Research Summary to the Texas Legislature on Elderly Prisoners and Medical Costs

September 30, 2020 – Students in the Civil Rights Clinic along with Helen Gaebler, Senior Research Attorney with the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law, sent a letter to a subcommittee of the Texas House of Representatives. The letter, provided in response to a request for information, summarized research and data showing that prisoners age 50+ are a growing segment of the Texas prison population, and they have more medical needs that result in significantly higher healthcare costs. The letter explained that expanded use of MRIS compassionate release to release more elderly prisoners would reduce healthcare costs without any risk to public safety, since research shows that criminogenic risk reduces drastically after age 50.