Older Adult Inmates: The Challenge for Social Work (Report) by Social Work

Older Adult Inmates: The Challenge for Social Work (Report)

By Social Work

  • Publication Date: 2009-04-01
  • Genre: Social Science

Book Summary

Truth-in-sentencing laws, mandatory minimums, and three-strikes-and-you're-out rules established over the past several decades are keeping more offenders confined in prison for longer periods of time (van Wormer & Bartollas, 2007; Yorston & Taylor, 2006). These laws have created a "stacking effect," whereby older adult inmates have grown both in proportion and in number due to sentencing statutes that hold inmates long into their geriatric years (Kerbs, 2000b; U.S. Department of Justice, 2004). This trend has converged with the fact that, like other segments of the population, inmates are living longer. In addition, the number of older adults who are being prosecuted as first-time offenders is increasing (Kerbs, 2000a). This aging of the prison population has created a host of policy and practice issues that encompass justice considerations, cost-containment issues, and biopsychosocial care needs (Mara, 2004; Yates & Gillespie, 2000). The older prisoner's physical, social, and psychological needs are complex and necessitate gerontologically based service delivery systems (Kerbs, 2000b).

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