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Article
Publication date: 27 March 2020

Allan de Guzman, Sean Frances Barredo and Kim Rajah Caillan

Previous studies suggest that the care for elderly prisoners is a growing problem. The emerging phenomenon such as the correctional ageing crisis is an urgent concern that…

Abstract

Purpose

Previous studies suggest that the care for elderly prisoners is a growing problem. The emerging phenomenon such as the correctional ageing crisis is an urgent concern that needs to be collectively and holistically addressed from a multi-sectoral perspective. In a developing country, like the Philippines, where prison congestion is alarming, the need for more empirical investigations that probe into the prison life and services is warranted to better inform penal policy and practice that would improve health outcomes among incarcerated individuals. The purpose of this study is to examine the extent to which depression among Filipino elderly prisoners shape their food choices.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey of 160 Filipino elderly prisoners of age 60 and above from October to November 2018 was conducted using a three-part research instrument, which consists of a personal and nutrition-related checklist, 15-point geriatric depression scale and a set of cards that were ranked and sorted through the balanced incomplete block design.

Findings

Results of the survey were subjected to conjoint analysis and structural equation modeling using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences 24. Interestingly, taste was the most considered attribute (30.765%) while portion size (9.759%) is the least considered by the Filipino elderly prisoners. Notably, depression has a significant positive effect on their food preferences in all attributes except portion size.

Research limitations/implications

This study was limited to two prison settings in the Philippines. Considering the results from the conjoint analysis, strategies can be developed in designing an individualized meal plan suitable for the needs of each elderly prisoner. Also, sizeable government appropriations should be in place to ensure the nutritional quality of food served to aging Filipino prisoners.

Practical implications

Provisions for a pool of nutritionists working hand in hand with other health members would guarantee a prison system that promotes the overall well-being of each prisoner. Further, this study can contribute valuable inputs in the menu cycle practice of prisons in the country. There may be a need to prioritize the nutritional aspect of these vulnerable and deprived groups so as to promote a better quality of life among elderly prisoners. Also, other forms of psychosocial, physical and spiritual health activities extended to elderly prisoners may prevent depressive symptoms.

Originality/value

Conjoint analysis is remarkably gaining prominence in not only the health-care setting (Phillips et al., 2002; Ryan and Farrar, 2000) but also the field of nutrition. It holds a number of unique and practical promises to prison settings.

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. 16 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

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Article
Publication date: 13 September 2010

John Williams

The fastest growing sector of the prison population is older people. Although the numbers are still relatively small (just under 2,500 in 2007), it would seem that the…

Abstract

The fastest growing sector of the prison population is older people. Although the numbers are still relatively small (just under 2,500 in 2007), it would seem that the ‘sameness’ principle within prisons renders older prisoners invisible. The health of older prisoners is a matter of concern ‐ research indicates that you age 10 years faster in prison (Uzoaba, 1998) which can compound the problems that may be associated with ageing. The provision of health and social care do not match those for older people outside of the prison system. This article considers the legal issues surrounding the treatment of older prisoners. It recognises that restrictions on liberty are a component of the prison system; however, it questions whether the consequences of ‘sameness’ infringe the legal rights of older prisons. It recommends a statutory presumption of equivalence of care, which can only be rebutted expressly or by necessary implication.

Details

Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-7794

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Article
Publication date: 12 March 2014

Tina Maschi, Deborah Viola, Mary T. Harrison, William Harrison, Lindsay Koskinen and Stephanie Bellusa

Older adults in prison present a significant health and human rights challenge for the criminal justice system. To date, there is no known study that provides a…

Abstract

Purpose

Older adults in prison present a significant health and human rights challenge for the criminal justice system. To date, there is no known study that provides a comprehensive examination or portrait of older persons in prison. The purpose of this paper is to understand individual, family, system, and community vulnerabilities that can complicate successful community reintegration for these individuals.

Design/methodology/approach

This study provides a cross-sectional, descriptive analysis of biopsychosocial, spiritual, and prison use characteristics associated with a sample of 677 older prisoners, aged 50+, in a state-wide prison system.

Findings

Results indicate the extent of diversity within this population based on demographic, clinical, social, legal profiles, prison service use patterns, and professional and personal contacts.

Research limitations/implications

Due to the diversity within this population, an interdisciplinary approach is needed to address the complex social and health care needs of an aging prison population and to plan for their reentry.

Practical implications

These findings suggest the need for holistic prevention, assessment, and interventions to interrupt the social-structural disparities that foster and support pathways to incarceration and recidivism.

Originality/value

The human rights implications for the current treatment of older adults in prison include providing in-prison treatment that promotes safety, well-being, reconciliation, and seamless bridges between prison and community for older adults and their families. The True Grit Program is presented as an example of a humanistic and holistic approach of such an approach.

