JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A prison in Missouri’s capital city now has a geriatric wing, as state officials confront an increasingly elderly inmate population.
The “enhanced care unit” opened on January 1 at the Jefferson City Correctional Center. The 36-bed unit is designed as a miniature nursing home for elderly convicts in wheelchairs or those struggling with dementia.
Prisoners older than 50 represented 6 percent of Missouri state inmates in 1998. That figure increased to 15 percent a decade later.
The Columbia Missourian reports that state officials plan to open similar units in five more state prisons and eventually build a separate prison hospital for elderly inmates.
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