Next Big Thing Essay

1954 words - 8 pages

The issue with aging prison members is that our legal system spends a majority of the money on our older inmates than our younger members. The three-strike rule in the United States is a big factor on why we have such a high rate with older inmates in our prisons. We imprison older members for life after they have committed more than three felonies regardless of the crime. That leads to our legal system being stuck with a lot of aging inmates. Our legal system has to pay more money in order to accommodate our older inmates because they require more medical needs. The Criminal justice system is spending a significant amount of money on our elderly sick inmates even though they are unable to commit any more crimes, leading to more problems in the system.
Since most states have cracked down on criminal behaviors the population among prisons has risen in the last decade. In some prisons the population has risen as much as six times “The United States has the highest prison population rate in the world, with 756 prisoners per 100,000 of the population”(Turner). Our aging inmate populations in our criminal justice system older than fifty are more than likely to have up to three chronicle diseases while incarcerated. The criminal justice system is spending three times the amount on older inmates. Having aging inmates in our criminal justice system has huge consequences because our system does not have a big enough budget to be able to house aging criminals with their needs. The aging criminals in prison our sucking our system dry because they are not actually paying for their crime that they committed but instead getting benefits for committing crimes. According to Aging Inmate Committee if our legal system would release our older inmates that are incapable of committing crimes our system would save more than 175 million dollars a year.
The health care system in the criminal justice system is rapidly rising in cost. Prisoners age a lot faster than regular citizens because of past drug addiction, alcohol abuse, and mental illness disorders leading them to age faster and cost prison health cares more money. Mental illnesses are extremely pricy and dangerous. The staff has to be extra cautions with mentally disabled prisoners because they are more dangerous. The prison system does not have enough money to be able to maintain high-risk prisoners. “The average cost of keeping an older inmate incarcerated is about $69,000 a year”(Regan) it’s an outrageous amount of money. A Tennessee State prison gave Dr. Regan, Alderson, and Dr. William Regan gave data on older inmates who had mental illnesses. The study focused on the population and their mental disorder and the crime committed. 671 prisoners where tested in the study and 109 people where diagnosed with a mental illness: Out of the 109 people with a mental disorder only 13% where women and 87% where men. The most common crime for both genders with a mental disorder was murder. Women who committed murder...

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