Older person's hand being held by carer

Background

Prisoner populations nationally and internationally are aging; a trend which is echoed in Western Australia. While older prisoners can offer a stabilising influence within a prison setting, an aging prison population compounds resource challenges. This is because older prisoners are more likely to have poorer physical and mental health and require higher levels of support …

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Empty unmade hospital bed in shadow

Key findings

The prison population is aging The number of older prisoners in Western Australia has doubled in the last ten years. And prisoners on life and indeterminate sentences are contributing to the overall aging population as they grow old in custody. But this is not unique to Western Australia. Prisoners across the country are getting older, …

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Vector image of graph with icon older person walking up the graph columns

Conclusion

The Department of Justice has some positive plans to address the increasing number of older male prisoners in Western Australia, particularly those who have high needs. However, it does not have a strategic framework or specific policy for management and treatment of older prisoners that can drive these plans.

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Wheelchair and walking frame mobility aides

Recommendations

Recommendation 1 – Create a strategic framework or policy specific to the age-related needs of older prisoners Recommendation 2 – Ensure all staff who interact with older prisoners are trained in age-related physical and mental health decline Recommendation 3 – Ensure a balanced approach to the ligature minimisation program so accessibility adjustments and aides can …

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