The biggest challenge facing our correctional service is the cost associated with caring for elderly prisoners. Aging inmates are more prone to experience chronic health problems, such as diabetes. They are also much more likely to suffer from conditions that will affect their mobility.
Older prisoners carry a greater risk of experiencing social isolation, in particular due to disability which often means that they are unable to participate fully in prison life and have lost contact with friends and family.
Older adults in prison often exhibit physical and mental health problems, including dementia, and histories of trauma and chronic stress. Over 3,000 of these men and women will die each year in prison.
What are the top five challenges facing the corrections industry?
The increase can be attributed to a variety of factors, including the aging of the overall U.S. population, longer prison terms due to factors such as mandatory sentencing and an increase in the number of older people committing crimes.
Recruiting and retaining a culturally diverse staff would cut down on the need for oversight committees and interpreters. Having a workforce that understands the dominant languages spoken in the United States also enhances officer and inmate safety and reduces barriers to effective community supervision.
Another example of issues facing special populations is that women prisoners and LGBT prisoners are vulnerable to sexual abuse while incarcerated. In an ongoing case in New York, Amador v. Andrews, a class of women prisoners has alleged systemic sexual abuse and harassment by corrections officers.
Counselors witness much violence and aggression in the prison. While some offenders blend into the correctional environment, others experience significant adjustment difficulties. Includes anxiety, stress, and loss of support from loved ones. Suicide is leading cause of death in lock ups and jails.
Work conflicts, fatigue, heavy workload and inadequate resources all contribute to stress among correctional officers. The stress you’ll experience on a daily basis can affect your work as well as your personal relationships and family life.
Some major contemporary issues resulting from these social, economic and environmental changes facing correctional administrators include the changing trend in prison population, overcrowding in correctional facilities, improvement of prison conditions, increase of drug-related offenders, shortage of effective
With more elderly prisoners, officials are forced to consider how to address their unique health care and long-term care needs. One disease has hit prisoners harder than most: Alzheimer’s disease. On average, the cost of housing for an elderly prisoner in California is nine times higher compared to a young prisoner.
Nearly 150,000 people incarcerated in state correctional facilities were 55 or older in 2016, the most recent year for which detailed data is available. For the first time, older adults make up a larger share of the state prison population than people from 18 to 24.
The average male prisoner is now almost 40 years old. The average female prisoner is slightly younger, at 38. Aging prisoners may be contributing to California’s prison health care costs—now highest in the nation.