humane or coldhearted?

From Marty Roney USA TODAY August 14, 2008 via Real Cost of Prisons

“A USA TODAY review of state departments of corrections’ policies found 36 states have some program allowing for the early release of dying or infirm prisoners. . . . Known in some states as medical furlough, humanitarian parole or compassionate release, states with the programs rely on their boards of pardons and paroles to follow up on inmates released for medical reasons, a phone and e-mail survey of states’ departments of corrections showed. . . . The driving force behind medical release of inmates is the rising cost of medical treatment for prison systems, said Ron McCuan, a public health analyst with the National Institute of Corrections, an agency of the Justice Department.”

Older prisoners are generally very low risk for communities. Releasing prisoners who are elderly or ill saves prisons money and seems humane — who wants to die in prison? But people who have been in prison all their lives often have no place to go and no resources to get medical care. The prisons are offloading their most expensive prisoners onto the social welfare institutions of local governments or to life with no supports at all. Which is not to say I see keeping old people in prison to be all that good, either.

Author: olderwoman

I'm a sociology professor but not only a sociology professor. I keep my name out of this blog because I don't want my name associated with it in a Google search. Although I never write anything in a public forum like a blog that I'd be ashamed to have associated with my name (and you shouldn't either), it is illegal for me to use my position as a public employee to advance my religious or political views, and the pseudonym helps to preserve the distinction between my public and private identities. The pseudonym also helps to protect the people I may write about in describing public or semi-public events I've been involved with. You can read about my academic work on my academic blog --Pam Oliver

One thought on “humane or coldhearted?”

  1. Prisons are overcrowded now, due to the judicial system having flaws. The flaws are in the JUDGES. Judges are loading up the prisons, to overcapacity because of obligations that they have towards their judicial buddies or the prosecutors, lawfirms, etc. The higher courts, courts of appeals, (which should be our check system) are ruling in favor of their counterparts. There is NO checks and balances system any longer. We are in a world of NO JUSTICE. We must be realistic on this. Justice to the court system, means, “more money coming in to the system”. The judicial system is a BUSINESS just like any other business. The medical field, also is a BUSINESS, (hospitals, doctors, pharacists), and believe you me, they are in the money making business also. Get with the program, Marty. You are in a reporting frenzy for Herbie Johnson, and it’s ridiculous what you print. Please tell me that Mr. Johnson is NOT an expert on prison life too. Well, wait a minute, he just might be, since the local Autauga County jail has lovingly been dubed, “Herbie’s Hilton”, or as you call the courthouse, “Temple of Justice”. How poetic and how UNREAL.

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