Viral Video of a Missouri Jail Sheds Light on the Nasty Conditions of U.S. Prisons
News| | By Steven Lerner
Television shows like Oz and Orange Is the New Black often paint a fictitious picture of what being incarcerated is actually like. But a video of Dent County Jail from Salem News Online is shedding light on the very real and horrible conditions in some U.S. prisons. Originally built in 1978, the Dent County Jail was intended to house just 21 inmates at a time. The current inmate population is 54.
According to Salem News Online, prisoners and jail administrators are often sick because of the filthy conditions of the prison. On April 4, residents of Dent County, Missouri will vote on the possible construction of a new jail. The February 23 video, which has over 80,000 views on YouTube, depicts the nasty conditions of everyday prison life in Dent County Jail. The inmates are overcrowded in their cells, some of them are sleeping on the floor, and the walls are extremely dirty. The shower, which leaks water, is full of mold and mildew. The condensation from the leaking water drips and will move next to the walls. The prisoners say that nearly a gallon of water is leaking out on a daily basis. In addition, the ventilation system is unsanitary and produces dirty air. Watch the full video of the Dent County Jail to see the horrible environment of the prison. It’s bad enough that the U.S. imprisons people at a higher rate than any other nation, but the living conditions in many prisons is sickening. According to the ACLU, many U.S. prisons pose risks to inmates due to extreme overcrowding and other major safety issues. Perhaps the U.S. should follow the lead of other nations like Norway where more progressive prison systems allow for a safer environment for every inmate and jail administrator. The U.S. is not a third world country, and inmates deserve better living conditions.