“Longer sentences and anti-drug policies are often blamed for the graying of the prison population.
New research provides another explanation, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) reports in a story noted by the newspaper’s Law Blog. These studies say prisons house more older offenders because more people are entering or re-entering prison at older ages.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the proportion of U.S. inmates who are at least 54 years old rose from 3 percent to more than 8 percent from the year 1991 to 2011. The increases make a financial difference given additional costs needed to provide medical care for older prisoners.”