California prison inmate Richard Arriola (below) does not remember the digestion problems that drove him to the doctor on a recent morning, or details of the conviction for child molestation that sent him to prison at age 88.
1 / 14
California Medical Facility prison in Vacaville.
Throughout the United States, states are grappling with similar challenges as prisoners age. Inmate medical costs amount to about $3 billion per year nationwide, according to a recent report by the state of Georgia, where medical care for inmates over the age of 65 costs $8,500 per year, compared to $950 for those who are younger, the report showed.
Nationwide, 44 percent of inmates over the age of 50 have disabilities, compared to 27 percent of prisoners overall, a 2015 report by the Department of Justice shows. About 20 percent have cognitive disabilities, the report showed.