At America's Expense: The Mass Incarceration of the Elderly

Read and download the ACLU's report: <a href="https://www.aclu.org/criminal-law-reform/report-americas-expense-mass-incarceration-elderly">At America's Expense</a>Read and download the ACLU's report: At America's Expense

June 13, 2012

Elderly prisoners are twice as expensive to incarcerate as the average prisoner and pose little danger to society, yet the population of elderly prisoners in the United States is exploding. Our extreme sentencing policies and a growing number of life sentences have effectively turned many of our correctional facilities into veritable nursing homes — and taxpayers are paying for it.

This increasing warehousing of aging prisoners for low-level crimes and longer sentences is a nefarious outgrowth of the “tough on crime” and “war on drugs” policies of the 1980s and 1990s. Given the nation’s current overincarceration epidemic and persistent economic crisis, lawmakers should consider implementing parole reforms to release those elderly prisoners who no longer pose sufficient safety threats to justify their continued incarceration.

A new ACLU report, “At America's Expense: The Mass Incarceration of the Elderly,” makes a number of data-driven findings and issues recommendations for reform.

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The Report
At America's Expense: The Mass Incarceration of the Elderly

At America's Expense compiles extensive data detailing epidemic of aging prisoners in the United States. It provides a comprehensive 50-state and federal analysis of the unnecessary incarceration of aging prisoners and provides a fiscal analysis showing the actual amount states would save...

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Video
Elderly in Prison (5:01)

Our extreme sentencing policies and a growing number of life sentences have effectively turned many of our correctional facilities into veritable nursing homes — and taxpayers are paying for it...

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Photo Gallery
The Aging Prisoner Boom: Picturing Our Elderly Behind Bars

Striking photos by Tim Gruber give an inside look at our nation's growing elderly prisoner population...

 

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