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Kentucky considers nursing homes for aging inmates

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Posted: Sunday, June 1, 2014 11:00 am

LA GRANGE, Ky. (AP) — Patrick O’Hara, a prisoner convicted of murder, is 69 years old and mostly confined to his bed. He is incarcerated in a sparkling-clean facility where nurses work behind steel cages and he gets oxygen from tubes in his nose while a television mumbles nearby.

He’s one of 67 inmates in the Kentucky State Reformatory’s nursing care facility, which costs state taxpayers more than $4.4 million a year. In a state grappling with $1.6 billion in budget cuts since 2008, some Kentucky lawmakers ask why it’s worth keeping O’Hara and others like him behind bars.

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