year, huh? ...By comparison, what's the cost of giving food stamps to a family of four for a year?

...I fear the aging prison population and the cost of caring for elderly inmates will be used to justify Eugenics policies. First in prisons, then...



posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 08:08 AM
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Great post! Our legal to prison system makes me embarrassed to be a human. This has to be the most ineffective way to "correct" someone. Chopping a hand off the thief, while appealing to me, is not the way. We all know the thief was down on his luck and stole to survive. While I agree with feeding and housing those in need, I don't think the prison environment does much to actually help anyone. Not the prisoner, and certainly not the taxpayer.

I think it is unproductive to imprison a non murderer over a year in most cases.
We all know incarceration exposes the criminal to new tactics and new criminal minds, so one thing that needs to happen is more solitary, with less prisoner to prisoner interaction.

The current problem is expensive, and dumping the elderly to the street to die is an option, although very inhumane. So in this case, it may be actually better for the elderly to stay in, or be transfered to a home. You could just have a sand moat and a cattle dog to keep them in place, or hot nurses.



posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 08:27 AM
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A rather sad dilemma, any way you look at it.

Seems to me if they are bedridden they could be "outsourced" to community nursing homes, and hospices near family. Prisons should not be forced to become equipped to deal with end of life medical issues. They are designed to be incarceration facilities, not medical ones.

If they were sentenced to life, and they are in such poor shape as to require palliative care, then "life" is pretty much done for them anyway.
edit on 1/1/2011 by ladyinwaiting because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 08:40 AM
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@CHEDwick



We all know the thief was down on his luck and stole to survive.


Please don't include me in your statements without my permission. I DO NOT believe Bernie Madoff was down on his luck when he stole billions of dollars.
I also do not believe that all prisoners are exposed to more criminal minds when in prison. I suspect there are prisoner who keep to themselves and choose not to interact with the other inmates.
edit on 1-1-2011 by Kaiju because: Typos



posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 08:41 AM
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The elder problem in prisons is hell on staff, inmates and the society that is forced to pay for it. Having direct knowledge of the problem doesn't give me anymore answers than anyone else.

My biggest problem with the elderly in such settings is that they take away resources from those that could actually be helped in the system. I don't want to sound cruel but the medical care of one old man is keeping untold numbers of young men/women from getting tools to keep them out of trouble. Education, vocational skills and such.



posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 08:46 AM
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reply to post by CHEDwick
 


Good Idea about the herding dogs (they love to keep busy) just dump the sods in a big fenced in area and its all sorted.

Food drops by plane now and then and care takers for the dogs (must make sure the dogs are well taken care of and such) Hey its better than North Korea takes care of their people.



posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 08:58 AM
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reply to post by CHEDwick
 


I'll have to respectfully disagree with you on your statement "I think it is unproductive to imprison a non murderer over a year in most cases. "
This would include all of the child rapists, kidnappers, molesters of children/elderly/mentally ill. I think that they deserve a LONG time in prison, right in the general population...with special color jumpsuits to distinguish them as sexual offenders. A crime against a competent adult is one thing, a crime against a child or elderly/mentally ill person who has little or no chance of defending themselves is a completely different matter. It is difficult to muster a reason to show them any mercy at all.

I will agree with you on the fact that prison does not do much to deter criminal activities. If the opposite were true, there would be no overcrowding in them right now. Prison offers many certain luxuries that they have never had, or that were very short lived in their outside life. The whole system needs to be redesigned.
The justice system IS rather strange, and sometimes seems unfair. The drug addict who plows his vehicle into a mother walking beside the road gets six years, while the teenager who has sex with a minor under the influence of drugs gets 25 years.



posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 09:00 AM
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Prisons = Money (lots)

Many towns, especially in the American Southwest exist only because a massive prison has been erected there in the last few decades. They employee nearly everyone in the community aside from the gas station, bar, and supermarket.

These prisons are privately owned (in many cases by judges and district attorneys who reside elsewhere in the state) and funded by ridiculous amounts of taxpayer money.

These are for profit enterprises, not meant to correct but to institutionalize.

Guards can make a a comfortable living by going into the prison 5 days a week for 30 years, but what kind of life is that?



posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 09:03 AM
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You know how to find the tough ones boondock


One one side we have the system of punishment to deter anti social behaviour. The effectiveness of this is limited, helps some people know where the social norms are, but people still do silly things at times.

One the other side we have the concept of rehabilitation, for some drug addicts the methods for this concept is improving. For those in prison results are mixed with some learning how to beat the system as the culture of many inmates together feed of each other. Some programs are showing some promise with education, training and counselling.

What is important is that resolution is found when mistakes are made. Some people are very dangerous to society due to many reasons. Others where just at the wrong place at the wrong time and it happens. This is a very complex issue and need more research, study and ideas about how to find the right balance between the social and individual protection. With this subject being politicised instead of being open to academia is does simplify the complex issues involved. There is no real one one answer fits all and each case needs to be considered on it own implications.

