As a result of decades of state and federal “tough on crime” and mass incarceration policies, about 2.3 million people are locked up in more than 6,000 jails and prisons across the United States. More than 600,000 individuals are released from prison each year. Not only is the prison population aging, older adults are being released from jail or prison and face many barriers to successful reentry.
Older adults reentering our communities are disproportionately older adults of color who, due to structural discrimination, face challenges accessing the health and economic security programs that could help them live securely in the community.
This Issue Brief, Reducing Barriers to Reentry for Older Adults Leaving Incarceration, addresses those challenges in the areas of housing, health care enrollment and access to services, and basic income supports. It also identifies some innovative programs and policy solutions to improve the opportunities for older adults to successfully reintegrate into our communities.