Discussions and Conclusions
This book has demonstrated how the situation within which our ageing prisoners exist is extremely complex, and that the main reason for this is the sheer heterogeneousness of the ageing prison population. Characterised by an extensive assortment of offence types, an eclectic mix of life stories and backgrounds, and great differences in the effects of ageing, these older offenders constitute a diverse section of the prison population. The very characteristics which render them unique are the very characteristics which result in their exclusion from the most basic and well recognised principles of the prison service, as laid down in their statement of purpose, which reads, ‘Her Majesty’s Prison Service serves the public by keeping in custody those committed by the courts. Our duty is to look after them with humanity and help them lead law-abiding and useful lives in custody and after release’ (HMPS Statement of Purpose).