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CALIFORNIA-AGING/
RTX69XMK
June 19, 2018
California prison inmate Richard Arriola does not remember the digestion problems that drove him to the...
Stockton, UNITED STATES
The Wider Image: Caring for California's aging prisoners
California prison inmate Richard Arriola does not remember the digestion problems that drove him to the doctor on a recent morning, or details of the conviction for child molestation that sent him to prison at age 88. Arriola is one of about 18,400 inmates over the age of 55 in California prisons, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. It is a swelling population that has led authorities to take the first steps toward creating a dementia unit at the state's main prison medical facility in the San Joaquin Valley city of Stockton, Reuters has learned. The wing would mark a shift from California's earlier efforts to treat prisoners with cognitive decline, relying on inmate volunteers and a modest staff to help them rather than a more expensive medical unit. Reuters visited two California prisons recently to look at the challenges states face, as improved medical care, long sentences from tougher crime laws, and a steady increase of older adults entering prison has contributed to an extraordinary rise of elderly inmates. In California, seven percent of the state's 130,000 prisoners were over the age of 60 in 2016, the most recent year for which data is available, compared to just 1 percent 20 years earlier, according to a report by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Throughout the United States, states are grappling with similar challenges as prisoners age. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson SEARCH "NICHOLSON AGING" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY. Matching text: CALIFORNIA-AGING/
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