Aging in Prison: The Forgotten Plight of Women behind Bars

The Crime Report

By Cassie M. Chew

About a decade into her life sentence, Alice Marie Johnson felt pain around a couple of her bottom teeth. A car accident 20 years earlier had led to an expensive restoration with dental implants, and special cleanings now would be needed to maintain them. But when she went to the prison dentist, he gave her only one option: her teeth would have to come out. Despite being a designated federal medical center, the dental office at the Bureau of Prisons facility in Carswell, Tx., where she was expected to spend the rest of her life, didn’t have the instruments to maintain her implants.

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