A 1994 state law meant to do away with parole has increased the number of inmates who are expected to die behind bars.
There are nearly 3,500 state prisoners over age 50. That's about
three times what it was ten years ago.
Those numbers are expected to grow as judges sentence more
criminals who will die in prison.
The Department of Correction's medical budget has seen a 42 percent increase just since 2003 as prisons are transformed into nursing homes and hospital wards. That includes turning a dorm at Randolph Correctional Center in Asheboro into a nursing home.
Work is set to begin this month on a 152 million dollar hospital and mental health facility at Central Prison in Raleigh.