Growing old behind bars: Health profiles of the older male inmate population in the United States Journal Article uri icon



  • OBJECTIVE: This study examines patterns of multimorbidity among elderly male inmates across four domains of health (chronic medical conditions, drug- and alcohol-related diseases, impairments, and mental and behavioral health) to understand the complex health care needs of this growing population. METHOD: We use the 2004 Survey of Inmates in State Correctional Facilities and Latent Class Regression Analysis to examine 22 health problems among 1,026 men aged 50 and older. RESULTS: There are four groups of elderly male inmates: (a) relatively healthy (45.1%), (b) substance users with behavioral health issues (23.4%), (c) chronic unhealthy with impairments and violence/injury (23.6%), and (d) very unhealthy across all domains (7.9%). These groups have unique sociodemographic background and incarceration history characteristics. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates the complexity of health for elderly inmates. Prison health should continue to be monitored to aid correctional and community health programs in understanding clinical risks, exposures, and health care needs for this population.

publication date

  • January 1, 2016

has restriction

  • green

Date in CU Experts

  • August 21, 2020 4:31 AM

Full Author List

  • Boardman J; Nowotny KM; Cepeda A; James-Hawkins L

author count

  • 4

Other Profiles

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 935

end page

  • 956


  • 28


  • 6