Aging Out of Crime

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Aging Out Of Crime

Peterson, Lori

January 30, 2009

"Aging out of crime" is a term used to describe the fact that as a person ages, the individual is less likely to commit crime. Medical care for an aging prison population is increasing the costs of incarceration. Considering both of these facts, should the state consider releasing inmates who have "aged out" or reached a minimum age of 60 years old? By doing so, could money be saved at the state level and make room for new inmates coming into custody? Adopt a position either for or against releasing geriatric inmates from custody. What are the risks? What are the benefits? Defend your position. Include any additional information that you believe to be important in making this decision. This was a very hard decision for me to make as there were so many pro’s and con’s to consider but after some soul searching I have to say I don’t agree with the aging out theory. The age-crime curve suggests that people “age-out” of crime and assumes that the aging out process continues by the time behind bars. What if that time behind bars is just considered a “time-out”? And who is to say that their time behind bars didn’t increase their desire to commit said crimes. After all you get a few criminals together in a room for a while and they will “shop talk” trade secrets and ideas. There is evidence to prove that people who are sentenced to prison have a higher rate of new arrests than those with similar criminal records who do not get incarcerated in the prison system (Arnold and Boisvert, 2007) Granted the cost of health care is increasing but so would the cost of a retrial for a new conviction. Our prison system today is a mess it’s more like a school for criminals than a rehabilitation facility. “Do the crime, do the time”, a slogan we have heard for a long time now. But what exactly are we doing? Are we really helping the criminal or just locking them away from society? There are more better...
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