City Hall holds hearing on services for formerly incarcerated older New Yorkers
A public hearing was held at City Hall on Friday to discuss what New York City is doing to help support formerly incarcerated older New Yorkers.
A main issue discussed in this hearing was about what services are available to older people once they are released from prison. Former inmates told their stories of reentering society after spending decades behind bars.
“I walked out of Penn Station and had an anxiety attack,” said one former inmate. “Everything was different after 20 years.”
According to data released at the hearing, the number of people 55 and older in state or federal prisons increased 280% from 1999 to 2016. Advocates say older former detainees face a bevy of challenges related to their age, such as job placement, health issues, housing and overall mental well-being.
During the hearing, two bills were introduced that aim to help the aging prison population. The main proposal would require older prisoners with long sentences who are eligible for parole to be considered for release on a case-to-case basis.