Despite how many feel, inmates in the penal system are still human beings and have rights. Quality medical care that prevents them from dying should undoubtedly be one of those. As evidence of this, Mumia Abu-Jamal will begin receiving hepatitis C treatment. 

Abu-Jamal, a former Black Panther, has been in custody since 1981 after being found guilty of shooting a police officer. He was hospitalized two years ago after going into diabetic shock. It was found that he was one of 5,000 Pennsylvania Department of Corrections inmates to have contracted hepatitis-C.

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Fighting for Treatment

After a lengthy legal battle, it was ruled that the Department of Corrections was responsible for making sure that Abu-Jamal received treatment, according to

For context, treatment for hepatitis C reportedly costs the state as much as $50,000 per person. But a spokesperson for the Department of Corrections is now saying that Abu-Jamal qualifies for the expensive treatment.

“Our position has always been that patients are prioritized for treatment with direct acting antiviral medications in accordance with the progression of the disease,” said Amy Worden, a Department of Corrections spokeswoman. “Based upon recent testing, Mr. Abu Jamal is ranked among those patients eligible to receive medication in accordance with DOC’s treatment protocol.”

This news is sure to please activists who have long demanded Abu-Jamal receive the medically necessary treatment.