New 'JUST' Aging Shadow Report on the 'State' of US Compassionate and Geriatric Release Laws

posted Apr 24, 2015, 7:59 AM by BeTheEvidence TinaMaschi   [ updated Apr 24, 2015, 8:04 AM ]


Be the Evidence International in Collaboration with International CURE

Have Released A New Just Aging’ Shadow Report Entitled: 

Analysis of United States Compassionate and Geriatric Release Laws:

Towards a Rights-Based Response for Diverse Elders and Their Families and Communities


The purpose of this report was to conduct a content analysis of the laws and regulations pertaining to the early release or furlough of incarcerated people within the United States in connection to advanced age and/or illness. The review of 52 federal and state corrections systems (50 states, Washington D.C, and Federal Corrections) demonstrate 47 have some legal procedure or precedent for incarcerated people or their families to petition for early release based on advanced age or health. Five corrections systems (e.g.. Illinois, Massachusetts, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Utah) do not have explicit legal mechanisms for early release, and therefore there is no obvious legal pathway, with a clear set of actions, to acquire early release for incarcerated people in these jurisdictions based on health or advanced age.

Among the 47 systems with early release or furlough, some common circumstances were observed that helped to determine release criteria. These areas of consideration include, but are not limited to: type of crime committed, level of incapacity or illness, anticipated survival time, a clearly-detailed process for application and/or appeal, level of supervision or support in place upon release, and potential impact or opinion of the victim and/or their family. Though there is some consistency in the criteria considered for early release, there is little consistency across systems in which distinct processes assess and determine advanced age or failing health.  As the prison population in the US grows, and the cost to incarcerate is impacted by medical care, it is important to understand if and how various systems address the likelihood of treating incarcerated people who are older and/or who have a serious or terminal illness.

This content analysis prompts additional questions and offers guidance on how human rights standards can be used to construct policies, laws, and practice that respect and honor the dignity of the person, promote the political, civil, social, economic, and cultural rights of all citizens, and ensure nondiscrimination, transparency, and accountability on the part of governments.  Future research, evaluation, and monitoring recommendations should include an assessment of the following: (1) the extent to which existing policies meet human rights standards; (2) how frequently incarcerated people are released following the submission of a request for early release and whether such requests monitored; (3) the nature of the barriers within each system that inhibit the development and operation of a consistent and orderly review process; (4) the attitudes of the public and lawmakers concerning  early release for eligible incarcerated persons and the ways in which they influence the development and/or amendment  of laws; (5) whether  cost of care should be a consideration for release; (6) how, if at all, wishes of the families of victims and incarcerated persons should be taken into consideration; and (7)  the most successful supports for incarcerated persons post-release? 

Treatment of the aging and ailing population within prisons constitutes a moral, economic, social, legal, and human rights issue.  Therefore it is important to understand how aging and ailing incarcerated people are perceived by ourselves and within the prison system before communities can meaningfully respond to their aging, seriously ill, and dying members and offer support to their families.  




New Publication: The Social Determinants of Health and Justice and the Aging in Prison Crisis: A Call for Human Rights Action

posted Jun 14, 2014, 1:17 PM by BeTheEvidence TinaMaschi   [ updated Jun 14, 2014, 1:18 PM ]

The Social Determinants of Health and Justice and the Aging in Prison Crisis: A Call for Human Rights Action

Tina Maschi and  Ronald H. Aday

Published: April 14, 2014 
Download for FREE at:

The  rapid  growth  of  the  incarceration  of  aging  people  in  prison  across  the  globe  is 
particularly problematic in the United States, which has the largest incarceration rate per capita. 
This papers examines the aging in prison crisis through the lens of the social determinants of 
health, well-being, and justice. Case studies and promising practices are reviewed to assist in a 
coordinated human rights based response to address the aging in prison crisis at the grassroots, 
national, and international levels.

Keywords: human rights, incarceration, prison, aging, the rights of older persons, social 
determinants of health

Family Caregiving Summit-April 30, 2014

posted May 2, 2014, 9:47 AM by BeTheEvidence TinaMaschi   [ updated May 2, 2014, 9:48 AM ]

Visit the link to my interview at the Family Caregiving Summit that BTEP cosponsored at NYAM on 4/30. Please feel free to 'share the care!"

