A New York prison stint is never supposed to be a picnic. However, there is an important distinction between you having to live in unfavorable conditions and you having to live in downright dangerous ones. A growing number of prisoner reports suggest that prisoners across the state are living in environments where they often lack access to even basic necessities, including heat and hot water.
According to the Intercept, while a lack of hot water and heat are among the serious issues that may impact prisoners’ health, many New York jails and prisons also lack other essential supplies. Some of these unavailable supplies include the medical equipment needed to keep prisoners with certain conditions safe.
When prisons lack proper medical equipment
Some of the complaints made by New York prisoners allege that they do not have access to medical devices and equipment used to treat sleep apnea. When individuals with sleep apnea lack access to CPAP machines, it increases their risk of a stroke.
Prisoners with asthma have made similar allegations. Some have reported that they do not have access to nebulizers, which convert medicine into mist for patients with the condition. Some state lawmakers have begun sharing the stories of these prisoners to shine a spotlight on these lapses and improve conditions at state jails and prisons.
When prisoners lack access to basic necessities
Some jails and prisons have shown an inability to respond and protect their prisoners when emergency situations arise. Following a power loss at one major state detention center, prisoners reported inside temperatures falling below 50 degrees. Some prisoners also reported water leaking into their cells, among other issues and health hazards.
You maintain certain rights, even when you are behind bars. You should never have to live in conditions that create direct threats to your health, regardless of why you are there in the first place.