Problem

Death and disability from inhumane confinement

Other Names:
Disease and injury from physical confinement
Nature:
Inhumane confinement can result from neglect, but usually is by intent. In deadly heat or cold, the weather may be used just as effectively as a gun to kill or injure the confined. Where weather cannot do this, "custodial humans" may assure the extinction or disablement of "captive humanity" by means hardly indistinguishable from torture. Lack of sanitation, space and adequate sleeping provision are frequent, as well as lack of physical security for the individual. Metabolic disorders arise from starvation; nutritional diseases are induced by insufficient intake of vitamins and minerals; bone and joint diseases stem from cramped postures or bondage; contagious diseases spread easily and are not treated properly; and muscle atrophy and corporeal wasting result from lack of exercise. Heart disease is aggravated if not engendered, and even if release is obtained, mental problems, fatigue, depression and premature senescence may be experienced.
Incidence:
Concentration camps during World War II, and labour camps in Siberia, are the more publicized cases of confinement conditions that lead to death. Devil's Island, now out of operation, was an infamous example of penal conditions with fatal results. Latin American jails, chain gangs of the southern USA; migrant worker enslavement in the southwestern USA; and prisoner-of-war and rebel confinement in Latin America, Africa and Asia, have evidenced inhumane confinement conditions. Institutional confinement in prisons, psychiatric care facilities and facilities for the senile, juvenile and handicapped are sometimes afflicted by inhumane practices. Home confinement where there is criminal abuse and neglect is also known.
Problem Type:
E: Emanations of other problems
Date of last update
23.08.2001 – 00:00 CEST