Nonagenarian: prison care

following the earlier post, Prisons Not Geared to the Needs of the Elderly, Study Finds

At 95, killer hopes to win freedom

By J. Michael Kennedy, LA Times Staff Writer, June 29, 2007

SAN LUIS OBISPO – John Rodriguez didn’t seem to know what was happening to him.

The state’s oldest inmate didn’t immediately realize that the state parole board had recommended Thursday that he be freed. Instead, the 95-year-old sat hunched in his wheelchair, looking slightly confused, as he had for much of the four-hour hearing at the California Men’s Colony….

The Rodriguez case is unique in that it casts a spotlight on California’s aging prison population and the reluctance of the governor to release prisoners convicted of murder even if they have served their minimum sentences. In Rodriguez’s case, Thursday’s hearing marked the seventh time the state parole board has recommended that he be released….

Meanwhile, Rodriguez is the epitome of the aging prisoner, a man who uses a walker, is hard of hearing and requires a wheelchair when being moved out of the hospital ward where he lives. His normal attire is pajama bottoms and a blue prison shirt…. One recent projection is that by 2030, California will have 33,000 geriatric prisoners, compared with about 9,500 now. […]

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2 Responses to “Nonagenarian: prison care”


  1. 1 vuee 2007 October 17 at 10:56 pm

    This is actually a complex story — living alone, eldercare, overcrowded institutions, young not listening to experience, elderabuse, morality, practicality, and a culture shock (she was strip searched 11 times for infractions. Who’d a thought O’Folks were regular people). The article is well-written– no cutesy stuff but thought-provoking

    Lucille Keppen, 93, the state’s oldest inmate, released from …
    Pioneer Press, MN – RUBÉN ROSARIO
    Article Last Updated: 10/17/2007

    Keppen’s experience as Minnesota’s golden girl in the gilded cage began Sept. 15, 2002. That was the day she shot and seriously wounded Stephen Flesche, then 63 and a neighbor at her Minneapolis senior high-rise apartment complex.

    At the time, Keppen was living alone, a widow who had outlived all her family members, including her husband and the couple’s two sons. A Vietnam War veteran and self-proclaimed minister, Flesche was a neighbor whom Keppen looked upon like a son.

    Flesche befriended Keppen. He called her “Mom.” He cooked for her and bought groceries and performed other chores after Keppen underwent quadruple-bypass heart surgery. She, in turn, bought him clothes.

    But the relationship soured over questions of money. Keppen also felt abandoned after Flesche received disability money and reportedly began berating and ignoring her.

    A Chicago native who used to go sharpshooting with her late husband, Keppen shot Flesche in the back with a .38-caliber handgun, as he was about to preside over a vespers religious ceremony at the high-rise. Flesche suffered a collapsed lung and some limited mobility.

    “That was the sorriest thing I ever did,” Keppen told me two years ago when I paid her a visit at the prison when she turned 91. …

    For Herbers and others, Keppen illustrates two lingering and growing issues involving such offenders.

    One is the increasing number of aging prisoners serving longer time in prison and thereby boosting the prison system’s health care costs. In 1994, for example, Minnesota state prison inmates age 50 and older accounted for 5.9 percent of the total prison population. Now, that age group accounts for roughly one out of every 10 state prisoners.

    The other issue is the difficulty of released felons finding jobs or housing. In Keppen’s case, prison case workers have reportedly had great difficulty finding her a place to live because of her felony conviction. “As soon as the people learned I had the felony, they turned me down,” Keppen said.

    Temporary living quarters were found at an undisclosed location. Keppen said all but $100 of her monthly Social Security benefits – her only income – will be taken by the assisted-living facility.
    […]
    http://www.twincities.com/allheadlines/ci_7208666

  2. 2 vuee 2008 March 3 at 8:35 pm

    Morocco’s oldest prisoner dies at age 95
    Posted : Mon, 18 Feb 2008

    Rabat – Morocco’s oldest prisoner, a 95-year-old man who had been sentenced recently for “insulting the sacred values” of the kingdom, has died in the prison of Settat south of the capital Rabat, media reported Monday. Ahmed Nasser, who moved in a wheel chair, was travelling by bus to meet his brother in the town of Yussufia, when a quarrel arose between him and a police officer who was also among the passengers.

    Nasser allegedly uttered an insult against King Mohammed VI, … He was handed a three-year prison term and a fine of 1,000 dirhams (1,500 dollars).

    Nasser’s family said he suffered from senility and from a long-running psychiatric illness, but an appeal court ratified the sentence.

    Nasser only had time to serve half a year… Amin Abdelhamid, former president of the Moroccan Association of Human Rights, described the case as a “scandal.”


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