Air Quality in Prisons

A place people may be less inclined to discuss when tackling the issue of indoor air pollution is in correctional institutions - aka prisons. When the subject of improving living conditions in correctional institutions, people are often off-put given the very nature of the place. Spending tax money to help criminals seems unsavory to many. But improving the air quality of prisons is something that can effect everyone, not just inmates. The prison staff are also at risk if the air quality is bad, and though some inmates might be there for life, there are many that will be released and deserve the opportunity to live healthy lives, as well as our moral obligation to take care of those who are incarcerated, regardless of their personal situations.


Russia stands as a frightening example of the consequences of poor living conditions in prisons. Russian inmates have a extremely high risk of contracting tuberculosis while serving their time. TB is spread through the air from person to person and is extremely contagious and deadly if it is not treated promptly. When air conditions are poor in a prison environment, there's no doubt the risk of infectious diseases rises. If infected prisoners are released without proper treatment, they can infect countless others. But we can't keep a prisoner either if they've served their time, it's both morally wrong as well as illegal. So the solution to this is to implement stronger laws protecting the health of prisoners. If we want to avoid a situation like Russia, especially as our prisons grow more crowded, we must work on prevention strategies now rather than wait until something happens.

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