Joseph Mannina, 96

An aging prison population

Peace & Justice

A life sentence takes on new meaning for prisoners serving time well into their 60s, 70s, 80s, and even 90s. Hearing loss and dementia make it difficult for prisoners to comprehend or obey rules. The need for wheelchairs, walkers, and canes makes navigating the small, tight space configurations of most prisons very difficult. For the oldest prisoners, even the most basic activities, such as walking at a steady pace or dressing oneself, are difficult without assistance—something not every prison has the budget or staff to provide.

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About the author

Laura Whitaker

Laura Whitaker is a former associate editor at U.S. Catholic. She currently works at a children’s publishing house in Chicago.

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