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Causes of Aging in the Federal Prison Population and a Comparison to States

Daniel Litwok, Christopher Cutler, and Jeremy Luallen (Athena Health)


October 17, 2019

Empirical research says little about the causes of the growth of older inmates in the federal prison population. This article addresses this gap by applying an established methodology to analyze the contributions of key factors causing this growth. We find that since 2004, age at admission has been an important cause of these changes, with longer time served and rate of admission of younger offenders also playing roles. These influences appear to be quite different from those shaping state prison populations.