Elderly Inmates in the Prison Population

Undoubtedly, various reasons are contributing to the elderly inmates’ increased percentage in the prison population. Possible, the aging of the inmates is one of the reasons. Other probable explanations consist of the longer sentences, as well as taking crime seriously. In some instances, the models of sentencing keep on changing. Judges concern all offenders, whether old or young to the equal treatment.
Aging Offenders
In general, the United States population is aging. Specifically, the country’s fastest growing age crew is represented by the individuals who are above 65. In 2007, they have been 38 million in their number. As a consequence, the population of the elderly rises in the prison.
Changes in the Sentencing Models
Currently, the judges fail to consider several factors while delivering their services. Such factors include the issues of health, age, and the risk to the community. The direction of the judges is taken away by the mandatory sentencing, as well as the sentencing guidelines. In the past, the judges would often grant aging criminals probation. However, all the offenders are presently subjected to the same treatment irrespective of their age. These are the reasons explaining the rise in the imprisonment of the elderly.

Prison Sentences Statutory Lengthening

For almost every crime, an offender is likely to stay a little longer in prisons. Often, both the laws of the habitual-offenders and the three strikes do not advocate for parole. According to Seiter (2011), these statutes require the wrong-doers to serve a life sentence in prison. Naturally, such prisoners age and in effect end up dying in prisons.


Sincerely speaking, it is not fair to subject the elderly to the same treatment as the young ones. Laws should be amended that considers factors such as age, issues of health and so on. Again, the United States should consider reducing the sentences.


Seiter, R. (2011). Corrections: An Introduction (3rd ed., p. 460 – 470). Pearson Education/ Prentice Hall, 2011.

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