Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

10/10/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

South African prisons are notorious for overcrowding and disease.

Being arrested in South Africa can get you death, even though you haven't committed any crime and the country has no death penalty. The culprit is the overcrowded prison system, with those awaiting trial, petty criminals and mass murderers all spending time with one another, sharing diseases.

Prison conditions in South Africa are so bad that merely being arrested could result in death.

Prison conditions in South Africa are so bad that merely being arrested could result in death.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/10/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: South Africa, prisons, punishment, disease


CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA (Catholic Online) - Tuberculosis is the most common disease making the rounds in the overcrowded cells of South Africa's prisons. Those who contract the disease receive very little medical care and are often debilitated for life, or die. 

Ultimately, going to a South African prison is an experience of over punishment, above and beyond what should be in an industrialized nation. 
South Africa has one of the highest incarceration rates on the continent, mainly because it locks up everyone convicted of even minor offenses, and some people can wait five to ten years before being brought to trial. 

The prisons are so bad, that even juvenile facilities have started to house adult inmates, up to 30 years old. 

Within the prisons, disease pairs with brutality to create further problems. Prison rapes are frequent, and victims do not have access to psychologists and there are few doctors that can help. 

These conditions have led some former prisoners to speak out and even to sue the national Minister of Correctional Services.

Several flaws in the system have been uncovered beyond the overcrowding. According to the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre, "Crowding, long lock-up times up to 23 hours per day and inadequate ventilation result in prisoners re-breathing contaminated air for prolonged periods of time."

Prisoners are also supposed to be screened when they enter the system and quarantined if they are infected with disease. This has not been happening. 

Meanwhile, the prisons are being run by gangs. 

Although most of the men serving time in South African prisons have committed crimes and are there to serve punishment, that punishment should not include unacceptably inhumane conditions. There is a difference between just detention and the infliction of rape, disease, violence and death beyond the sentence imposed by the law. Worse, even innocent people who must be exposed to the environment while awaiting trial, suffer just the same. 

This cannot be tolerated. 

For now, the nation's courts must decide if the prisons are being unacceptably run and are in need
of reform. While this seems obvious, nothing is obvious when it comes to the law in South Africa. We can only pray for justice and that the prisons there are reformed in such a way as to reform wrongdoers rather than brutalize them and make new victims of more people. 


---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More Health

HEALTH DISASTER: Is nearly half of all Americans destined to contract diabetes? Watch

Image of The irony of the situation is that Americans are generally living longer, which is a factor in their increased lifetime chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Americans are also not dying in the same proportions that they were, because of better treatment.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Has the United States reached the tipping point with diabetes and obesity? A shocking new study claims that nearly HALF of all Americans, if trends continue, will develop type 2 diabetes in the near future. Public Health England, in their most recent report ... continue reading


First large-scale shipment of new malaria drug shipped out Watch

Image of The recent shipment marks a new phase in the fight against the mosquito-borne disease.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Just as virulent - as far more easily transmitted than Ebola, malaria is making new inroads to populations in sub-Saharan Africa. In response, French drug maker Sanofi has announced the delivery of large-scale batches of an antimalarial drug made using ... continue reading


Very accurate colon cancer in-home detection kit approved by FDA Watch

Image of  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new at-home, DNA-based stool test that screens for colorectal cancer with more than 90 percent accuracy.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Screening for colon cancer is frequently arduous and invasive. Patients need to fast prior to a colonoscopy, and the colonoscopy itself be highly uncomfortable and not always accurate. There's now good news for those at risk. The U.S. Food and Drug ... continue reading


You'll think twice before you put this dangerous chemical back in your mouth! Watch

Image of Colgate's Total brand of toothpaste contains the chemical triclosan, which has been proven to cause disruptions in the endocrine system in mice and rats.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A top-selling toothpaste uses the chemical triclosan which has been linked to cancer-cell growth and disrupted development in animals, and regulators are still reviewing whether or not it's safe to pt in soap, cutting boars and toys, while many consumer companies ... continue reading


New diabetes drug could help us all: Found effective in preventing cancer Watch

Image of Scientists who studied more than 180,000 people found a

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to a new study, a drug widely prescribed to treat type 2 diabetes could help us all live longer. Said drug, metformin, which controls glucose levels, may also stave off cardiovascular disease and cancer, regardless if the person is diabetic. LOS ... continue reading


Mutated gene increases women's chance for breast cancer by threefold Watch

Image of Doctors also could recommend more aggressive surveillance for breast cancer, such as annual mammograms or MRI breast screening.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new study has found that mutated versions of a gene called PALB2 can dramatically increase a woman's risk of breast cancer. Researchers say that women carrying the PALB2 mutation have a one in three chance of developing breast cancer by the age of 70. LOS ... continue reading


WAS WORLD'S THROAT CUT? Ebola vaccine research was earlier abandoned Watch

Image of It must also be noted that while the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. government often fund the early animal safety and efficacy testing of a vaccine, pharmaceutical companies typically fund the human clinical trials to take a drug or vaccine to market.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With increasing fears of the Ebola virus in West Africa and elsewhere, world governments are now frantically trying to contain the disease. What is not widely known is the fact that there had been work on finding a vaccine for Ebola four years ago, that was ... continue reading


PLAGUE STRIKES HOME: At least six people tested for Ebola in U.S. Watch

Image of Said individual, who has recently traveled to West Africa where the current outbreak is taking place is said to be under

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

At least six people within the continental United States have been tested for the dreaded Ebola virus, the deadly hemorrhagic disease tearing through West Africa. While all six people tested negative, the states in which these people were from remains a tightly ... continue reading


NEW THERAPY: Will chemotherapy be rendered obsolete in 20 years' time? Watch

Image of Genome sequencing will help drug companies design medicines that can successfully target the tumor, according to Professor Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, which is part of the project.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Chemotherapy is regime that many cancer patients undergo. Many feel that the cure is at times worse than the disease: Weeks of nausea, fatigue, pain and disorientation. Now, drugs that target cancer without harming healthy cells that trigger harmful side ... continue reading


COUNTDOWN TO GLOBAL INFECTION: Hunt is on for 30,000 Ebola carriers worldwide Watch

Image of The father of three, Patrick Sawyer became the first American to die from the Ebola virus.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With the death of 40-year-old Patrick Sawyer, an American who contracted Ebola while caring for his sister with the virus, the hunt is on for people who may have been in contact. Officials hope to head of the deadly virus off at the pass - before it is too late. ... continue reading


All Health News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ezekiel 34:1-11
1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 23:1-3, 3-4, 5, 6
1 [Psalm Of David] Yahweh is my shepherd, I lack ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 20:1-16
1 'Now the kingdom of Heaven is like a landowner ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 20th, 2014 Image

St. Bernard of Clairvaux
August 20: St. Bernard, Abbot and Doctor of the Church St. Bernard was born ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter