Using the fate of elderly prisoners to continue the effort to abolish the wide-spread use of prisons as the single most effective post-crime control strategy is just that, and researchers who conclude that criminals over the age of 55 do not still pose the same threat which led to their imprisonment, do not yet understand the internal reality of the criminal/carceral world.

An excerpt from the Crime Report.

“The population of elderly prisoners in the United States has increased by more than 1,400 percent since 1981, according to a new report published by the American Civil Liberties Union.

“Three decades ago, American prisons housed fewer than 9,000 prisoners age 55 and older; today, that number stands at 124,900, according to the report. The ACLU projects the elderly prisoner population to top 400,000 by 2040.

“The report calls for a series of reforms, including conditional release for aging prisoners who pose little safety risk, an expansion of medical parole, the reauthorization and expansion of the federal aging prisoner release program and repeals to laws targeting habitual offenders, “truth-in-sentencing” and mandatory minimum sentencing. The report cites evidence that elderly prisoners pose less risk than younger inmates.”