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Title: The health, social and custodial needs of older men in prison
Author: Hayes, Adrian Jonathan
ISNI:       0000 0004 2688 2179
Awarding Body: The University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2010
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The UK population, as in nearly every country in the world, is experiencing a period of unprecedented aging. This along with apparently harsher sentencing has created a rise in the number of older prisoners; those aged 60 and over are now the fastest-growing age group in the England and Wales prison system. Research has demonstrated that older prisoners have increased physical and mental health problems, and a different profile of social and custodial needs within the prison environment. However, studies have yet to demonstrate a clear age cut-off defining the older prisoner. The visibility of the older prisoner has been raised in the UK; several high-profile government reports have referred to, and made recommendations towards, this group. A content analysis reported here showed that Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons have increasingly judged prisons on the care provided to the older population. Inspectorate reports also revealed that there have been positive developments In this area for many prisons. This study aimed to examine the needs of older men in prison. A total of 262 men aged 50 and over were interviewed in 12 North West prisons. Over 95% of those over 60 had at least one chronic physical health problem, and 53% were diagnosed with a mental disorder, similar to previous research. A small group had functional needs, but these were often unmet in prison. Most felt older prisoners should be located separately to younger prisoners, and those on dedicated elderly wings had a better quality of life as well as having social needs addressed. Comparison of need across five-year age bands showed similar physical health across the sample, but poorer mental health and quality of life in younger groups, particularly those aged 50 to 54. This may be due to lack of access to additional services for older prisoners, fewer protective factors of being seen as an 'elderly prisoner', or generational differences. A number of suggestions were made for improvements to the care and management of older prisoners, including the use of age 50 as a cut-off for services, development of chronic disease management clinics, engagement with old-age psychiatry, and formalised provision of social care. A national strategy published by HM Prison Service and the Department of Health would be needed to ensure appropriate action is taken and older prisoners' needs addressed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available