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

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Article
Publication date: 23 September 2021

Natasha Ann Ginnivan, Rafal Chomik, Ye In (Jane) Hwang, John Piggott, Tony Butler and Adrienne Withall

The Australian prisoner population has experienced a dramatic increase in the number of older inmates over the past decade, consistent with the greying of the prisoner

Abstract

Purpose

The Australian prisoner population has experienced a dramatic increase in the number of older inmates over the past decade, consistent with the greying of the prisoner population that is being observed worldwide. Reviews suggest the need for further evidence and practice outside of the USA. This paper aims to review and discuss the cost and social implications of the rising health-care needs of this population in Australia.

Design/methodology/approach

A review of international research and policies is presented, as well as the results of basic economic modelling relating to the expected rise in health-care costs of the ageing prisoner population in Australia.

Findings

Taking into consideration the continued rise in incarceration rates, the calculations show that the health costs of prisoners could increase by anywhere between 17% and 90% depending on whether the increase of older prisoners continues as it has in the past decade. These trends are likely to continue over the next decade and will result in higher health costs of prisons under a number of different imprisonment scenarios. Policy responses in Australia have been slow so far, with most initiatives being undertaken in the USA with promising results.

Practical implications

The authors suggest that in the absence of a coordinated policy response, covering a range of interventions, costs will continue to increase, particularly as this population continues to age more rapidly than the general population due to an accumulation of risk factors. Well-conceived interventions would be a worthwhile investment from both financial and social perspectives.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first commentary to acknowledge this rising public health issue and to both review and model its implications for the future.

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

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Article
Publication date: 18 September 2020

Dean Wilkinson and Laura Caulfield

The purpose of this paper is to review and understand what the existing evidence base concludes about the needs of this population. The older prisoner population is…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review and understand what the existing evidence base concludes about the needs of this population. The older prisoner population is growing faster than the older general population and placing a strain on prisons. Much of the existing literature focusses on the health-care needs of, or in-prison initiatives for, older prisoners. Typically, these are responsive and lacking an evidence-based understanding of the characteristics and needs of this group.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents a systematic review of the existing literature on the needs and characteristics of older people in contact with the criminal justice system. After a thorough search and selection process, 21 papers, from 2002 onwards, were included in the final analysis. The review process was structured through (People, Intervention/Exposure, Comparison, Outcome) and reported using (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses).

Findings

The contradictions within the existing evidence base make it difficult to reach firm conclusions about the needs and characteristics of older prisoners. What is clear from the existing research are the relatively high levels of need. There is also some consensus that where older people commit homicide, the victim is likely to be an intimate partner. Overall, there is a need for consistent recording and reporting of characteristics and demographics and more systematic study design.

Originality/value

This paper has highlighted the key findings and limitations in the existing literature. Future research should make use of secondary official data sources to provide a clearer understanding of the characteristics of this group, their routes to prison, their needs and challenges they present.

Details

Journal of Criminal Psychology, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2009-3829

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Article
Publication date: 13 October 2017

Laura Margaret Kelly

The purpose of this paper is to provide an insight into the lived realities of d/Deaf prisoners in England and Wales, and to explore previous claims that they suffer…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an insight into the lived realities of d/Deaf prisoners in England and Wales, and to explore previous claims that they suffer disproportionately during their time in custody.

Design/methodology/approach

For the purposes of this study, a qualitative approach was taken. As part of this, 28 semi-structured interviews were carried out at seven adult male prisons in England with a sample of male hard of hearing/d/Deaf prisoners, and staff members who had worked with them. The interviews were recorded using a Dictaphone, and then transcribed as close to verbatim as possible. From this, the transcriptions were analysed using thematic analysis. In addition to interviews, observations were made at each establishment, and later recorded in a fieldwork journal.

Findings

Findings from the study showed that the way a d/Deaf person experiences prison depends strongly on the way in which they identify with their d/Deafness. However, it was also shown that there is little room for either deafness or Deafness in prison, with severely deaf and culturally and linguistically Deaf prisoners commonly experiencing the pains of imprisonment more severely than their hearing peers as a result of the Prison Service’s inability to accommodate such difference.

Originality/value

This study fused together the fields of Deaf Studies and Prison Studies in a way that had not been done before, considering d/Deafness in prison on both an audiological and cultural level. Moreover, excluding small-scale unpublished undergraduate dissertations, it was the first empirical study about d/Deaf prisoners in England and Wales to carry out face-to-face interviews with these prisoners. Finally, as the most in-depth research is yet to be carried out about these particular prisoners in England and Wales, a greater level of insight was provided than previously available.

