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News Link • Criminal Justice System

Aging inmates straining prison systems

• AP
Curtis Ballard rides a motorized wheelchair around his prison ward, which happens to be the new assisted living unit — a place of many windows and no visible steel bars — at Washington’s Coyote Ridge Corrections Center.

A stroke left Ballard unable to walk. He’s also had a heart attack and he underwent a procedure to remove skin cancer from his neck. At 77, he’s been in prison since 1993 for murdering his estranged wife, Angie, at a home in Vancouver’s Ellsworth neighborhood, and critically wounding her adult daughter. He has 14 years left on his sentence.


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