As for what to do about the elderly prison population, the movie 'The Shawshank Redemption' identifies some of these issues. At first the prisoner hates the walls, after a while they get use to it, longer still they become dependant on it. Transfer to low security prison with day release and social education could help those in the readjustment to society after a long period of institutionalized incarceration. It was good to see Larry taking part in helping to identify the problems and look for solutions that these long term inmates face. I would also like to hear from some prison guards that have been in the system for a long time and there perception of the problems and solutions.

I was good to hear that the state still takes responsibility for those who have nowhere else to go and have become dependant on the system. Using other inmates to help support these demands is also a good idea. Acknowledging the crime and losing identity are complex issues that are part of the resolution process.



posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 09:15 AM
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Originally posted by Kaiju
@CHEDwick



We all know the thief was down on his luck and stole to survive.


Please don't include me in your statements without my permission. I DO NOT believe Bernie Madoff was down on his luck when he stole billions of dollars.
I also do not believe that all prisoners are exposed to more criminal minds when in prison. I suspect there are prisoner who keep to themselves and choose not to interact with the other inmates.
edit on 1-1-2011 by Kaiju because: Typos


Ok, I have no idea what I said to include you specifically that needed your permission to be said, nor did I take a stab at you, so you may kiss my grits right about now.

You might wanna do a little research about what the "typical" prisoner learns during their prison stay.

I was generalizing about problems with the prison system, but you can point out some examples that fall out of my all encompassing view, if it makes you feel good. I know the prison system is filled with poor individuals that steal to survive, not the Bernie Madoffs you wanna use as an example of our prison population. Now you can twist my words up some more if you like, but do tell mer what your motive is when you do.

CHED



posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 09:29 AM
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reply to post by Constantlysilenced
 





Surely if they are capable of committing the crimes that put them there, they are capable of wiping their own butts.


That is beyond ridiculous Constantlysilenced, and makes no sense at all.
edit on 1-1-2011 by shamus78 because: spelling



posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 09:45 AM
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reply to post by kwakakev
 


Very well spoken sir!
Each and every case is different, and must be treated according to the circumstances involved.
The sentence time logic of the longer the better, is my major disagreement with the system, as I believe the longer the sentence, the more time a prisoner has to think about retaliation, or how to do a better job without getting caught. There are lots of prisoners, that should not be allowed back into society for public safety alone, but those are the minority of the national population.



posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 11:11 AM
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Originally posted by kwakakev
You know how to find the tough ones boondock


lol, well u know me.
I'm always stirring up
something


I had an idea I wanted to share.
Some of you may remember
the movie "Escape from New York"
with Kurt Russell many yrs ago.
That environment was a lil harsh.
But what I was thinking was something
along those lines.

An island way out in the middle of the ocean.
On that island are communities all populated
by prisoners. Each community would be run
similar to our community now. There would be
supermarket, post office, retail mall, hospital and each
prisoner got his own small FEMA trailer. They
would go to work each day and report to their
trailers at night. They would be confined to the
island with no option to leave. A very heavy police
force would enforce a martial law type environment.
Other people NOT incarcerated would be allowed
to live and work there if they so chose to do so,
however those people would know ahead of time
what to expect and do so of their own free will.
They would just be isolated from society as
a whole. It would give a sense of normalcy to
their lives giving them the tools to rehabilitate
and keep them from harming the avg citizen.
Basically a prison island. Think Alcatraz w/out
cells but on the size scale of Delaware. Of course
all inmates would have to be chipped or wear
an ankle bracelet to be located should the
need arise. Visitors to the island would come
in by boat or helicopter to a secured green
zone and get to visit with their family members
just like they do now in the island's main
administration building or the Capital Bldg.
I'll leave the details to the folks that know
bout these things


just a thought

and when their sentence is up, they get to leave
the island and it is not much different than just
taking a boat ride back home. There's not a
lot of re-adjustment to do other than a different
bed without an ankle bracelet.



posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 11:45 AM
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Originally posted by soficrow
reply to post by boondock-saint
 


Very interesting find.


$100,000 a year, huh? ...By comparison, what's the cost of giving food stamps to a family of four for a year?

...I fear the aging prison population and the cost of caring for elderly inmates will be used to justify Eugenics policies. First in prisons, then...



Sure sounds like the next "logical" step, eugenics. Considering that the US has a bad track record when it comes to experimenting on prisoners, I have to wonder what is already going on.

The interesting thing to me is that today a big focus is on the "liability" part of the equation. At some point, I can see a majority of people getting behind euthanasia, and it could easily begin with prisoners.

Of course, it's a slippery slope as they say. It may begin with them, but where would it end?

JR



posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 12:25 PM
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First of all I would like to say that these elderly people probably have better care inside than if they would be outside.....Secondly, probably a bit cynical, its is better to spent tax-dollars on these inmates than to see these dollars be spent on weapons for the millitary or have these dollars "disappear" into the pockets of the ones who made disappear all those other billions of tax-payers dollars. And thirdly, they commited a serious crime and we all agreed to put them in jail for it.....and that cost money. On the other hand...if somebody spent most of his life in jail and reached a certain old age and would probably be no danger for himself or the community it is maybe a good idea to let them go.....if they want. Again, these longtimers will have a hard time to survive if put on the streets again after so many years, some would prefer to stay.






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