The number and percentage of elderly prisoners in the United States has grown dramatically in past decades. In 2000, prisoners age 55 and older accounted for 3 percent of the prison population. Today, they are about 16 percent of the population. Between 2007 and 2010, the number of prisoners age 65 and older increased by an alarming 63 percent, compared to a 0.7 percent increase in the overall prison population. At this rate, prisoners 55 and older will approach one-third of the total prison population by the year 2030.
This new report by AFSC's Prison Watch Program provides an overview of the situation in New Jersey prisons along with testimonials by elderly prisoners and recommendations for the development of laws and policies that enable the safe care, custody, and treatment of older prisoners.