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News Link • Criminal Justice System

The US Wastes Tons Of Money Keeping Harmless Old People In Jail

•, Michael Kelley

The report, titled At America’s Expense: The Mass Incarceration of the Elderly, calls on lawmakers to implement parole reforms to release aging prisoners who no longer pose a sufficient public safety threat to justify their continued incarceration.

“Extremely disproportionate sentencing policies, fueled by the ‘tough on crime’ and ‘war on drugs’ movements, have turned our prisons into nursing homes, and taxpayers are footing the bill,” ACLU policy counsel Inimai Chettiar said in a press release.

The National Institute of Corrections considers prisoners "aging" or "elderly" after the age of 50 because lack of appropriate healthcare and access to healthy living in prison (as well as stresses of life behind bars) accelerate the aging process.

State and federal governments spend approximately $77 billion annually to operate our penal system, with $16 billion of that spent on aging prisoners (who make up 16 percent of the prison population).

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