Vic Council plans prison for the elderly
A western Victorian council is pushing ahead on an ambitious plan to build a prison specifically for elderly inmates.
The Ararat Council has pitched the idea to the State Government, but reports say a decision won’t be made for some time. The Council says there would be a number of benefits to a lockup for the elderly, including designing the facility with over-65s in mind; wheelchair access, roll-in showers, aged care nurses and specialist healthcare would see prisoners well accommodated.
The chief executive of Ararat Council, Andrew Evans, says prisons are not equipped to deal with elderly inmates, “"What better than a facility that is right next door to a large regional hospital?" he said.
"You don't have to put the same level of security on it. You're talking about people who are chronically ill and chronically aged... Unless you've actually designed the thing from scratch, to take people in wheelchairs etc, then it's inordinately expensive to change the whole facility for one person.”
There are currently 10 people in Victorian Prisons with sentences that would see them behind bars well in to old age.
The Ararat Council believes work on a prison for the elderly would bring around 200 jobs to the area.