Louisiana Passes Legislation Addressing Growing Number of Elderly in Prison

The Louisiana Senate has just passed H.B. 138, which will enable some prisoners to go before a parole board upon turning 60. The board can then decide to grant parole to those individuals it determines would pose no danger to the community upon release. Louisiana’s House of Representatives passed the bill two weeks ago. It now heads to the desk of Gov. Bobby Jindal, and we hope that he will go along with the will of the legislature.

H.B. 138 addresses an ongoing problem in Louisiana and across the nation: a growing geriatric population in our prisons, most of whom pose little to no risk to public safety, and cost taxpayers three times as much to imprison, on average, as younger inmates.

Even Burl Cain, the warden at Louisiana’s Angola Prison, believes giving elderly prisoners the opportunity for parole is a good idea:

Please note that by playing this clip You Tube and Google will place a long-term cookie on your computer. Please see You Tube's privacy statement on their website and Google's privacy statement on theirs to learn more. To view the ACLU's privacy statement, click here.

As we’ve said before, allowing the elderly a chance to go before a parole board and prove that they no longer pose a threat to the community is a matter of both compassion and common sense, especially at a time when state prisons are packed way beyond capacity and state budgets are stretched beyond the breaking point.

We applaud the Louisiana legislature for this important step toward reducing the state’s unnecessarily high prison population.

Learn more about elderly parole: Sign up for breaking news alerts, follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

View comments (2)
Read the Terms of Use


How exactly does turning 60 change the crime the criminal commited. I mean, if the criminal murdered an entire family, or raped multple woman, or terrorized large number of people, does it make any difference at all that they are 60.


No one should be in prison if they dont pose a danger to the public. But I feel they just want to dump these elderly people in the street. How are they going to support themselves? They are 60 years old and have been in prison. I fear they will end up sleeping under bridges. Maybe they should wait till they are 65 so at least they will get SS.

Stay Informed