Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Gen Intern Med. 2010 Oct;25(10):1038-44. doi: 10.1007/s11606-010-1416-8. Epub 2010 Jun 8.

Coming home: health status and homelessness risk of older pre-release prisoners.

Author information

  • 1Division of Geriatrics, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA. brie.williams@ucsf.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Older adults comprise an increasing proportion of the prison and homeless populations. While older age is associated with adverse post-release health events and incarceration is a risk factor for homelessness, the health status and homelessness risk of older pre-release prisoners are unknown. Moreover, most post-release services are geared towards veterans; it is unknown whether the needs of non-veterans differ from those of veterans.

OBJECTIVE:

To assess health status and risk of homelessness of older pre-release prisoners, and to compare veterans with non-veterans.

DESIGN/PARTICIPANTS:

Cross-sectional study of 360 prisoners (≥ 55 years of age) within 2 years of release from prison using data from the 2004 Survey of Inmates in State and Federal Correctional Facilities.

MAIN MEASURES:

Veteran status, health status (based on self-report), and risk of homelessness (homelessness before arrest).

KEY RESULTS:

Mean age was 61 years; 93.8% were men and 56.5% were white. Nearly 40% were veterans, of whom 77.2% reported likely VA service eligibility. Veterans were more likely to be white and to have obtained a high school diploma or GED. Overall, 79.1% reported a medical condition and 13.6% reported a serious mental illness. There was little difference in health status between veterans and non-veterans. Although 1 in 12 prisoners reported a risk factor for homelessness, the risk factors did not differ according to veteran status.

CONCLUSIONS:

Older pre-release prisoners had a high burden of medical and mental illness and were at risk for post-release homelessness regardless of veteran status. Reentry programs linking pre-release older prisoners to medical and psychiatric services and to homelessness prevention programs are needed for both veterans and non-veterans.

PMID:
20532651
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2955468
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for Springer Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk