Andrew Burton/Getty Images
  • America's Elderly Inmates

    We often think of prison as a transformative place -- young men enter its doors criminals and exit older, chastened individuals. But what happens towards the end of a longer sentence? Getty Images photographer Andrew Burton visited state prisons across the U.S. in December to document the daily lives of aging prisoners, whose numbers have increased by 500% in the last several decades. Frank Fuller, age 66, walks down the hall to his cell at California Men's Colony prison, Dec. 20, 2013.
    Andrew Burton/Getty Images
  • Frank Fuller, age 66, stands alone in the prison yard during free time after breakfast at California Men's Colony prison, on Dec. 19, 2013. Fuller is assisted by the Gold Coats program, a volunteer care program where healthy prisoners volunteer to take care of elderly prisoners who either need general assistance with mobility and every day life or who also struggle with Alzheimer's and dementia.
    Andrew Burton/Getty Images
  • Anthony Alvarez, age 82, waits for the daily prisoner count while sitting on the floor of his cell at California Men's Colony prison on Dec. 19, 2013, in San Luis Obispo, Calif.
    Andrew Burton/Getty Images
  • George Whitfield (sitting), age 56, waits in line to receive his daily blood pressure medication at California State Prison, Solano, on Dec. 16, 2013, in Vacaville, Calif.
    Andrew Burton/Getty Images
  • John Gillis, age 73, talks to Dr. John Wieland about his current status and his diagnosis of terminal colon cancer in the hospice care wing of California Medical Facility (CMF) on Dec. 17, in Vacaville, Calif.
    Andrew Burton/Getty Images
  • A pair of dentures sit on a bedside table in the cell of David Smith (his name has been changed at the request of the Rhode Island Department of Corrections, both to protect him and the identity of people and victims associated with his crime), a prisoner at Rhode Island's John J. Moran Medium Security Prison on Dec. 10, 2013 in Cranston, Rhode Island. Smith, who is 70, is currently six years into a 40-year sentence for attempted murder: This is his fifth time in state prison. He has also served two sentences in federal prison.
    Andrew Burton/Getty Images
  • Kenny Wadley, left, works out his leg in physical therapy after being injured in a car accident, at California Medical Facility (CMF) on Dec. 17, 2013, in Vacaville, Calif. Wadley is currently serving seven-and-a-half years for possession of heroin. This is his fifth prison sentence.
    Andrew Burton/Getty Images
  • John Gillis (the prisoner's name has been changed at his request), age 73, a hospice care patient diagnosed with terminal colon cancer, takes his daily medication in the hospice care wing of California Medical Facility (CMF), on Dec. 17, 2013 in Vacaville, Calif.
    Andrew Burton/Getty Images
  • Nathan Brown (his real name has been changed at the request of the Rhode Island Department of Corrections, both to protect him and the identity of people and victims associated with his crime), a prisoner at Rhode Island's John J. Moran Medium Security Prison, plays chess against another inmate on Dec. 10, 2013. Brown is 75 years old and is serving 55 consecutive years for first-degree sexual assault; he arrived in prison in 1992.
    Andrew Burton/Getty Images
  • Jim Robelen, age 76, a hospice care patient diagnosed with terminal pulmonary fibrosis, watches television in the morning in the hospice care wing of California Medical Facility (CMF), on Dec. 17, 2013.
    Andrew Burton/Getty Images
  • Walkers sit in a corner of the hospice care wing at California Medical Facility (CMF), on Dec. 17, 2013. As of June 2013, California had 133,000 prisoners, of which 15,000 were over the age of 55.
    Andrew Burton/Getty Images
  • George Whitfield, age 56, uses a walker to get to the physical therapist's office at California State Prison, Solano, Dec. 16, 2013.
    Andrew Burton/Getty Images
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