Sacramento, CA — State officials are predicting a significant jump in elderly inmates in the California prison system.
A recent report indicates that there are presently about 7500 inmates over the age of 55 in California prisons now. That number is expected to increase to just over 30,000 by the year 2022.
That is projected to comprise of 16% of the inmate population, compared to only 5% now.
The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation says older inmates can cost as much as $70,000 a year to house, and those with severe illness can cost much more.
Some analysts attribute the upward trend in the number of elder inmates to tougher sentencing laws.
Officials say severely ill inmates cannot be paroled or released unless adequate medical treatment is guaranteed.
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