HOT BLAST: The cost of caring for Alabama's prisoners
Oct 30, 2013 | 1431 views |  0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Inmates at Alabama's Tutwiler Prison for women.
Inmates at Alabama's Tutwiler Prison for women.
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The plight of Alabama's prisons is well known in these parts. The state's prisons are woefully overcrowded and under-funded. A remedy has long been needed.

Turns out that Alabama is one of the states that has seen its expenses for inmates' health care skyrocket in recent years. The Washington Post reported today on a Pew study that shows spending on inmate health care rose in 42 of 44 states in the 2000s.

Alabama's costs rose more than 90 percent, according to Pew and The Post.

The Post wrote, "Three factors in particular are driving up state prison health-care costs, according to Pew: aging inmates, a prevalence of physical and mental illness and the costly nature of delivering health care to a prison’s inmates.

"The nation’s elderly prison population is still relatively small, but it’s taken up an increasingly larger share of the total population. In 1999, about 3.4 percent of the prison population was 55 and over. By 2011, it was 8.6 percent."

According to the Montgomery Advertiser, Alabama's spending rose from an inflation-adjusted $39.1 million in 2001 to $88.9 million in 2008.

-- Phillip Tutor

 

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