Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award

Spring 5-6-2024

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Criminal Justice

First Advisor

William J Sabol

Second Advisor

Elizabeth Beck

Third Advisor

Thaddeus Johnson

Fourth Advisor

Dean Dabney


This dissertation consists of three interconnected papers that study the intersection of correctional systems and aging in the United States, specifically in prisons and community supervision. The papers examine existing policies and the experiences of older adults using a person-centered framework. The first two papers explore data collected through semi-structured interviews with community supervision officers and people with experience under community supervision. The first paper investigates a person-centered community supervision model and highlights how it applies specifically to older adults, defined as those aged 50 or older. There is evidence of the implementation of this model, but there is an opportunity for further development. The data presented underscores the need for a more precise definition of a person-centered approach in community supervision and more attention to the age-related needs of people under supervision. The second paper explores the unique challenges of people aged 50 or older who are under community supervision, such as adapting to technology, securing stable housing, and managing chronic health conditions. It further reveals the gaps in knowledge of officers concerning aging-specific resources and the universal experiences pertinent to all age groups. The third paper is a content analysis of end-of-life decision-making policies in U.S. departments of corrections. It underscores the variability in accessibility and specificity of such policies, advocating for a more person-centered model that aligns with community standard quality of care. The research signifies that current prison systems have opportunities for enhancing policy and potentially affecting the quality of end-of-life care in prisons. Collectively, these papers emphasize potential improvement and growth in person-centered approaches for correctional systems and the opportunities to address the challenges of a growing older adult population. These findings highlight the need for additional research and collaboration between the fields of criminal justice and gerontology. The relevance extends beyond research to practitioners and policymakers in criminal justice and aging services whose work directly impacts this population.