Details

Journal of Criminal Psychology, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2009-3829

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Article
Publication date: 11 March 2019

Courtney Field and Vicki Archer

The purpose of this paper is to compare the rates of chronic illness, disability and access to care between older and younger inmates who took part in a large…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare the rates of chronic illness, disability and access to care between older and younger inmates who took part in a large epidemiological study in New South Wales, Australia.

Design/methodology/approach

Data are presented from a cross-sectional study based on a sample of inmates from correctional sites in NSW. The inclusion of results here was guided by the literature with regard to their relevance to older people, and older inmates in particular.

Findings

Results indicate that a higher proportion of older inmates suffer a range of chronic illnesses, with prevalence often many times higher than that of younger inmates. Older inmates are more likely to be classified as disabled and have a disability which impacts their mobility. Older inmates also reported accessing medical services in prison more recently than younger inmates and were more likely to have seen both nurses and general practitioners.

Practical implications

Older inmates appear to be considerably more resource intensive than younger inmates. The increasing proportion of inmates who are classified as older thus poses a pressing challenge to those working in the carceral space and, in particular, those responsible for providing healthcare to incarcerated people.

Originality/value

The impact of aging prisoners on resource demand has yet to be effectively measured. This study provides an important first step towards that goal.

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 March 2019

Nicolas Combalbert, Valérie Pennequin, Claude Ferrand, Moussa Keita and Brigitte Geffray

The purpose of this paper is to assess the level of perceived health and quality of life of elderly prisoners in France, and to see whether there is a link between aging…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess the level of perceived health and quality of life of elderly prisoners in France, and to see whether there is a link between aging, time spent in prison and level of education and scores for perceived health and quality of life.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors’ recruited 138 male prisoners aged 50 and over in seven French prisons. The research protocol comprised a semi-structured interview and two scales.

Findings

The results revealed low levels of perceived health and quality of life among the elderly inmates. They also showed that age was not statistically associated with most of the dimensions of perceived health on the Nottingham Health Profile (NHP), with the exception of poor mobility. By contrast, age was statistically associated with most of the dimensions of quality of life on the WHOQOL-Bref. Time spent in prison was only associated negatively with the “sleep” dimension of the NHP. Emotional reactions were perceived most positively by the inmates with the highest level of education.

Practical implications

It seems particularly important to assess the perceived health and quality of life of elderly prisoners in order to ensure their appropriate treatment and management.

Originality/value

Very few studies have examined the perceived health and quality of life of prisoners, even though this population is particularly vulnerable in terms of physical and mental health.

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

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Article
Publication date: 26 October 2020

Sandra Verhülsdonk, Ann-Kristin Folkerts, Barbara Höft, Tillmann Supprian, Josef Kessler and Elke Kalbe

The purpose of this study is to collect the first empirical data on the cognitive state of elderly prisoners in Germany and to examine associations between cognitive…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to collect the first empirical data on the cognitive state of elderly prisoners in Germany and to examine associations between cognitive function and sociodemographic, clinical and incarceration characteristics.

Design/methodology/approach

All prisoners aged 60 years and older of five prisons in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, were asked to participate. The cognitive screening instruments mini-mental state examination (MMSE) and the DemTect were used to assess global cognition. Executive functions were tested with the trail making test and the frontal-assessment-battery. The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) was used to assess participants’ affective state.

Findings

The sample of this study consisted of 58 prisoners with a mean age of 65.52 years (standard deviation = 6.03); 82.8% are male. Using the MMSE with age- and education-corrected z-scores, 36.9% of the prisoners showed marginal or impaired global cognition scores. Using the DemTect, 41.4% of the prisoners were classified as being cognitively impaired. Up to 40% of the prisoners showed deficits in executive functioning and around 60% of the prisoners showed depressive symptoms. The correlation analysis revealed significant associations between cognitive scores and age (rho = –0.335, p = 0.014), education (rho = 0.309, p = 0.020), sentence duration (rho = 0.409, p = 0.007) and duration of current incarceration (rho = 0.302, p = 0.043). The DemTect total score was significantly associated with the PHQ-9 (rho = –0.335, p = 0.016).

Practical implications

A large group of the prisoners showed a higher prevalence of cognitive dysfunction than that observed in same-age people who are not incarcerated. Taken together, there is an urgent need for an adequate management of older cognitively impaired prisoners including routine cognitive testing and guidelines-oriented treatment of cognitive symptoms.

Originality/value

This study has several strengths. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study examining the cognitive and affective state in a German prison population. The authors considered female and male prisoners, as well as different prison settings, representing a realistic prison sample. The authors used several neuropsychological instruments to get a more detailed insight into the older prisoners’ cognitive status while trying to consider the economy of time and possible attention deficits to prevent dropouts during testing.

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 12 January 2012

Jamie Fellner

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Abstract

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

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