Health Conditions in Most Prisons
Life in the penitentiary can be quiet cruel; only those who are incarcerated there know what it means to be put behind bars. As much as these places are considered to be correctional facilities, there is much that inmates face in their daily lives. There is lack of access to basic care and the conditions in most of the cells are harsh and an inmate can easily die while there. Some health conditions in correctional facilities means a ‘death sentence’ to the victim.
This was a case which happened to my friend in 2009 when she was sentenced to six months in prison. The time frame looked relatively short and we were certain that all would be well with her. However that was not the case because we never knew that at that time she was suffering from HIV/AIDS. It had been several months since she was on drugs and hence her death was imminent. It never occurred to us that we would lose her just a month prior to her release.
The last time that we paid her a visit, she complained about the hard life that inmates were being subjected to. They were subjected to hard labor while the diet at the facility was very poor. She still never had the guts to tell us about her HIV status. None of us knew. That was three months after she was sentenced.
Lack of Attention and Support from Prison’s Staff
It was in her for months at the place that she started having serious health complications. Apparently, she had suffered from tuberculosis and she also had other complicated diseases which resulted from her poor immune system. The prison’s authority never bothered to communicate to her family about the conditions. As a matter of facts, they only took her to a public hospital whenever, she seemed too sick and she would be admitted there for days while still chained on the hospital bed. This is very unacceptable. She visited one particular hospital three times during those months.
The poor dieting must have hastened her death. According to other inmates who knew her stay there, when interviewed, they claimed that her condition had worsened and she could barely eat the food at the place. She needed special dieting if at all she would have some energy. However, that was never provided for the inmates.
The Reality of Death in Most Prisons
It was on her fifth months that we got the bad news. She had been ferried from the prison in a bad condition and that very night, she succumbed to death. Her family was contacted about her case the following morning. Her mom was the first to be at the hospital’s morgue that afternoon only to identify the body of her daughter. She was furious on receiving the medical report and noting that her daughter had HIV and all along during her numerous visits to the hospital, none of the family members was contacted about her deteriorating condition.
She wanted much probe about the matter, but there was no one ready to answer any queries about what had prevailed. To worsen the matters, the prison’s authorities distanced themselves from anything about negligent handling of a sick inmate. No matter how much we tried to get answers about everything that transpired during her stay at the correctional facilities, we didn’t get any answers.
We had to live by the fact, that she was gone. However, it was clear that she was subjected to hard labor during her initial stay at the facility, and the congestion there might have made her become infected by other diseases. That’s how harsh correctional facilities are in many places in the world. There are thousands who never get out of the place alive but nothing is said about there deaths.