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Prisoner Health Care Costs Could Drain Small Counties

Publication Date: 
November 21, 2011
Source: 
Daily Journal
Author: 
Henry Meier

An SLS study is mentioned in this Daily Journal article by Henry Meier on how California's prison population has aged dramatically over the past 20 years, with those over 50 increasing from 4% in 1989 to 15% in 2008.

As counties begin to absorb a massive influx of state prisoners, local authorities say they've become especially concerned about how they will care for inmates with serious medical conditions who require expensive health treatments.

These problems could be devastating for the smallest counties, where budgets are especially tight and treatment facilities are often miles away, local authorities say.

...

The rising costs of inmate health care are not a new problem. California's prison population has aged dramatically over the past 20 years. A 2010 Stanford Law School study found that the number of inmates over 50 increased from 4 percent in 1989 to 15 percent in 2008. With this growing class of aging criminal offenders has come a significantly larger number of medical issues that are both difficult to address and incredibly expensive.