There was a period of time, actually a couple, where groups of people who were specifically Christian intervened in the prison system because the conditions in prisons were atrocious. The idea was that prisoners are human beings and even if they've done wrong, they deserve humane conditions to live in while they serve their time. After all, Jesus commanded that Christians care for the least of his people.
That hasn't happened in a while. And, as usual, prison conditions have deteriorated to the point that prisoners are being horrifically abused, exploited, and are dying for completely preventable reasons. The newest reason they're dying is from heat exhaustion, in part due to not being given enough water. The most basic fucking thing, besides oxygen.
“Deadly Heat” in U.S. Prisons Is Killing Inmates and Spawning Lawsuits
In the summer months, 84 inmates at the Price Daniel Unit, a medium-security prison four hours west of Dallas, share a 10-gallon cooler of water that’s kept locked in a common area. An inmate there can expect to receive one 8 oz. cup every four hours, according to Benny Hernandez, a man serving a 10-year sentence at the prison. The National Academy of Medicine recommends that adults drink about twice that amount under normal conditions and even more in hot climates. According to Hernandez, in the summer the temperature in his prison’s housing areas can reach an astonishing 140 degrees.
The prison provides ice for the cooler twice a day, but the ice has long melted before the hottest part of the day, he wrote in a post on Prison Writers, a website where inmates share their experiences behind bars. “Prisoners look upon the summer months in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) with dread and trepidation,” he wrote. “For one is acutely aware that one may not survive another summer. Many do not.”
Of course, prison representatives say something different, but I trust those fucks about as far as I can throw an actual prison building.
Every report I've read about U.S. prisons has said that things like water, clothing, and tampons/pads are routinely denied to prisoners as a form of punishment or for no reason at all as far as anyone can tell. Reports of illness from prisoners are also routinely ignored because it's assumed they're faking for attention or special treatment. So I don't believe for one second that heat stroke victims are being treated appropriately. Which is why so many have died.
The 14 fatalities cited in the report are an extremely conservative estimate, Dulitzky noted. He and others have been fighting to obtain inmates’ death records, and based on their ages, medical conditions, and the given day’s heat index, believe that “several dozens” died at least in part as a result of extreme heat exposure in 2014 and 2015 alone.
We need people to step up and demand humane conditions for these HUMANS packed into our prisons. Unfortunately, much of the Christian population in this country is too concerned about keeping certain people from marrying or using public restrooms or doing what they want with their own bodies to give much of a fuck about people who are suffering and dying right now. They've gone deep into a phase of poor people and prisoners deserve what they get, even if it's death. Which is utterly, UTTERLY un-Christian.
I was raised Christian so this touches a nerve. Anyway.
If they won't do it, I guess it's up to us "social justice warriors" to unreasonably demand that the human beings in prisons aren't left to be cooked alive in a steel and concrete oven with insufficient water.