I think it’s important that we tap into all health care professionals because what is needed are health care professionals to monitor what is going on in regards to prisons. And, in fact, it is health care professionals who can really provide the expertise to inform the public.
Well, I think it’s a problem that can’t be solved just with litigation. It’s a problem with whole prison [system], and the way prisoners are viewed and treated in our society. It can only be addressed with a grassroots movement that includes, protests, press conferences, and building up our forces on the ground.
Well, I think there are a number of things that can be done. The various pharmaceutical companies need to be asked how much profit are they making off of selling drugs to the prison system? Do they discount the cost of medication for the prison system? Nobody has mentioned that every prison inmate is, by law, a ward of the state. Now, children within the Department of Children and Family Services are also wards of the state. They are supposed to get all kinds of protective care and services that are available to any citizens. But they don’t because nobody wants to pay for it – we are busy paying for the war in Iraq. But I do believe there are people of good will who understood that people in prison are going to come back out, and if they are not treated medically, they are going to become a bigger tax burden.
We’ve got to get out here and we’ve got to scream and holler, and bring it to the general public that we are tax paying citizens. We need to alert people that the inmates are ill and that the state is not taking care of them. They are human-beings [and] every human being deserves good health care whether they are innocent or guilty. It makes no difference. We cannot put a price on human life. We cannot afford to lose another inmate because of the lack of medical care. There are various things that they can do that but are not willing to do. We’ve got to bring it to our legislators, to make these people do what they are suppose to do.
David D. Jones
What we can do is draw publicity to the sick. I don’t care how cold-hearted someone is, if you are a human being, it will move something in you and move you to action. So we have to draw attention to the plight of the sick through the media.
A lot of people are aware that torture is happening in the police station, and prisoners are being tortured for the purpose of extracting confessions – many people are sent to prison on the bases of false confessions. What a lot people don’t realize is that torture continues in the prisons, and one of the ways it continues is by the denial of health care.