Being Sick Behind Bars Shouldn't Be Treated Like A Crime

William Anderson
October 7, 2019

Being in prison or jail is bad enough, but being sick on top of that can get deadly. 

If you’re ill or in need of medical care, the facility you’re locked up in is SUPPOSED to provide care. However, many don’t want to deal with sick prisoners - and act maliciously to avoid doing so. 

An investigation by ProPublica and AL.com exposed how bad it can be. They found cases in Alabama where authorities released prisoners “so sheriffs wouldn’t have to pay for their medical care. Some were rearrested once they had recovered.” From neglect like this, people have DIED.

They admit it, too. The reporting found that “[s]everal Alabama sheriffs, including Washington County Sheriff Richard Stringer, said in interviews that they often find ways to release inmates with sudden health problems to avoid responsibility for their medical costs.” 

Sheriffs doing this in Alabama are using “medical bonds” much more than other places where they’re supposed to be a last resort. The use of a medical bond means that the person being released has to pay for whatever services they need. Disgusting.

Black people in Alabama are arrested and imprisoned at disproportionate rates. If Alabama sheriffs, or any other authorities, are continually allowed to just play with people’s lives with no accountability, it makes prisons and jails more life-threatening for us than they already are. 

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