Longevity of those sentenced to life in prison

How many end up getting released eventually, and how many die in prison? And of those who do spend the rest of their lives in prison, how long do they usually last? Which currently living inmate has spent the most years behind bars?

I know bumping is frowned upon, but I’d like to give this thread another chance since it got zero replies. :smiley:

I’ve wondered about this myself, but don’t have anything to add.

What I wonder is how many prisoners receive “heroic life-saving measures” when they’re elderly and sentanced to life in prison. Are we paying for pace makers and kidney dialysis to keep them alive longer? I know prisoners are entitled to medical care, but how often do they get recussitated (sp?) before we say, “fuck it, let 'im die”? And who decides?

(Of course, we have the perfect Doper to answer this: where the heck is Qadop? I don’t think I’ve seem him around lately.)

They simply get medical treatment when it’s medically necessary. Simply being a prisoner does not deprive you of your right to health, and a state who’d say “fuck it, let 'im die” would be villainous IMO, not matter which crime the prisoner committed.

Funny how prisoners get better health care than many law-abiding citizens …

Don’t know offhand, but you can probably find relevent information here if you want to search through the statistics.

When the state incarcerates someone, it takes upon itself a responsibility for providing that person’s basic needs - food, shelter, clothing, health care - since that person is being placed in a position where he cannot obtain those things on his own. If you are outraged that prisoners get better health care than the law-abiding but uninsured citizens, the proper target for your outrage is the system on the outside, not the one on the inside.

Answering a question not posed.

The internet claims Paul Geidel, convicted of second-degree murder, holds the record for the longest prison term served in America: 68 years and 245 days,
from 1911(or 1912) to 1980, in Beacon, New York. He apparently was released at that time.

Schnitte lives in Germany, where they have universal access to health care. In prison, out of prison, it doesn’t matter.

It’s common for elderly, sick prisoners to be pardoned by the governor, and released from prison.

Supposed for ‘compassionate’ reasons. And if they’re that old & sick, they aren’t ikely to be a threat to society any more. But it has the effect of saving the prison system from the expense of the “heroic life-saving measures” in the last few months of their life.

Some of the expenses will still happen, but will be shoved off onto other parts of society. But makes the prison expense look smaller.

Common? I wish! We’ve got hopelessly demented patients we care for year after year who are no threat, but they ain’t going nowhere. These days, in my state, unless two doctors testify that the patient will die in under 6 months, they’re not going anywhere. Truth in Sentencing, you know?

And yes, they get pacemakers, dialysis, transplants, rescusitation, etc. The courts have ruled that inmates are entitled to the same level of care they would get were they not wards of the state. But this way the state pays. I have had 3 patients in the past week tell me they violated parole because that way they’d get their healthcare provided!

Of course, when they’re discharged from prison with $12 in their pocket, noplace to live, no job, and told they can’t leave the state to join their family in the state nextdoor while they’re still on parole, I can sorta understand why they come back to get their HIV or heart meds.

QtM, MD to felons

William Heirens has been in prison in Illinois since 1946. He is likely the longest serving current inmate.

But it is (sadly) true: here in the People’s Republic of massachusetts, the SC has ruled that prisoners get FIRST DIBS on the scarce flu vaccine!! Recall that the Federal Government disqualfied most of one vendor’s production, so we have a severe shortage of the vaccine-and these morons on the state supreme court have ruled that rapists, murderers, and thieves should get the vaccine first!
Yeah, makes you feel real good!
Oh, and Massachusetts paid for a prisoner’s heart transplant (over $200,000). Not only was the guy a convicted felon, he was also an ILLEGAL ALIEN! :smack:

Wait, you mean people that are forcibly confined in a large group are given the flu vaccine, thereby perhaps halting one of the more likely vectors for a pandemic?

Perish the thought.

Yeah, it just makes good public health sense to vaccinate the inmates. Prisons are incubators for diseases. The last thing a community or state needs is a major outbreak in a prison, where not only the inmates, but the officers and non-security staff will get it, take it home, and spread it to the entire community very, very effectively.

So chill, ralph. In my prison, only the high risk groups get the vaccine, the healthy inmates don’t get it. Even so, it’d probably make more sense to vaccinate all people in group settings, like prisons and nursing homes. This would reduce the risk to kids and healthy adults better than trying to immunize healthy kids and adults at large.

Transplants are another issue. But I will say that it’s cheaper for the state to put a new kidney in an inmate than it is to pay for their dialysis year after year.
QtM, Doc in a Max

Very well said.

Besides, if the prison system didn’t do everything possible (or at least reasonable) to save or prolong a life , someone could accuse them of murdering the inmate.

People without means to provide their own health insurance are treated in hospitals outside of prisons every day.