Tuesday, July 19, 2016

There's a name for this

As if Serco wasn't bad enough with its strapped chicken statistics and fight clubs, they've also been medically neglecting prisoners:

The cellmate of a cancer-stricken elderly prisoner was forced to clean his friend's gangrenous toes with toilet paper after the prison failed to provide adequate care.

Details of the incident, which happened at Auckland's Mt Eden Prison in 2013 while it was managed by the multinational company Serco, were revealed in a report released by the Health and Disability Commissioner.

As well as failing to treat the prisoner's toes, the report slams Serco for failing to provide painkillers and denying him a wheelchair despite there being two available.

The man died later in the year.

The descriptions in the article are graphic and distressing, and its clear from them that this man's neglect constituted cruel and degrading treatment in terms of the Bill of Rights Act and Convention Against Torture. Denying medical care is a basic failure of the duty of care owed by the state - and its contractors - to those in its care. And when it results in pain and suffering, loss of dignity, and worsening health, it becomes cruel and degrading. And Serco and its management need to be held to account for that.

Not that Corrections is much better, mind. They neglect prisoners too, leaving them literally to rot in their own excrement. Because while the government purports to have a duty of care, in practice they systematically ignore it. And because prisoners can't vote and aren't allowed to protest or talk to journalists or exercise the sort of democratic countermeasures which we see this treatment ended outside prison, they're able to get away with it.