Unacceptable Prison Sanitation at HMP Coldingley
I just did a radio interview for BBC Surrey on the subject of prisoners at HMP Coldingley having to defecate in plastic bags and throw urine and human waste out of their cell windows due to lack of access to toilets.
I stated that I had experienced similar conditions (see my first blog entry). I pointed out that when prisoners are treated like animals, some of them will behave like animals when they are released, and society will ultimately pay the price by way of more crimes and victims.
The inspectors at Coldingley classified the prison as safe - safe in the context of escape risk. If prisoners have to throw pots of urine and human waste out of the window, how safe is Coldingley in terms of disease risk, and how close are these prisoners to rioting in order to get the inhumane conditions improved? Unsanitary living conditions like these at HMP Coldingley enable diseases such as hepatitis, MRSA and staph infections to thrive in the prison system. The cost of treatment of diseases must be factored in when prisoners living areas are spattered with fecal matter and urine.
These conditions may satisfy the lock-them-up-and-throw-away-the-key brigade and allow the prison authorities to state that everything going on is "safe" to the public, but in the long run conditions like these cost more to society than any short-term savings.