Why Do We Treat Prisoners Better Than Our Elderly?

Having the wonderful wife that I do, she often sends me things that may be worth writing about and this is one of them.  She gleaned these words of wisdom from someone’s post on Facebook.  I often ignore these, but this one got my attention, partially because I once worked in the intensive care section of a nursing home and partially because I am utterly disgusted with our prison system.

The wonderful words of wisdom are:

“Here is some food for thought…We should place the elderly in prisons. They will get a shower a day, video surveillance in case of problems, three meals a day, access to a library, computer, TV, gym, doctor on-site, free medication if needed.”

“Put criminals in nursing homes.  They have cold meals, lights off at 7pm, two showers a week, live in a smaller room and pay rent at $4,000 a month!!!  It’s pretty sad that we treat prisoners better than the elderly.”

I know that prison is not a picnic and poses a number of dangers to men and women, but in many aspects, the words of wisdom are true.  I looked online and found out that in 2008-09, California spent an average of $47,102 per year per inmate.  Now consider the fact that the median household income of 2008 was $52,029.  Most households have two people working to make ends meet.  So it costs nearly as much to care for one prisoner as the average family grosses in a year.

A 2012 report from New York stated that their cost of housing 59,237 prisoners was $3.6 billion which works out to $60,772 per inmate per year.  By 2012, the median household income in the US had fallen to $50,054 dollars.  New York is paying $10,000 more a year to house one inmate than the average American family grosses with two people working.

My dad is 91 and his health is failing.  Last month, my mom and sister looked at putting him into a nursing home as it’s getting harder for my 87 year old mom to care for him at home.  The cost was just over $4,000 per month, so it was pretty close to the words of wisdom above.  That adds up to $48,000 per year.

$48,000 per year from someone who has been a valuable and contributing member of society his whole life compared to $60,772 for someone who violated the law and is supposedly being punished.  My dad spent 6 years in the US Navy, 1940-1946, all during World War II helping to defend the country, and now men and women who committed crimes and gave up their rights to walk the streets of our nation get better treatment at a higher cost than my dad.

The words of wisdom are right, it’s not fair.  Our elderly, many of whom were responsible for building our nation to its greatness, deserve to be better cared for in their later years than prisoners, who in my opinion gave up their rights when they broke the law.

Of course under Obamacare, that won’t be a problem for much longer because many elderly will be denied coverage on a number of health issues and will die earlier than they are now.  That’s their plan – kill them off younger to reduce health costs and prevent them from being a burden on society.

Our values and principles are definitely upside down!



Posted in Economics, Family Tagged with: , , , , ,
  • ArtF

    I have periodically thought about this option as I am getting much older and fixed income is lower while gas, food and medical has gone up. The one caveat is that I would suggest getting into a Federal prison since California is virtually bankrupt and they are a bit more liberal regarding homosexuals, illegals and drug users and smugglers. Yeah, I would try for the Fed Pen.

  • becky

    Have been ever since prisons began allowing criminals TV’s and computer access, eye glasses, medical care, etc etc etc etc etc etc. As far as I have always been concerned they DO give up any right to humane treatment when they take away some other persons right to be safe and secure. Put them back on chain gains with no extra treatment beyond a cot, food and water – AND put that money into the elderly. THEY deserve it. Criminals deserve a boot in their butt, a chain around their neck, and NO frills. Of ANY kind.

  • Father Pearson

    Yes, but, having been in various slammers for pro-life witness, I find political liberty primary. By the way, I’m an 85 year old WWll vet.

  • http://twitter.com/knussel Babsan

    The prisoners assures a vote for Democrats if/when they get out.Seniors are NOT a guaranteed vote for the liberals

  • T Scharbrough

    I agree that our seniors are not getting the care/treatment/love they deserved and that should be changed NOW! Between our prison systems and care of our elderly something does need to changed,like just reverse everything. That is why so many people keeps commiting crimes so they can continue with all the care they can get in prison.If you want to see a sudden change in prison population, just do a reversal between nursing home care and prison care,and I assure you that alot of people will wake up and smell the roses/coffee.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tess.comments Tess Comments

    The elderly have to jump through hoops to get many proceedures done.
    While inmates can get Free sex changes.
    Something is very, very wrong with our systems.
    How about putting the inmates on ObamaCare?

