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Last updated 5:07AM ET
February 27, 2021
Aging Inmates, Healthcare Costs Grow
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - According to a report done for the Southern Legislative Conference, Alabama has three-thousand-588 elderly inmates, a 193 percent increase from the one-thousand-223 elderly inmates in the state in 1997. The total inmate population in the state increased 29 percent over the same period. The SLC defined elderly prisoners as those 50 or older for its study, which was released last week. Alabama spent about 20 million dollars a year on health care for prisoners in the mid-1990s, but that number rose to more than 50 million last year. The state has a 300-bed prison in Hamilton that's exclusively for aged and infirm prisoners, but it can accommodate only a fraction of the state's elderly prisoners. The report attributed the rise in older inmates to an aging population and strict sentencing laws that keep criminals in prison longer. Only Louisiana and Missouri had bigger increases than Alabama. © Copyright 2021, APR - Alabama Public Radio