Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Older Prisoners Denied Social Security

Mother Jones - Not long ago I described the plight of the growing numbers of older prisoners filling up the country’s prisons and jails. They receive poor health care and are subject to any number of cruel and inhuman punishments—people with bad arthritis are required to climb into upper bunks to sleep; it's next to impossible for inmates in wheelchairs to access parts of prisons available to younger people, like baths. Among the worst sights described to me by a medical consultant were sick and often older inmates of an Alabama women’s prison who were forced to get out of bed at 3 a.m. and stand in lines to obtain medicine.

Another major issue faced by older prisoners is that they do not receive Social Security from the fund they paid into for years before being convicted of a crime. Lois Ahrens, who runs the indispensable Real Cost of Prisons Project, alerted me to the situation of David Hinman, a prisoner in Iowa. Now 65 years old, he contributed to Social Security for years while in the free world. He is not eligible for parole for a number of years

Read more....

This article describes many of the problems faced by the elderly while they are incarcerated. But denying them social security benefits is one of those WTF moments. Inmates do need money while incarcerated, but that is beside the point. If any person paid into the system, then they are entitled to draw upon it when they are eligible. It does seem that the federal government is looking for ways to avoid fulfilling its promise.

No comments: