A Dangerous Disease Hit Flint, And Now It Hits A Prison

Prison bars
William Anderson
February 6, 2020

Legionnaires’ disease is a kind of pneumonia that you may be familiar with. It’s caused when someone breathes in water that contains legionella bacteria - and it hit Flint during the water crisis. Now, it’s popped up down South, in a vulnerable prison that already has multiple issues on the inside.

Coleman Federal Correctional Complex’s women’s camp in Florida was already embroiled in countless crises, including widespread sex abuse by guards that resulted in a lawsuit. Now the inmates must figure out how to navigate this disease-riddled situation.

These women need masks so they don’t come into contact with the water (which is how you contract the disease), but initial reports revealed they were being DENIED masks and bottled water! This is how people’s rights as humans come under attack inside prison walls.

Though populations have been on the decline, Black women are still “markedly overrepresented in prisons and jails,” according to data from the Prison Policy Initiative. It’s important to consider how crises like this present an increased likelihood of Black women being victimized.

Women in prison have rights. Just because they’re inside doesn’t mean they should be subjected to torturous conditions. An outbreak of disease on top of a sex abuse crisis shows just how quickly many are willing to forget that.

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