UN Chief Denounces Overcrowded Prisons as ‘Health Time-bomb’
A U.N. agency chief during a news conference on Thursday warned that overcrowded prisons around the world are "a breeding ground for the spread of HIV," reports Gulfnews.com (4/16).
The head of the U.N. drugs and crimes agency Antonio Maria Costa said that a total of 30 million people are imprisoned world wide, where the HIV is often spread through drug abuse among prisoners, Reuters/The Washington Post reports.
Costa said: "This is a health bomb because of HIV they take along and this is a bomb because prisons are universities for criminals" (Reuters/The Washington Post).
According to Costa, overpopulated prisons are particularly bad in Africa and Central America, where prisons sometimes "hous[e] up to ten times the number of inmates they were built for," Reuters/The Washington Post reports (Westall, Reuters/The Washington Post, 4/16).
Costa encouraged that the UN reach out to countries to improve prison conditions, including alternatives to prisons for minor offenses (Gulfnews.com, 4/16).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.