Navigation Links
Elderly prisoners need better medical care, according to report
Date:6/15/2012

Soaring numbers of older, sicker prisoners are causing an unprecedented health care challenge for the nation's criminal justice system, according to a new UCSF report.

As the American penal system confronts a costly demographic shift toward older prisoners, the authors call for an overhaul in health care practices for elderly inmates who disproportionately account for escalating medical expenses behind bars. The recommendations include screening for dementia among prisoners, improved palliative care, and standard policies for geriatric housing units for infirm inmates.

The article will be published online June 14, 2012, in the American Journal of Public Health.

The report outlines nine policy recommendations that emerged from a gathering last year of 29 national experts in prison health care, academic medicine, nursing and civil rights.

The recommendations promote cost-effective quality care for older prisoners, said lead author Brie Williams, MD, a UCSF associate professor of medicine in the division of geriatrics.

"A first step is to focus on these nine priority areas in order to set the stage for collaboration among the many disciplines involved in older prisoner health care," Williams said.

From 2000 to 2009, the country's prison population grew by 16 percent, and the number of older prisoners 55 years or older increased nearly 80 percent.

As a result, prisons are increasingly challenged to provide care to older inmates with a litany of chronic medical conditions including diabetes, heart failure, cognitive impairment and end-stage liver disease. Many older inmates also suffer from infectious diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis and hepatitis C. With higher rates of disability in general, older prisoners cost approximately two to three times as much as younger inmates.

"Prisoners have a right to timely access to an appropriate level of care for serious medical needs,'' the authors said in the report. "Yet criminal justice health care systems are underprepared to provide cost-effective quality care for older adults.''

The recommendations include:

  • Institute a standard definition of geriatric or older prisoners the experts suggest age 55 or older;
  • Improve training of prison staff and health care providers;
  • Provide screening for dementia;
  • Identify health needs of older women prisoners;
  • Create national medical eligibility criteria for early prisoner release based on medical needs;
  • Establish uniform policies for geriatric housing units.

The report points out that prompt attention to age-related disabilities of older inmates eventually would result in societal benefits outside prison gates. With the vast majority of inmates ultimately released back to the community, "Prison programs that improve health and cognitive skills or that target substance abuse have been associated with decreased recidivism and re-arrest,'' the authors wrote. And with better care during incarceration, prisoners when released would make less use of emergency rooms and other community medical resources.

Study funding was provided by the Jacob and Valeria Langeloth Foundation, by private correctional health care vendors and by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Williams is also the lead author of another report on the aging prison crisis that was recently published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (JAGS).

Problems with the graying prison population are straining state and local budgets by spilling into the community as well as public health care systems, the JAGS report found.

"Our study discusses how successful models of care that have been developed for older adults in the community could be adapted to address the mounting health care crisis of aging in the criminal justice system," said Williams.


'/>"/>

Contact: Elizabeth Fernandez
elizabeth.fernandez@ucsf.edu
415-502-6397
University of California - San Francisco
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Colonoscopy May Detect Curable Cancer in Elderly: Study
2. Type of viral infection of eye associated with disease causing blindness in the elderly
3. Tuberculosis increases the risk of lung cancer mortality in the elderly
4. Cancer in the elderly: Research fails to keep up with demographic change
5. Elderly women with irregular heart beat at higher risk for stroke
6. Less Invasive Heart Valve Replacement Works for Elderly: Study
7. Immunotherapy for elderly cancer patients finds new promise in drug combination
8. Why is traumatic brain injury increasing among the elderly?
9. Exercise Controls Weight in White Girls Better Than in Black Girls: Study
10. ASCO: Younger colon cancer patients have worse prognosis at diagnosis, yet better survival
11. Half of Americans with individual health plans could gain better coverage under the ACA
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Elderly prisoners need better medical care, according to report
(Date:2/6/2016)... ... , ... Shark Finds and Kevin Harrington, along with the Product ... with Belly Bands. , Having a dog is great—except when it wets every couch, ... nothing works, get Belly Bands, the easiest way to stop dogs from wetting ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... VeloReality ... lighter, sleeker next generation LYNX VR Indoor Trainer with multi-rider capability to an ... and manufacturing not only reduce the weight of the unit, they also enhance ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The Muscular Dystrophy Association and Sailormen Inc., ... 14th annual “Appetite for a Cure” campaign on Feb. 1 to raise critical ... diseases that severely limit strength and mobility. , Now through March 20, ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... After years as an ... Burn Unit, plastic and cosmetic surgeon Dr. Wayne Carman transitioned to chief of the ... successfully completed his first three-year term as chief and began a second three-year term ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... The American public tends ... water may be safer than regular municipal or well water. The recent experience with ... Sharon Kleyne, could go a long way toward increasing public acceptance of recycled waste ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... Wegener Polyangiitis - Pipeline Review, H2 ... Polyangiitis - Pipeline Review, H2 2015, provides an ... This report provides comprehensive information on the therapeutic ... at various stages, therapeutics assessment by drug target, ... and molecule type, along with latest updates, and ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... -- Summary Breast cancer, a malignant neoplasm, is ... cancer in women worldwide, accounting for 16% of all ... of women diagnosed with breast cancer has increased over ... has declined due to earlier diagnosis and better treatment ... the past four decades, especially with increasing usage of ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... Feb. 4, 2016 Frontier Pharma: Chronic ... First-in-Class Innovation Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary ... chronic inflammation of the airways and lungs. Persistent ... make the disease one of the leading causes ... in the world. COPD is linked to cumulative ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: