Since I was born on the back end of the front end of the Baby Boom, I'm not sure if this USA Today story about the advantages available to the earliest Boomers applies completely to me or not. I started teaching about the Baby Boom and its impact in my American gov classes millenia ago, education, productivity, health care, etc., and one of my favorite parts was the impact on criminal justice. Criminologists are always quick to tell us that "oh, no, there are far more factors than the demographic" and other debunkings of Boomer impact on the crime increases and decreases as the Boomers and their echoes ebbed and flowed through the crime prone years. I can get the idea but it's beyond credibility to me that we Boomers can't be blamed in part (I mean, even our lower crime rates of the last decade or two have been higher than pre-Boom, even accounting for reporting changes, greater visibility, etc.). So the story serves to remind us that the Boomers continue to make up the bulk of our aging prison pops right now and will for some time to come. And even though the numbers are proportionately small in the overall pops, they are our fastest growing and will require more of our attention in geriatrics and such.
But here's the other thing we need to remember. Crime predictors are making a semi-big deal right now about how there's a new trough in our demographics of the youngest in our prison receptions and will be for another few years before the pig through the python that the Boom set off hits us with more crime-prone kids again. But the Boomers themselves will more than offset the trough. How? Well, as we've mentioned over and over, an aging offender by rule of thumb costs 2-3 times on average than the young ones. So, even as the younger ones decline in numbers, reducing what we spend, the older ones by costing more equal 2 or 3 young ones. Even if your prison pops and receptions decline, IOW, the costs will continue to go up as the Boomer numbers go up. This should warn us all against just focusing on prison pop projections. We need to refine the costs of individual age groups as well as genders and start projecting costs of those categorized pops to alert and inform our policymakers. The raw overall projection numbers are going to be very misleading and likely cause serious problems.