Date of Project


Document Type

Honors Thesis

School Name

College of Arts and Sciences



Major Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Hinson-Hasty


In 2017 the Kentucky DOC reported that Kentucky prisons housed 2,521 persons categorized as “elderly”. Even though individuals in this population are more susceptible to violence and risk developing age-related illnesses the care of these individuals is not a financial priority for those in power. These individuals occupy a unique position as a marginalized group within a marginalized group, and one which is growing rapidly. As a result, it is necessary to develop a response drawing from Catholic social teaching and criminal justice ethics which addresses the unique problems faced by this population. At the core of this response is the truth that at no point does justice require, nor allow, punishment to deny the dignity of the individual.