State's Oldest Inmate Ever Begins Serving Time

George Todd, 85, sentenced last month for molesting 14-year-old girl

Tuesday, Aug 31, 2010  |  Updated 8:45 PM CDT
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Convicted sex offender George Todd entered the Illinois prison system on Tuesday to begin serving seven years -- which for him likely will be a life sentence.

Todd is 85, the oldest inmate ever to enter the state’s prison population, prison officials said.

Sentenced last month for molesting a 14-year-old girl, the Barrington area man must serve about five years behind bars before being eligible for release.

Todd is an extreme example of what is becoming increasingly common across Illinois and the country -- prisons holding increasing numbers of aging inmates, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

“We’re seeing the prison population aging,” said Sharyn Elman, a spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Corrections. “The 20-somethings are still coming in, but we’ve been seeing more of an aging population.”

Todd faced a mandatory prison term of four- to 15-years after pleading guilty earlier this year to criminal sexual assault.  He admitted molesting the girl several times in 2009 while she worked at his property.

The oldest previous inmate to enter the state prison system was 83, Elman said.

Many older inmates are imprisoned in the Dixon Correctional Center because of its medical facilities, she said, adding that Todd will be evaluated for several days at the Stateville Correctional Center near Joliet before being assigned to a prison.

Whichever prison Todd is assigned, he will be among the very oldest inmates. State records from 2009 -- the most recent year available -- show only 11 inmates in the state are 80 years old, and the oldest listed was 85.

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