Health care for aging prisoners costs far more than it does for younger ones, just as it does outside prison walls. Corrections departments across the country report that health care for older prisoners costs between four and eight times what it does for younger prisoners.
Several governors and state legislatures have moved in recent months to make the clemency process easier and pardons more frequent, reflecting a growing consensus that harsh mandatory minimum sentences have left too many Americans behind bars.
Baby boomers with the skill are retiring and not enough young people are replacing them. In Georgia, inmates are given access to heavy tools and blowtorches so they can get a welding certificate.
Early experiments in isolating inmates took place at a Philadelphia prison in the 1800s. Though discredited as cruel, the practice was later revived nationwide during the drug war.
Alaska’s criminal justice system is expensive, ineffective, and unsustainable — that’s the hard truth shared by a group of legal experts on the Alaska Criminal Justice Commission.