22nd July 04 Deadly diseases
My cellmate, David, responded to his hepatitis C result by popping a cocktail of pharmaceutical pills. Shortly after, he had a seizure. His contorted trembling body was carted away, but he survived.
The jail staff did not teach inmates about how diseases are spread. Diseased inmates are housed with healthy inmates. They share nail clippers (1 per 100 plus inmates), hair clippers, tattoo guns, syringes and other personal effects. I witnesses inmates with diseases serving chow. David would probably not have contracted this disease – which may shorten his lifespan – if some simple preventative measures had been in place. David is coming to terms with possibly having to die before his time.
The small amount of money that it would take to put preventative measures in place is surely worth less than David’s life. The average taxpayer may complain about paying for the upkeep of the jails, but the medical bills incurred by David and many other inmates in his situation will add far more to the taxpayers’ burden in the long run. It sickens me that this is being allowed to happen.
Today, I watched an inmate refuse to give a DNA sample. He was surrounded and strapped into a chair. The sample was taken.