Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Elderly Prisoners
The change in proportion of older persons behind bars supports the fact that various countries are entering into aging society. This social phenomenon makes them in need of reviewing the treatment of elderly inmates that has been overlooked for a long time as they represent a minority group in terms of numbers inside the prisons. There are many occasions that their needs and requirements, which are different from the general population, cannot be fulfilled. Even in the cases that they are adequately responded, these must depend on the degree of understanding of such real needs. As such, it is necessary to establish a set of proper standards on the treatment of this particular group of prisoners.
One of the key standards is a preparation for prisoners to become elderly persons. To do this, they should be properly prepared for adaptation to age-related changes and life transitions. Similarly, the newly admitted prisoners who are senior should be guided on how to adapt to environment and life behind bars as well as their sentence plan until the completion of imprisonment term. As for to-be-released elderly prisoners, they must be provided with the intensive pre-release program to strengthen the ties with their family and community, to return them to society by not being a burden to anyone, and to equip them with all essential skills, including being self-reliant with dignity, health preparation, vocational training, adjustment to life change, prevention and escape from possible dangers, fostering relationship with people, and attitude change. These aspects are crucial for preparing them to return to society as a decent elderly person who has dignity and can continue performing self – development.