Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice

2014 Edition
| Editors: Gerben Bruinsma, David Weisburd

Aging Correctional Populations

  • Brie WilliamsEmail author
  • Cyrus Ahalt
  • Louise Aronson
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5690-2_339


The American prison population is rapidly aging. Yet relatively little is known about the unique challenges facing older adults in the criminal justice system. This knowledge gap has significant implications for the understanding of the health and health-care needs of a growing, medically vulnerable population. This entry describes the demographics of aging in corrections, focusing on the dramatic growth in the geriatric prison population that has taken place since the early 1990s; introduces the comprehensive, integrative framework of geriatric medicine, the medical specialty focused on the care of older adults; and reviews what is known about the health of older prisoners through the lens of geriatric medicine, examining biomedical, psychosocial, and environmental contributors to health and physical function. Age-related risk factors that may result in obstacles to successful reentry for older adults following incarceration are also discussed throughout. This entry concludes...

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Funding Support: Brie Williams received funding from the National Institute of Aging (K23AG033102) and the John A. Hartford Foundation’s Center of Excellence in Geriatric Medicine and Training. Dr. Williams is an employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs. The opinions expressed in this entry may not represent those of the VA. Potential Conflicts of Interest: Dr. Williams has been a consultant in legal cases about prison conditions of confinement.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of GeriatricsUniversity of California San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA