Worldwide a yet unprecedented phenomenon is developing that will force us to make radical changes on multiple levels of society, namely population aging. Due to low births rates and falling death rates, we will face a society where the proportion of elderly people will outweigh the proportion of young people. This phenomenon is also present at the micro-level in prisons. There the age stratification is equally changing towards an increasing number of elderly prisoners, which is reinforced by the rising number of detained people in general.
It is estimated that more than 8.75 million people are currently imprisoned worldwide. Many of these prisoners are likely to grow old in prison and will need access to appropriate medical health care. Very little is known about the provision and quality of health care available to older prisoners.
Therefore it is necessary to investigate the present provision of health care for this vulnerable group in order to provide guidance for professionals working in the field and guidelines for policy-makers concerning the attendance to elderly prisoners. The project will be conducted in the German and French speaking regions of Switzerland to make a comparison between the regional and cultural differences in the health care delivery systems possible.