Poor Jail and Prison Conditions Are Not Conducive to Meaningful Reform
Date:  06-24-2019

Rehabilitation is compromised when incarcerated people are treated inhumanely
From The Hill:

The purpose of punishment is to reform behavior, and incarceration is no exception. Yet, there is mounting evidence that U.S. correctional facilities are providing poor conditions for rehabilitation. In November, the U.S. Marshals Service released a 52-page report detailing extensive constitutional rights violations within the Cuyahoga County Jail in Ohio. These violations included depriving incarcerated persons of food, water, exercise, and medical care, as well as a myriad of safety violations such as sexual abuse and housing youth with adults. Those housed in solitary confinement units reported needing to use rags, clothing, and towels for toilet paper after being denied toilet paper by staff.

In February, people incarcerated at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., were left without power and heat for more than five days. These conditions left those with medical conditions particularly at risk, as they lacked access to their necessary medical equipment, proper temperatures, and adequate ventilation.

In April, the U.S. Department of Justice released the findings from a 2-year investigation about prison conditions throughout Alabama. Citing examples of staff misconduct, “rampant violence and sexual abuse,” unsanitary living areas, medical neglect, and lack of heat, the 56-page document concluded that conditions in Alabama’s prisons pose significant threats to individuals’ constitutional rights under the 8th Amendment. In one incident, a prisoner with a brain bleed was denied medical attention because he “appeared to be under the influence” after being physically assaulted. This man was eventually rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery, but ultimately died because of a subdural hematoma caused by blunt force head trauma. Continue reading >>>