Aging and Older Incarcerated Offenders, Palliative Care of

As the offender population ages, the need for palliative care behind bars increases. Palliative care is a specialized medical care intended to improve the quality of life of patients with life-threatening and serious illnesses through prevention and relief of symptoms, both physical and emotional. Models of palliative care that operate in the community must be adapted for use behind bars.

After the enactment of strict sentencing guidelines in the 1970s, even low-level drug dealers were given long prison terms. This resulted in a huge increase in the number of older inmates; individuals older than 50 years are the fastest growing population in prison. The older inmates have more expensive medical needs than younger people, and incarcerated individuals have more health problems than individuals in the community. ...

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