Because of this, states are finding ways to care for their older inmates. In California, for example, authorities are creating a dementia unit at the main prison medical facility in Stockton.
“We have identified a specific need for a specialized unit for our dementia population and are in the very early phases of concept development,” Elizabeth Gransee, spokesperson for California Correctional Health Care Services, told Reuters.
Joseph Bick, chief medical executive at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville, told the news service, “We and all of the jails and prisons around the country need to be able to do a better job with individuals who have cognitive impairment.”
Prisons across the country are facing similar challenges, and the economic toll is costly. Reuters reports that medical care for inmates has reached $3 billion annually. Reuters photographer Lucy Nicholson visited a couple of California prisons recently to try to document how that state is dealing with the challenges presented by an aging prison population. Here’s what she saw.
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