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At America's Expense: The Mass Incarceration of the Elderly

NCJ Number
Inimai Chettiar; Will Bunting; Geoff Schotter
Date Published
June 2012
98 pages
This report from the American Civil Liberties Union examines the problem of the increasing incarceration of elderly prisoners in U.S. correctional facilities.
This report was developed to address the issue of the increasing incarceration of aging prisoners in U.S. correctional facilities. The report is divided into two main sections. Part I of the report contains detailed statistics on the aging prison population that include prison population by age, gender and race of aging prisoners, crimes committed and time served by aging prisoners, the declines in crime associated with an aging prison population, and the impact on States of the high costs of incarcerating older inmates. Part II of the report presents recommendations developed as a result of the report's findings. These recommendations are: 1) grant conditional release for aging prisoners who pose little safety risk; 2) utilize and expand medical parole; 3) increase accountability and transparency of parole boards, 4) reauthorize and expand federal aging prisoner release; 5) repeal mandatory minimum laws; 6) repeal habitual offender laws; and 7) repeal truth-in-sentencing laws. The appendix to this report contains a draft of a conditional release of aging prisoners act. Photos, figures, appendix, and endnotes