Photo via Todd Heisler/The New York Time.

“Dementia in prison is an underreported but fast-growing phenomenon, one that many prisons are desperately unprepared to handle. It is an unforeseen consequence of get-tough-on-crime policies — long sentences that have created a large population of aging prisoners. About 10 percent of the 1.6 million inmates in America’s prisons are serving life sentences; another 11 percent are serving over 20 years.”

This week’s New York Times features an amazing story of compassion, caretaking and humanity in California’s prisons. Read the story here and explore the heart-breaking photographs from inside the state’s DOC here.