Buzzfeed reports that two inmates have died in prisons that have played a role in the national strike that’s fighting against unfair labor practices and poor living conditions. Charlie Anderson reportedly requested medical attention from staff at Kinross Correctional Facility in Michigan before becoming unresponsive. Michigan Prison Abolition, a prison activist group, claims that medical staff didn’t arrive for at least 15 minutes.
However, Michigan Department of Corrections spokesman Chris Gautz claims that medical staff immediately rushed into Anderson’s bunk moments after his bunkmates said he was in distress. As a result of the incident, prisoners striking at Kinross have added inadequate medical care to their list of complaints against the facilities.
It was also reported that Robert Deangelo Carter at the Holman Correctional Facility – who is playing a major role in the national protest – committed suicide while in solitary confinement on Oct. 9.
Carter reportedly told correctional officers that he had intentions to commit self harm unless he was let out of solitary confinement. Former officers went as far as to blame the incident on the understaffing of the facility. They claim that if it were properly staffed, regular checks on Carter’s status would’ve prevented his death.
“They literally don’t have enough correctional officers to maintain facilities that are safe for inmates or guards,” Lisa Graybill, Deputy Legal Director for Criminal Justice Reform at the Southern Poverty Law Centertold told BuzzFeed News. “Prisoner advocates and constitutional rights litigators have known for a long time that Alabama’s prison system has been teetering on the brink of total collapse.”
Unfortunately, two people had to die for progress to hopefully be made in reminding the powers that be that an individual’s rights do not disappear once they’re placed in the system.
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