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Prisoners facing prospect of dying behind bars

Monday 26 May 2014 6:09 a.m.

New figures reveal a large number of elderly prisoners face the prospect of dying behind bars.

Details released under the Official Information Act show more than 100 inmates are aged over 70 - with five suffering a terminal illness.

Kim Workman from the lobby group, Re-thinking Crime and Punishment, says many struggle to get compassionate leave from jail, and he wants more to be done.

"They should be able to be released and go to somewhere where they can be treated with an extra level of compassion and be allowed to die in dignity," he says.

Corrections figures show 72 offenders died from natural causes in the 10 years up until mid-last year.

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