Maine's Aging Prison Population Hiking Health Care CostsArticle is from "Maine's Aging Prison Population Hiking Health Care Costs", Maine Public Broadcasting Network (MPBN), August 17, 2010.
08/17/2010 12:43 PM ET
A Brunswick state senator says a "calamity" is looming that the next Legislature will have to deal with. Maine is not just the oldest state in the nation -- inmates in the state's correctional facilities are aging, resulting in higher health care costs and proposals to change the way the state houses aging prisoners. State corrections officials say prisoners are getting longer sentences and are sicker than the general population. State Senator Stan Gerzofsky, a Brunswick Democrat who co-chairs the Legislature's Criminal Justice Committee, says the situation is becoming a "calamity."
"The population in our prisons is getting much older every year and it's something that the next Legislature is going to have to look at because it's becoming a calamity now, where two or three sessions ago, it was just a problem," Gerzofsky told Capitol News Service.
As the prison population ages, the cost of guarding inmates during hospitalizations and medical appointments is also rising. With those costs factored in, Maine Department of Corrections officials say the medical costs for inmates now consumes a quarter of the department's budget.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Maine's Prisoners Drive up Health Care Costs