  • Barb Kress

    Assisted Living does not have any state/fed regulations to abide by. Long Term Care (nursing home) is the second most regulated “business” in the country next to nuclear as the number one. AL may be less expensive then LTC, it may also be a stepping stone to “qualify” for LTC. One must be aware of the options and what governs them. Family must always stay involved. Never think that putting someone in a diff living environment is not going to require ongoing involvement of the family. Please be aware of what all of the options are. Do your investigating first. Any concerns…..discuss with facillity management and appropriate state agencies. Landblasting in this manner will not make life any better for individuals in these living accommodations. Dollars do not go far anymore… the services/supplies that support this level of care are VERY COSTLY. It would be interesting to see the expenditures of a facility and where the $$ truly all go. You may be very surprised at the cost (serv and supp) of running a facility. Evaluate the way in which dollars are managed in the US….the gov, banking institutions, the “market” etc etc. think about where greed originates and how it is protected, how it is impacting the country/the world. Sad isn’t it.

  • SheNemo

    You could put him into like a Holiday Inn room, with 2 beds, and free breakfasts, room service if needed. And hire 2 Home Health workers to stay with him. I did this with my parents, cept they stayed in their home, had a husband and wife stay round the clock with them, cooked, cleaned, and were Licensed Care Givers, and it was MUCH cheaper than a nursing home, this way, you KNOW what’s going on. They were happy, as could be when, at the end, they were both in hospital beds, but the couple stayed there and took care of them, and doled out their meds, with knowledge to do so. I checked in almost every day, to make sure all was ok with them. The couple really had little to do, and watched TV most of the time. So, their money was easy. My aunt in Fl, in 80’s, says when hubby dies, if 1st, that she will move into a Holiday Inn room, and live for the rest of her life, and be out most of the time, with her kids and grands. She is serious about this too. I told her she could live on a cruise ship too, lol, really, alllll that food, room service, doctor on board, games, ppl, diff. places each day. It could be fun, until you get to where you need help around the clock. Good luck!

  • jsmithcsa

    The difficulty here is that this is a local or state issue, if that. This is not a federal issue, nor should it be. Comparing a state-run (and thus taxpayer funded) prison to a privately funded old folks home is comparing apples and oranges. I do not desire to be cruel, but it is not my responsibility as a taxpayer to pay for your grandpa’s healthcare or old folks home stay — that’s your responsibility. If your argument is that we (the taxpayers) are spending too much on prisoners, I’m with you. If you’re arguing that we (the taxpayers) are not paying enough for grandpa’s healthcare, I will disagree and ask you to point out to me which article in the Constitution allows the feds to rob me to pay for that. Within your state or local area, if you want to allow the government to collect taxes to pay for old folks homes, feel free to do so.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mrs.jc1 Mrs. James Clemons

    I have 4 relatives living in the nursing home, and their costs I am sure are very expensive, of which I am having responsibility to pay for one of them. I know they get personal and much needed care on a moment by moment needed basis. A nurse is responsible for each assigned floor wing and they are there for their shift. They do have assistants for which they are greatly in need of. They do get daily showers, food, and meds. and are seen by the dr. on a needed basis. The food is designed for their ability to eat, which has more than one level due to diet problems and health problems, i.e. restrictions do to health issues. They are kept as comfortable as possible, and work long hrs. i.e. the nurses and they are exposed to whatever is going around cold wise, and still are at risk for exposing the patients as well. I wouldn’t want my family members in any prison at all. How do you know the food is hot ? Do they have a kitchen on each floor ? For those who can make it to the ‘cafeteria’ as such they can choose their food. The patients for those who can take regular food have it served to them at their tables. Others have help with their meals if they can’t eat it .

  • Fakir Smith

    The elderly are cash cows. They milked my grandfather out of all his possessions, tossed him in a home and sent a big FAT bill to Medicare. He fought in WWII! It’s disgusting. Illegals and freeloading baby factories get more. This country has lost it’s moral compass. And we are all to blame. We allow it. We go home to our TVs and beer ignoring the decline of this country. We let our kids hide away in their rooms with x boxes refusing to raise them and give them the guidance they need. We have smart phones with all the worlds knowledge inside yet many – far too many, are MORONS. We can’t treat each other right. Raise kids. Take marriage vows seriously. Work. We are a nation of lazy freeloading nitwits watching our own elected government destroy us from within. It shouldn’t surprise anyone we treat prisoners better than the elderly.

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