As the overall population ages, the prison and jail population is aging too. And, as older adults leaving incarceration reenter our communities, they need support to connect them to housing, health care, and economic security benefits. Older adults reentering our communities are disproportionately older adults of color, especially Black men. The unique and significant disadvantages caused by structural racism in the criminal justice system and throughout their lives follow them outside of the prison walls, so older adults leaving incarceration are at risk of being unable to see a doctor, find housing, and meet their basic needs.
This issue brief, Fair Housing Protections for Formerly Incarcerated and Justice-Involved Older Adults, is the third in a series – supported by AARP Public Policy Institute – on topics related to reentry. The brief outlines protections for people with criminal records under the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) and is meant to help advocates identify potential fair housing issues in cases where older adults are denied housing (including admission into assisted living facilities and nursing homes) based on previous involvement with the justice system.
The first brief in the series, Medicare Special Enrollment Period for Formerly Incarcerated Individuals: What Advocates Need to Know, provided advocates with information on connecting their older adult clients with Medicare benefits, including those who are dually-eligible for Medicaid. The second issue brief discussed Social Security policies on Connecting Formerly Incarcerated Individuals to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Benefits. The series will conclude with a webinar on November 28, 2023. Register now!