Prisoners’ Health Must Matter

By Bobby Bostic

From PHN Issue 47, Fall 2021

Although they have committed crimes, prisoners are still entitled to adequate healthcare
They are still human beings that should get medical treatment that’s fair
To be captured and denied care by your captor is a form of torture
As a result, you also suffer mentally and emotionally from your internal physical scorture

Locked away from society, you have no one to call out and cry to
You file your medical grievances to demand the treatment that you are due
For many decades, prison advocates have been litigating against greedy medical providers
Battling against powerful law firms hired by government insiders

During the height of the prison reform movement, this led to the landmark case of Estelle v. Gamble
Therein, the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution was held to guarantee medical care as part of a prisoner’s rights preamble
In spite of this, the prisoncrats have continued to be deliberately indifferent to the average prisoner’s serious medical need
All because the prison healthcare provider puts profit first due to corporate greed

Sometimes, it feels helpless as prisoners lay dying—on the verge of death
Profits come before a prisoner’s health
Although there is a cure for many prisoners’ curable disease
It will cost too much, so the prisoner suffers silently in the prison infirmary, hardly at ease

As a society, we must care about what goes on behind prison walls
Prisoners’ health will only become an important issue if we protest and make the calls
The citizens pay taxes for their care, so we must not sit idly by while the medical corporate pockets get fatter
Society must take a stand and declare that prisoners’ health must also matter

2 thoughts on “Prisoners’ Health Must Matter

  1. This is absolutely horrific. My husband was recently arrested for supposed failure to pass a urine drug screening. My husband is currently in wheelchair and temporarily disabled from a serious motor vehicle accident. Before incarceration, his overseeing physicians care regiment included physical therapy at a facility twice weekly as well as practicing exercises at home daily. His surgeon informed me that if my husband goes too long without the necessary therapy, he will lose his ability to walk altogether. Since incarceration, he has received absolutely no medical treatment/therapy whatsoever, but is left to lay in his bed day after day. It is inhumane to sit back and allow a human being to permanently lose their ability to walk for a misdemeanor.

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