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Elderly prison inmates cost 3x more

Elderly prisoners in California cost taxpayers three times as much to take care of as other inmates. A new study looks at why that might be. KPBS reporter Beth Ford Roth has more.

The study looked at female prisoners in California who are age 55 or older. It found that many of these inmates had difficulties bathing, dressing, and using the bathroom. But they still had to perform tasks like climbing to the top bunk, or dropping to the floor quickly if an alarm sounds even if the woman is in a wheelchair or uses a walker.
Dr. Brie Williams at the San Francisco VA Medical Center says the study is a tool to better accommodate older prisoners.

Williams: As we have more and more geriatric inmates, we're going to have an extraordinarily high medical care budget that is more and more difficult to get control of.

It is projected that by 2030 ... one third of the U.S. prison population will be geriatric. Beth Ford Roth, KPBS News.

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