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Part Two: St Catherine Adult Correctional Centre and Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre


• Both prisons only received visits from psychiatrists on two days a week. This is clearly insufficient given the number of prisoners suffering from mental illness


in the Jamaican penal system (see the section above on mental health).


• There was a lack of running water at the infirmary in SCACC. According to staff, at night there was no water available at all. The bathrooms were unclean


and there were toilets and baths that were unusable. Staff stated that cleaning materials and new washing facilities were needed.


• Staff said that in some serious cases they had had to purchase medication themselves for the prisoners, as the DCS was not able to pay for the correct


treatment (unfortunately I was unable to speak to the Commissioner of Corrections concerning this issue).


• Although anti-retroviral medication was available, many of the prisoners diagnosed as HIV positive (around three quarters in TSACC) were not


compliant with treatment, in large part due to the ‘homosexual’ stigma associated with the condition. A 2008 study of the HIV positive population in TSACC by sociologists from John Hopkins University observed that the prevalence of HIV amongst the population of the prison was double that found in antenatal clinics in the general Jamaican population, and concluded:


Efforts to increase social support of inmates, safety, access to material resources, and trust in the institution would decrease the “pains of imprisonment” and increase quality of life for inmates. Assurances of medical confidentiality, availability of medical treatment, and inclusion of counselors and staff from the outside may increase inmates’ participation in counseling and testing services. Te issues of stigma and discrimination for HIV and for inmates in the homosexual section must be addressed in a manner that does not further stigmatize homosexual inmates or alienate heterosexual inmates requiring HIV- related services. Real structural change, beyond the scope of clinical services, requires collaboration among government agencies. Restructuring of the prison environment is necessary and requires material and financial resources from international donor groups.26


26


Andrinopoulos, K. M., Kerrigan, D. and Ellen, J. M. , 31st July 2008, ‘Understanding the prison social context and implications for HIV


testing, treatment and care in Jamaica’, Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Sheraton Boston and the Boston Marriott Copley Place, Boston, MA. http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p_mla_apa_research_ citation/2/4/2/0/7/p242076_index.html. This work has now been published in two academic articles which discuss the issue of HIV in Jamaican prisons in more depth. The first article analyses the issue from a sociological perspective, the second is a research article concerned with the results of the HIV and sexually transmitted disease programme which was established by the John Hopkins team. See firstly Andrinopoulos, K. M., Figueroa, J. P., Kerrigan, D., and Ellen, J. M, ‘Homophobia, stigma and HIV in Jamaican prisons’, Culture, Health and Sexuality, 2010, 1 – 14; and secondly Andrinopoulos, K. M., Kerrigan, D., J. P. Figueroa, Reese, R, Gaydos. C. A., Bennett, L., Bloomfield, B., Maru, C., and Ellen, J. M., ‘Establishment of an HIV/sexually transmitted disease programme and prevalence of infection among incarcerated men in Jamaica’, International Journal of STD & AIDS 2010; 21: 114 – 119.


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