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Elderly Prison Populations Compromise Safety

| October 9, 2014

Officials in Florida are concerned about their aging prison populations. Older prisoners require more medical care and increase costs. And with prison having to dedicate their scare resources to these populations, safety is compromised in other areas. To address the problem, it has been suggested that they consider early release for elderly non-violent offenders.

Florida’s prison population is rapidly increasing despite declining crime rates, and the latest report from Florida TaxWatch recommends options to prevent increasing costs from overwhelming taxpayers. The report, Florida’s Aging Prisoner Problem, warns that the steadily growing elderly prison population in state facilities will require more costly medical care, resulting in additional budget concerns for an already struggling Department of Corrections.

“Community safety is the first thing to consider when addressing criminal justice reform, but Florida has options to reduce costs and actually improve public safety.” said Dominic M. Calabro, president and CEO of Florida TaxWatch, the independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit taxpayer research institute and government watchdog. “Florida taxpayers and policymakers must understand the rapidly incurring costs that accompany aging prisoners so that smart policies can be pursued that prevent either ballooning costs or quick fixes to jeopardize the safety and security of Florida citizens.”

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