STATE INITIATIVES TO ADDRESS AGING PRISONERSMarch 4, 2. R- 0. 16. 6STATE INITIATIVES TO ADDRESS AGING PRISONERSBy: Kevin E. Mc. Carthy, Principal Analyst. Carrie Rose, Legislative Librarian. You asked for a discussion of how other states have addressed aging or medically infirm prisoners.
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You were particularly interested in initiatives that have transferred such prisoners to facilities such as skilled nursing facilities (nursing homes). SUMMARYThis report provides examples of initiatives to cope with the aging prisoner population in California, Florida, Louisiana, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington. Other states have similar initiatives. California law allows the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to contract with public or private entities to establish and operate skilled nursing facilities to incarcerate and care for inmates. But, it appears that California has not used this law to date. Instead, the state is building a 1,7. Stockton to house medically infirm prisoners, including those with Alzheimer's disease and mental illnesses.
California also has a program where convicted murderers serve as aides to other inmates who have dementia. Florida has four facilities that house large numbers of elderly prisoners, with varying eligibility criteria. Louisiana's state penitentiary has a hospice for prisoners near the end of their life, as do at least 7. New York's Unit for the Cognitively Impaired, located in the Fishkill Correctional Facility, primarily serves prisoners with dementia.
In Pennsylvania, the Laurel Highlands facility serves sick and elderly inmates. A minimum security facility, it houses nearly 1,4. Most older prisoners in Virginia are housed at the Deerfield Correctional Center. In 2. 00. 9, Virginia compared the costs and benefits of contracting for privately operated assisted living or nursing facilities for geriatric offenders, compared to the state operating such facilities. It found that the center is less costly than caring for these prisoners at private nursing homes in the same area would be.
Canada urged to segregate elderly prisoners. Williams says he came to that peace of mind after being admitted to the True Grit, Senior Structured Living Program. Read Layout 1 text version. The Senior Structured Living Program at the Northern Nevada. Fifteen men in the True Grit program require wheelchairs. Nevada Gets Award for Program for Aging. Harrison administers the Senior Structured Living Program that's known as 'True Grit' at. The True Grit Program in Nevada is a structured living. Together with Nevada’s Division of Aging Services, the program. Williams says he came to that peace of mind after being admitted to the True Grit, Senior Structured Living Program at the North Nevada.
To address the needs of prisoners 5. Washington created an assisted- living unit at the Coyote Ridge correctional facility. The unit, which has a capacity of 7. INTRODUCTIONAccording to a 2. Human Rights Watch, an advocacy group, the number of state and federal prisoners age 5. The growth rate for prisoners age 6.
Policy changes such as “truth in sentencing” and two and three strikes laws, as well as the abolition of parole for certain violent offenders and reductions in compassionate early release, have resulted in more elderly prisoners. In addition, more elderly people are being convicted of crimes. In 2. 01. 0, 9,5. An increasing number of prisoners need wheelchairs, walkers, canes, portable oxygen, and hearing aids; cannot get dressed, go to the bathroom, or bathe without help; or are incontinent, forgetful, suffering chronic illnesses, extremely ill, or dying.
The National Institute of Corrections identifies arthritis, hypertension, ulcer disease, prostate problems, and myocardial infarction as being among the most common chronic diseases among elderly inmates. Diabetes, hepatitis C, and cancer are also common. Prisoners are also more prone to dementia than the general population because they more often have risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, smoking, depression, substance abuse, and head injuries from fights and other violence. The costs of caring for elderly prisoners are high and growing. States spend on average $7. National Institute of Corrections. While many states allow for compassionate release of geriatric prisoners, a 2.
Vera Institute of Justice, which reviewed laws related to the early release of geriatric inmates in 1. District of Columbia, found that these provisions are rarely used.
According to the Vera Institute study, at least 2. While Connecticut does not have a specific age, CGS . INITIATIVES IN OTHER STATESCalifornia. Contracts with Private Providers. The facility must address the long- term care of inmates as needed. In addition, it must be designed to: 1. It must enter into an agreement with the contractor about placing and review it to determine if the contractor's compliant.
