Aging in Prison
The above title could easily be used for a personal memoir. After having a conversation with the elder Major Tillery, I decided to write a few lines about the above topic. NEGLECT, CARELESSNESS and DISRESPECT, are the main aspects of aging in prison that the general public isn’t fully aware of. First and foremost my name is Terrence Poles. I’m 55 years old, and I’ve been serving a DBI sentence since 1989. (Death By Incarceration: AKA LIFE.
We’re NEGLECTED because the state doesn’t offer any meaningful or therapeutic programs for the elderly. After a protracted struggle Major Tillery was successful in getting something for our demographic. But it’s only for one day a week. And it’s on a Monday. Thus, whenever it’s a holiday our activities are cancelled. This is something the over 50 population should have access to at least 4 times a week.
The CARELESSNESS comes in numerous forms. Prior writing these few lines I had to take a couple of aspirins due to the back pain I have from sleeping on this pancake thin mattress I was issued. Around 5 years ago an X-Ray determined that there wee signs of arthritis in my back. Albeit, because of their CARELESSNESS and callous, they won’t even give/allow me to use an extra mattress.
Ergo, the DISRESPECT is manifested in so many ways. We aren’t given thermals, vitamins, or nutrients and other things that will prolong our health and well being. There isn’t even a housing unit for the elderly. Some older individuals have serious medical issues, which may cause them to have to get in the showers at certain times. Instead of having to wait until 3 pm standing for sometimes 15 minutes to 20 minutes just to get into the shower.
Right now all the talk is about juvenile lifers being reintegrated back into society, and a lot are now elderly due to excessively harsh sentencing in Pennsylvania. You hear about how much it costs to house elderly individuals, and in part comes from the not offering therapeutic and meaningful programs, and assistance: vitamins, thermals, gym periods, etc., to prevent or slow down the determination and aging process. There is an old proverb that’s timeless, and apropos for this topic:
An Ounce of PREVENTION is BETTER than A Pound of Cure.
Thanks for your time and ear.
Terrence Poles BL5740