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Costs Of Aging Inmates

Video unavailable. Read transcript below.

Video published January 20, 2010 | Download MP4 | View transcript

Above: As an inmate ages, his expenses behind bars can nearly triple as he requires more health care.

KPBS wanted to calculate how much money the state pays to incarcerate an inmate for a life sentence.

We assume this inmate is not released after 25 years, which in California has been the trend according to parole statistics.

Assume Inmate X was incarcerated when he was 37.

For now, he costs taxpayers about $49,000 a year.

That’s until he reaches 55.

As he ages, his health care expenses will increase. At this point he could cost the state $150,000 a year.

If Inmate X lives until he’s 77, he will have cost California taxpayers as much $4 million to keep him in prison for life.

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