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Later life behind bars: unlocking aged care in custody

The number of aged inmates in custody is rising, but what strategies are in place to provide a safe environment for this growing cohort?

While most aged and frail inmates are housed in mainstream jails, some correctional centres contain areas set aside exclusively for older inmates.

Offender Management & Programs Corrective Services NSW documents show that inmates who are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and 45 years or older, and Non-Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander who are 55 years or older, are eligible for identification as aged and frail for the purposes of placement and the provision of relevant services and programs.

Corrective Services NSW (CSNSW) director of state-wide services, Dr Phillip Snoyman, said CSNSW uses a multidisciplinary approach for elderly inmates where they are screened for services at the commencement of custody and, where identified, support programs are co-designed with the offender.

He said the team must balance the rights and needs of the older inmates with the needs of the broader inmate population, as well as safety and security.

We spoke to Snoyman to hear more about the ways Australia approaches aged care in custody.

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