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Female Prisoners

The jail arrangement of the twentieth century was exceptionally merciless to its inhabitants. Numerous where ineffectively administered to despite the fact that they were detainees of the law. Numerous cell mates turned out to be sick stricken due to such a variety of irresistible infections that were swarming the corridors of penitentiaries. There was a sorry tend to deterrent measures to safeguard the regulation of diseases. Numerous female prisoners kicked the bucket for not being dealt with for things, for example, vermin in cells and venereal maladies.

Venereal sicknesses mean sexually transmitted illnesses. These sorts of ailment were broad all through the female populace in detainment facilities. They were likewise a major issue in view of how simple they could be spread all through the cell pieces. Kate Richards O’Hare, Agnes Smedley, and Donald Lowrie attack the unsanitary and corrupt conditions toward prisoners to shine light on American injustice Kate Richards O’Hare writes “[she] found that there were two old dilapidated bathtubs and more than a hundred women were forced to use them, and no attempt to separate the clean from the unclean” (O’Hare 81).

This statement alone shows how the women’s quarters were not kept up. Dilapidated tub means the tub was in the poorest state possible. There was no action taken in trying to keep it clean or up to date. Women were being forced to use these nasty tubs to clean themselves. “From [Alice] throat to her feet she was one mass of syphilitic sores dripping with pus”- (O’Hare 82). O’Hare went on to say “Alice had the cell directly under me and the flies that swarmed the cell house attracted by the stench from her sores would walk over them, and then come up to my cell and walk over me (82).

This shows how the guards of the prison cared nothing for the women who were very ill. The lady was dripping with pus from the sores all over her body and flies swarming her. Still no one cared nothing of it and acted as if they had not even an ounce of care. They might have looked at them as nothing but lowlife people who deserved no help. It was very unfair for the women to go through all of this in their current conditions. Cells were filled with rats and flies and disease ridden convicts. There was not even the slightest bit of cleanliness. The main diseases present during this time was tuberculosis and syphilis.

Both were very communicable which means they are easily spread and they were deadly. A simple cut on the body or open sore and contact with someone syphilitic could cause it to spread. Kate – “women who were too ill to work in the shop were used in the dining room” (O’Hare 83). This implies they permitted ladies with so much infections as tuberculosis and syphilis to get ready and serve sustenance for whole cellblocks loaded with ladies. Ladies who were not sick perhaps turned out to be sick and ladies with progressing sicknesses conceivably just compounded with time. Agnes Smedley touched on some of the same points of O’Hare.

As claimed by Smedley, “she asked that the vermin be cleaned from the cell of one of the girls; the matron ordered her to attend to her own affairs – that it was not her cell (Smedley 70). The matrons of the prisons were basically women in charge medical needs of the prisoners. They didn’t care much for the inmates if they let vermin such as rats roam throughout cell. One would think matrons being women would try to help them in the best way possible even though they are convicts. Usually you will see women looking out for one another, but not in the case of 20th century prisons.

Smedley concurs when she notes “she asked that the girl with the venereal disease be taken to the hospital; the physician accused her of believing in free love and in Bolshevism” (70). Bolshevism is a form of government from Russia that deals with communism. Believing in other forms of government may have played a part in how the ladies of the prison were treated. Maybe the hierarchy of the system wanted them converted to American beliefs. “Hundreds of fitful sleepers turn uneasily on their hard, narrow cots in the ill-ventilated cells” said Donald (Lowrie 58).

Prisons were thought to be made for rehabilitation purposes to help the recidivism rate. Putting prisoners in these kinds of conditions does not help to solve the problem of them getting it together. These kinds of conditions will not help solve anything it is really causing more damage to them mentally. When someone is not in a positive kind of environment or one better than these infected prisons how can one try to do better. Having guards who do not care for your well-being and waiting for your pitfall is not rehabilitation.

Donald Lowrie speaks of how prisoners would trash the courtyards because of the new year. The new year to the convicts meant as new year closer to being executed or in Lowrie’s words “nearer the rope” (Lowrie 59). So, in observance of the new year the inmates would trash the yards with anything they could get ahold of. Wardens would threaten to take whatever privilege’s they were left with for the rest of the new year. Agnes Smedley, Donald Lowrie, and Kate Richards O’Hare all told their experiences of legal injustices in American prisons.

They told from aspects of prisons having horrible guards, matrons, and wardens. Smedley and O’Hare told from similar points of view of how women were treated in prison. They stated how women with venereal disease were not cared for or medicated and how there were vermin almost physically living with the inmates. The twentieth century jail framework had numerous things amiss with it. From sick living quarters to transmittable maladies. Unquestionably there was a great deal progressively that was most likely not expounded on, but rather from what we have reported it was a shocking time for detainees of the sytem.

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