By the year 2030, there will be upward of 400,000 elderly prisoners — nearly a third of the projected total penal population
State and federal prisons spend an estimated $16 billion taxpayer dollars a year keeping elderly convicts in the clink…. Nearly a quarter of that price tag – roughly $3 billion taxpayer dollars annually – is devoted to providing health care to sick or drying prisoners.
Although prison budgets and balance sheets vary state-to-state, certain jurisdictions offer striking evidence of the immense cost of medical care for elderly prisoners:
* In Georgia, prisoners age 65 and older command an annual average medical care cost of $8,565 — a huge leap from the annual average of $961 for inmates under age 65, according to a report by the Human Rights Watch.
* In North Carolina, the price tag on medical care for elderly prisoners is four times higher than the cost of the same care for prisoners younger than 50, according to the ACLU report — an inequality that may expand as baby boomers behind bars grey.
* In Michigan, health care for inmates age 80 and older costs prisons as much as $40,000 per person, according to the Human Rights Watch report — nearly the cost of a year of private college tuition.