Buchanan, Grand Bassa County – Authorities of the Buchanan Central Prison are concern over the outbreak of a skin disease, which has left almost 10 inmates infected.
The prison authority did not mention the cause of the disease, which is also being described by some prisoners, as “small pox” or “chicken pox”, but some are pointing fingers at the over crowdedness of the prison that has also drawn concerns in the county in recent years.
However, medical practitioners at the Liberian Government Hospital in the city have begun testing those infected in order to make possible medical intervention.
Buchanan central prison is the biggest correction center in Grand Bassa County, where are convicted criminals are sentenced.
A source at the prison compound, who asked not to be named, said the disease has spread over the last eight days. The source said the first infected person has spent four years in incarceration and probably contracted it from a visitor because none of the correction officers are experiencing the disease so far.
The source said the first infected person an inmate who have spent four years in incarceration and probably contracted it from a visitor since none of the correction officers are experiencing the disease so far.
The source said he’s afraid the disease may now spread in the coming weeks due to the over population of the cells.
“This prison can only take 50 prisoners but see how packed this prison is with 93 prisoners and they are still sending more prisoners on a daily basis,” the source said.
Statistics placed on the prison’s bulletin board shows there are 92 male inmates and one female.
Some of the prisoners told LocalVoicesLiberia their lives are at risk due to the over crowdedness of the cells.
Some complained that they might also die of suffocation.
“We can be over 11 in one cell, sometimes 15 in one cell so we can be lecturing until day breaks,” one inmate said.
Research shows that overcrowded prison affects the daily prison environment, which leads to high rates of psychiatric risks; complaints of illness and an increased likelihood of re-offense by inmates.
Report By: Elton Tiah