Free Elderly Prisoners (Consider Alternatives)

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   I would like to propose the release of elderly prisoners (70+ yrs old) depending on the crime, how recent the crime, and other factors. There has been a long standing issue in America of spending more money on the prison system than the education system. By releasing the elderly prisoners, we could reallocate those funds to the education system. Not to mention, that at some point in the sentence of the elderly prisoner, it becomes very costly to deal with geriatric ailments. At what point do we realize, we are wasting money on imprisoning certain if not the majority of the elderly prisoners. 

   I don't suggest that this will be an easy task to undertake but small committees could compose a checklist of eligibility and reveiw the files of each elderly prisoner. The committee would need to review how likely the prisoner is to repeat the offense and their ability. I'm not suggesting releasing elderly serial killers. Moreover, I'm not suggesting the release of someone middle-aged who recently committed a crime. I'm suggesting an honest and unbiased review of the prisoner, the crime(s), their mental state, and whether or not it was an isolated event. I mean why keep a prisoner if he/she is 72 with arthritis, dementia, and requires a bevy of medication who committed a robbery in their youth?

   A big question you may have is where would they go? They could be released to their families. Or, we could evaluate the possibility and cost of creating special living communities at the fraction of the cost of incarceration. Also, the prisoners could obtain small employment opportunities within their abilities to keep them busy and aid the overall costs of the program.

   I know this is a very complex situation and likely to evoke many different emotions and opinions but I think it is worth initiating the discussion. I think it is worth considering and evaluating the factors to determine if it is possible. There is no clear cut solution but it is worth combining the great minds of America to evaluate and devise less costly alternatives. Please, sign and share the petition if you agree.

   Furthermore, if you would like to read about this subject more thoroughly, you can visit the website below. I am not associated with the article but it is worth reading to obtain more detailed information. 

 https://www.hrw.org/report/2012/01/27/old-behind-bars/aging-prison-population-united-states

If we can reallocate the money from the funds of prisons, we can prevent the future youths from entering into a life of crime by using that money to improve the education system. Below is an article about the high rate of imprisonment among high school dropouts.

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2009/10/09/education/09dropout.html 

 



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