Wednesday, June 21, 2017

How age-friendly are prisons? Not very. Surprised? No.

The numbers of prisoners over the age of 50 in 2002 was 4,800 and now is 12,600 and going up fast. You can read all about it in this report from the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman. 

Peter Clarke, the chief inspector of prisons in England and Wales, believes the situation is so bad that we should be introducing purpose-built 'older prisoner' jails - residential care homes surrounded by a wall.

The Guardian newspaper has found these additional stats:

Prisoners aged 60 to 69 are the fastest-growing group in the prison population, with a 146% increase between 2002 and 2014 to 2,541. Those aged 50 to 59 are the second-fastest growing group, with an increase of 122% in the same period to 6,957.

I am always surprised that the media and authorities are surprised when they dig about and find these stats. What the hell would they expect to be happening in a country where the population is ageing as fast as it is in the UK. I bet the situation is not that much different in the US - heavens knows what it is like in Japan.

Bottom line lesson is that it doesn't matter what part of the infrastructure you want to look at it needs to be 'fit for purpose' for a lot more older users. It is as simple as that. Dick Stroud

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