The department may revoke the agreement if it is not complying. The department's ombudsman program must provide ombudsman services to prisoner- residents of contracted skilled nursing facilities. On the other hand, the Office of the State Long- Term Care Ombudsman does not have to advocate on behalf of residents of any skilled nursing facilities operated by or under contract to the department or investigate their complaints. It does not appear that California has entered into contracts for nursing homes under this law to date. State Facility. The California Health Care Facility – Stockton is being built as an intermediate- level medical and mental health care facility for inmates in the California state prison system. By centrally locating its inmates with the highest level of medical and mental health care needs in one facility,the state hopes to provide health care to prisoners more cost effectively and efficiently.
The 1,7. 22- bed facility will have diagnostic and treatment centers. It will house the state's most medically infirm prisoners, including those with Alzheimer's disease and mental illness. The facility will employ approximately 1,1.
The facility is currently in design. It will be surrounded by a 1.
The facility will cost between $7. It was authorized in 2.
AB 9. 00, which provided $7. Further information about the facility is available at http: //www. Program for Prisoners with Dementia. As described in the February 2. The New York Times, convicted murderers at the California Men's Colony help care for prisoners with Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia.
They assist the other prisoners with activities of daily living, such as showering, shaving, applying deodorant, and changing adult diapers. They also conduct exercise classes and run meetings designed to stimulate memory and lessen disorientation. They escort inmates to doctors, acting as their intermediaries. Prisoners who participate in the program are trained by the Alzheimer's Association and are paid $5. Florida By Department of Correction policy, a physician assesses and diagnoses all inmates who are limited in performing activities of daily living.
These prisoners are provided with a service plan designed to meet their medical and mental health needs and are housed consistent with their custody level and medical status. Inmates who are blind, deaf, require a walker or a wheelchair, or who have specialized housing or service needs are assigned only to institutions designated for such custody and care. According to a 2. DOC report, as of June 3. Among the units that house large numbers of elderly prisoners are: 1.
Zephyrhills Correctional Institution, which has two dorms specifically designed for elderly inmates as well as inmates with complex medical needs; 3. River Junction Work Camp, a work camp for minimum or medium security elderly inmates who are in good health, and able to work; and. The unit at the Central Florida Reception Center houses male inmates at least age 5. They must have no recent violent disciplinary reports.
The Zephyrhills Correctional Institution houses male inmates at least age 5. To be eligible for the work camp, inmates must be at least age 5. The South Florida Reception Center dorm houses male inmates who are at least 5. Inmates must have no serious escape or recent violent disciplinary reports. Louisiana. Louisiana State Penitentiary (Angola) has a large population of aging men serving long sentences, with 8. The prison, in partnership with University Hospital Community Hospice in New Orleans, created a program that meets national standards for community hospice programs.
Prison staff and inmate volunteers provide support care within the prison infirmary, at no additional cost to the prison. The community hospice provided consultation, training, and services without cost. Sick inmates are moved into hospice care when doctors think they have only about six months to live. They are given extra privileges and a hospice team of fellow inmates. Each patient is assigned six hospice volunteers who visit him regularly and care for his needs. Further information about prison hospice programs, including the one at Angola, is available at http: //npha.
Typically, these programs admit persons 5. The program objectives include: 1. Seniors can participate in various forms of therapy, recreational activities, and programs to maintain their cognitive skills. One of the program's objectives is to reduce criminal behavior in individuals and enhance their sense of responsibility as members of society, as many in the group have not been in the community for many years.
The program is open to prisoners at least 6. Prisoners who participate in the program receive work time and meritorious credit for active participation. While in the program, prisoners do not qualify to hold outside jobs or attend full time educational programs. Inmates who are in transit or temporarily assigned to the institution for a variety of reasons are not eligible for the SSLP.
Members must also participate in daily and weekly therapy activities as well as in group therapy programs that target their offense history, and they are expected to complete daily life skill assignments. DOC is planning to expand the program's capacity and extend it to other DOC facilities in southern Nevada. The expansion will allow the department to process prisoners on waiting lists and place them in the program. New York. New York's Unit for the Cognitively Impaired, located in the Fishkill Correctional Facility, primarily serves prisoners with dementia. According to a February 2. The New York Times, the unit had cared for 8. The unit has a cost of about $9.
Fishkill also operates as the regional medical hub for the state prison system and the unit occupies the third floor of the prison's four- story medical center.