The Prison Service is said to be unsuited, at present, to meet the needs of an ageing inmate population with chronic age-related conditions. It needs a strategy to handle growing numbers of older prisoners. Prison staff generally need to be better prepared to manage age-related conditions, including dementia. The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (PPO) investigates this problem and offers recommendations.
Dementia incidence within prisons is unknown but likely to exceed several hundred. The Mental Health Foundation estimates that approximately 5% of prisoners over 55 years old may be affected by dementia. Inmates aged over 60 are the fastest-growing demographic in the prison population, having increased by 125% between 2004 and 2014. The Ministry of Justice estimates the prison population aged over 60 may increase from 4,100 in 2015 to 5,500 by 2020.
Prison staff need to respond to dementia as more older prisoners in jail, says ombudsman. London: Prisons and Probation Ombudsman, July 27th 2016.
This relates to:
Dementia. Learning Lessons Bulletin: Fatal Incidents Investigations, Issue 11. London: Prisons and Probation Ombudsman, July 28th 2016.
Moll, A. (2013). Losing track of time: dementia and the ageing prison population: treatment challenges and examples of good practice. London: Mental Health Foundation (MHF), February 1st 2013.
Possibly also of interest:
Prisoner mental health: learning from PPO investigations. London: Prisons and Probation Ombudsman for England and Wales, January 1st 2016.