AGING AND DYING IN PRISON An Investigation into the Experiences of Older Individuals in Federal Custody (2019)
The Correctional Investigator Canada and Canadian Human Rights Commission
July 10, 2019
Description / Summary
Prisons were never intended to be nursing homes, hospices, or long-term care facilities. Yet increasingly in Canada, they are being required to fulfill those functions. The proportion of older individuals in federal custody (those 50 years of age and older) is growing. They now account for 25% of the federal prison population (3,534 individuals 50+; 3,432 men and 102 women of a total prison population of 14,004). This demographic has increased by 50% over the last decade alone. Rising correctional health care costs, palliative care, and higher incidence of chronic disease reflect, at least in part, the impacts of a population that is aging behind bars.
The findings of this investigative report show that CSC’s treatment of older individuals in federal custody does not respect their human rights; is not justified in terms of institutional security or public safety; is inconsistent with the administration of lawful sentences imposed by courts, and; is unnecessarily costly to Canadians.