It's a growing issue for America's huge prison system, as more inmates than ever are aging and dying behind bars.
Here in New York, hundreds of sick and dying inmates navigate the compassionate release system every year, but very few actually make it out of prison.
And for those inmates who die behind bars, prison officials offer them hospice care. As Natasha Haverty reports, those men and women are supported and comforted in their final days by fellow inmates. Go to full article
Nov 07, 2013 — This year, North Country Public Radio has been looking in-depth at the growth of the prison industry here in our region, across New York and around the country.
Over the last four decades, we've seen the number of men and women behind bars soar--many serving long mandatory sentences for low-level crimes.
And one side-effect of those tough-on-crime policies today is that the number of elderly inmates is surging--growing by almost eighty percent from 2000 through 2009.
Prison officials across the US are struggling to sort out what that means, how we think about and care for inmates who grow old and die in our prisons.
In part one of our investigative report, Natasha Haverty found that despite recent reforms to the system, many terminally ill inmates are forced to remain behind bars even when they no longer appear to be a threat to society. Even some prison officials think the process for allowing inmates to die at home needs fixing. Go to full article
Oct 19, 2010 — Over the past few months we've been bringing you stories about Vermonters who are "greening the afterlife." Home burial and other do-it-yourself methods are legal in Vermont.
It's different in New York State. Today, we hear from a man who dealt with death on both sides of Lake Champlain - and found that different laws made for a very different experience. Angela Evancie has more in this, Part IV of the series.
(Angela Evancie is working with NCPR this year as part of a Compton Mentor Fellowship.) Go to full article