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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Aging in correctional custody: Setting a policy agenda for older prisoner health care

  • Author(s): Williams, BA
  • Stern, MF
  • Mellow, J
  • Safer, M
  • Greifinger, RB
  • et al.

An exponential rise in the number of older prisoners is creating new and costly challenges for the criminal justice system, state economies, and communities to which older former prisoners return. We convened a meeting of 29 national experts in correctional health care, academic medicine, nursing, and civil rights to identify knowledge gaps and to propose a policy agenda to improve the care of older prisoners. The group identified 9 priority areas to be addressed: definition of the older prisoner, correctional staff training, definition of functional impairment in prison, recognition and assessment of dementia, recognition of the special needs of older women prisoners, geriatric housing units, issues for older adults upon release, medical early release, and prison-based palliative medicine programs.

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