Federal prisons should loose requirements for early release given there is insufficient medical care for elderly inmates. This was recommended in a fresh report by the Justice Department. Between fiscal years 2009 and 2013, the fastest growing jail population was aged 50 and above, and it is far more expensive to incarcerate than younger inmates.
The reason lies in the facts that the aging prison population has more medical needs. The Justice Department recommends the Bureau of Prisons to work on so-called compassionate release. This is a form of granting release to elderly prisoners sooner.
According to the report, older inmates are “generally less of a threat during incarceration and less likely to be a threat to society once released.”
Washington is currently under pressure to implement a criminal justice reform. The reform could include changes to the mandatory minimum sentences, which is partly to blame for the increase in prison population over recent years.
"What's surprising is how ill-prepared the bureau is for a problem that has been decades in the making," said David C. Fathi, director of the ACLU National Prison Project. "The lack of physical accessibility is shocking. This isn't rocket science. If you have people in wheelchairs, you need to have elevators, you need to have doors wide enough for wheelchairs to go through. The fact that this is still apparently a widespread problem is quite disturbing."