Should we have Senior Prisons?

Today George Ryan, the former governor of Illinois, is reporting to prison. More specifically, Club Fed aka Federal Prison. He is reporting to serve a 6+ year sentence for racketeering and whatever else they pinned on him. Personally, I think someone in the Feds had it out for him because he cleared Death Row before he left office. That act was certainly controversial to say the least. It would not surprise me if there is some untold story here. Some prosecutor with an agenda dredged up a bunch of stuff and set him up? Ah, the stuff movies are made of.

But I digress. What about George Ryan’s age of 73? How good is it to put him in a prison with a general prison population at his age? Even a 6 year sentence could be a life sentence considering the additional stress that going to prison places on a person. Evidence is pointing to the prison population having an ever increasing percentage of seniors. Aside from the high profile ones we’ve seen like 66 year old Bernard Ebbers serving a 25 year term and 63 year old Conrad Black who will be sentenced in a few weeks, there’s a trend toward older prisoners across the board. Oh and then we have the extreme case of 83 Year old John Rigas (of Adephia) who is in Club Fed until 2020. Do the math there – he’ll likely die in prison.

Aside from the questionable ethics of imprisoning non violent offenders without regard to the time they have left in this life, what about the costs? It’s a fact that seniors have medical issues well beyond what the younger prisoners will have. Prisons have not exactly been outstanding in their health care so how will they deal with the added burden of senior inmates?

If the U.S. is going to keep throwing people in prison and they have to keep building more prisons, should they consider a senior prison where they could specialize in caring for the seniors? Nah …that would make too much sense!

If you would like to drop Mr. Ryan a Card:

GEORGE H RYAN  16627-424
P.O. BOX 1085
OXFORD, WI  53952 

Former Ill. Governor Headed to Prison

George Ryan Prisonbound


1 comment so far

  1. Leland Milton Goldblatt on

    I will remember him (George H Ryan)being called worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize for emptying death row in Illinois when it became clear so many cases were deeply flawed, or for traveling to Cuba to try to engage Fidel Castro.

    One of the finest men I know. He bought peace to the Illinois state house.


    —Leland Milton Goldblatt, Ph.D.
    Distinguished Professor

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