U.S. Prisoners, a Growing Population, Experience Accelerated Aging While Incarcerated
If you are an aging prisoner in the United States, 50 is the new 65.
This phenomenon is called “accelerated aging” and according to the
Urban Institute’s KiDeuk Kim and Bryce Peterson, “the physiological age
of some older prisoners is up to 15 years greater than their
chronological age.” This is in stark contrast to outside prison walls
where our youth-oriented culture labels “40 as the new 30,” “60 as the
new 50,” and so on.
Older prisoners -- a demographic that is growing rapidly -- face
numerous hardships and injustices from incarceration, including : having
their chronic health conditions ignored or mistreated; physical threats
from younger prisoners; the need for special equipment, including
wheelchairs and walkers to be able to ambulate around their prisons;
difficulties climbing on and off top bunks; trouble hearing, making it
challenging to discern orders from guards; and mental health issues,
many of which are the result of prolonged imprisonment.
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