How to Handle the Aging Population in Prisons

The prison population is going grey. According to Frank J. Porporino, Ph.D., The issue of managing the elderly in prisons has emerged as one of the most significant and unplanned-for crises in corrections. It is essential to address the complications of inmates becoming weaker physically and mentally.

The segment of inmates aged 50 or more was 13% in 2011. That’s is an increase of 5 to 8 times the number in 1990. In only a few years between 2005 and 2010, the prison population older than 65 grew at 94 times the rate of the overall prison population. The numbers are, unfortunately, staggering.

While the issue of aging populations in prison is complex, teams at Norix have continued to innovate in ways that can help. As the leading intense-use furniture manufacturer, the challenge of how to focus our efforts to maintain this segment became clear. From a furniture standpoint, Norix determined specific issues in which a positive impact can be made:

  • Bone and joint-related disorders such as arthritis and osteoporosis
  • Increased problems with heart disease, due to decreased amount of activity
  • Age-related changes in the nervous system

With these issues at hand, designers and administrators are changing their approach in considering furniture options. The shift in selecting furniture for aging populations doesn’t exclude traditional concerns for furniture in corrections. Concerns include:

  • Furniture must be safe (tamper-resistant, ganging side-to-side, ballast, etc)
  • Furniture must be easy to clean
  • Furniture must be dependable

With these factors in mind, many Norix options stand out when it comes to furniture selection, such as the Hondo Nuevo high-back chair.  

The Hondo Nuevo has been a go-to seating option in the justice furniture market since its introduction. The high-back chair option specifically allows for a more significant amount of support and hand over ankle positioning for those who may be suffering from joint-related disorders. Specially designed ergonimics allow for increased blood circulation while seated.

RockSmart is another excellent choice for any corrections setting. Specifically, for the aging population, a modern take on the classic rocking chair is not only comforting but allows for modest amounts of activity while seated. 

Norix offers the most extensive collection of furniture designed and built for the Justice market. Prisons and jails are made safer for staff and occupants with the leading technology and innovation from Norix. For more information, visit Norix.com.

MANAGING THE ELDERLY IN CORRECTIONS Frank J. Porporino, Ph.D.

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