NOFSW Annual Conference 2014

posted Apr 11, 2014, 3:51 PM by BeTheEvidence TinaMaschi   [ updated Apr 11, 2014, 3:56 PM ]

Family Caregiving and Careers in Aging-See Event and Information Below

posted Apr 9, 2014, 3:45 PM by BeTheEvidence TinaMaschi   [ updated Apr 9, 2014, 3:53 PM ]

National Organization of Forensic Social Work Conference 2014

posted Apr 8, 2014, 11:06 AM by BeTheEvidence TinaMaschi   [ updated Apr 9, 2014, 3:33 PM ]

Registration and sponsorship information is now available for the 2014 NOFSW conference. Download the flier below. For more information, contact Tina Maschi at or Paul Brady at or go to:

Careers in Aging Research, Practice, and Advocacy

posted Apr 8, 2014, 10:50 AM by BeTheEvidence TinaMaschi   [ updated Apr 8, 2014, 11:01 AM ]

 It is Careers in Aging Week! Find out more on how you can get involved! Download information below. For more information, contact Tina Maschi, PhD, GSA Ambassador for Fordham University, New York at 

NEW BTEP PUBLICATION: Bridging community and prison for older adults: invoking human rights and elder and intergenerational family justice

posted Mar 19, 2014, 6:28 AM by BeTheEvidence TinaMaschi   [ updated Mar 19, 2014, 6:32 AM ]

Bridging community and prison for older adults: invoking human rights and elder and intergenerational family justice (article downloadable below)

Title:Bridging community and prison for older adults: invoking human rights and elder and intergenerational family justice
Author(s):Tina Maschi, (Associate Professor, based at Graduate School of Social Service, Fordham University, New York, New York, USA), Deborah Viola, (Associate Professor and the Director, based at Department of Health Policy & Management, New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York, USA), Mary T. Harrison, (Correctional Psychologist based at True Grit Program, Nevada Department of Corrections, Reno, Nevada, USA), William Harrison, (True Grit Program, Nevada Department of Corrections, Reno, Nevada, USA), Lindsay Koskinen, (Doctoral Student, based at Graduate School of Social Service, Fordham University, New York, New York, USA), Stephanie Bellusa, (True Grit Program, Nevada Department of Corrections, Reno, Nevada, USA)
Citation:Tina Maschi, Deborah Viola, Mary T. Harrison, William Harrison, Lindsay Koskinen, Stephanie Bellusa, (2014) "Bridging community and prison for older adults: invoking human rights and elder and intergenerational family justice", International Journal of Prisoner Health, Vol. 10 Iss: 1, pp.55 - 73
Keywords:Ageing in prisonCorrectional health careCriminal justice systemElder justiceElderly and prisonHuman rightsPost-release carePrisonSocial justice
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/IJPH-04-2013-0017 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:The study was funded by the John A. Hartford Foundation and the Gerontological Society of America for a Geriatric Social Work Faculty Scholars Award (Principal Investigator: Dr Tina Maschi).

Purpose – Older adults in prison present a significant health and human rights challenge for the criminal justice system. To date, there is no known study that provides a comprehensive examination or portrait of older persons in prison. The purpose of this paper is to understand individual, family, system, and community vulnerabilities that can complicate successful community reintegration for these individuals.

Design/methodology/approach – This study provides a cross-sectional, descriptive analysis of biopsychosocial, spiritual, and prison use characteristics associated with a sample of 677 incarcerated adults, aged 50+, in a state-wide prison system.

Findings – Results indicate the extent of diversity within this population based on demographic, clinical, social, legal profiles, prison service use patterns, and professional and personal contacts.

Research limitations/implications – Due to the diversity within this population, an interdisciplinary approach is needed to address the complex social and health care needs of an aging prison population and to plan for their reentry.

Practical implications – These findings suggest the need for holistic prevention, assessment, and interventions to interrupt the social-structural disparities that foster and support pathways to incarceration and recidivism.

Originality/value – The human rights implications for the current treatment of older adults in prison include providing in-prison treatment that promotes safety, well-being, reconciliation, and seamless bridges between prison and community for older adults and their families. The True Grit Program is presented as an example of a humanistic and holistic approach of such an approach.

NYAM Family Caregiving Summit 4/30/14

posted Feb 12, 2014, 3:33 PM by BeTheEvidence TinaMaschi   [ updated Feb 12, 2014, 3:34 PM ]

NYAM: Free Family Caregiving Summit

The New York Academy of Medicine presents Family Caregiving Summit - "Name It; Know Its Many Faces"

Date: April 30, 2014
Time: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Location: The New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street, New York, NY 10029

Sponsored by: The EmblemHealth New York City Partnership for Family Caregiving Corps. Held in conjunction with Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service: Be the Evidence Project 

Join us for a day of “mind, body and spirit” enrichment.

The family caregiving summit is for you if:
• You are a caregiver or a corporation interested in addressing your employee’s caregiving issues
• A member of an organization that supports caregiving
• A care recipient
• Someone interested in family caregiving issues

Why business Leaders Care About Family Caregiving:

For nearly 66 million Americans, the workday doesn't end at 5 pm. In the US, one in three people leave work and go on to provide regular and unpaid care to a loved one who is elderly, sick or disabled. It's called family caregiving. For the family caregiver, the costs are often financial, physical and emotional.

For businesses, costs - currently in the range of 17-34 billion dollars - come in the form of lost productivity, absenteeism, increased heathcare costs and more.

Additional information about this program is available in this flyer.

Registration Information
Cost: Free, but advance registration is required
Register»    Print       Subscribe

- See more at:

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