Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Prisoners forced to drink arsenic-laced water

I have a piece up today for Inter Press Service about a California prison where more than 5,000 incarcerated men are being forced to drink water known to contain twice the legal limit of arsenic, a known carcinogen. Prison officials have known about the problem for more than five years but have done nothing more than publish a handful of memos wherein they claim to "anticipate" resolving the problem . . . someday.

Those two years of my life I spent as an environmental journalist in DC? Not wasted!

Photo Credit: woodley wonderworks


  1. Anonymous1:18 PM

    Charles, Great article on the CA prison poisoned water! Time to check out the water quality at Perryville Prison, Goodyear, AZ which has all kinds of contaminants and cancer causing chemicals.

    1. Anonymous6:02 AM

      Has anyone followed up on the water at Perryville Prison, Goodyear, AZ? I was just released from there & have some major concerns. I even tried to bring a water bottle (bought from store/commissary) filled with Perryville water out w/me thinking that as it appeared to be "store" water & the fact that I am disabled & need to drink water at all times, I would be able to do so. NOT! (Had I known this I would have found a way to "smuggle" some out.) For one, I was never treated for any of my serious medical conditions (which I'm now getting addressed & once I am feeling better & not so busy w/just trying to keep up w/demands of parole conditions & getting my life/disability/other issues my incarceration has caused taken care of, I plan on advocating & bringing more awareness to the public about how serious the lack of healthcare is) & was told simply to drink lots of water by medical staff (their solution for everything). I believe it is very obvious due to the recently "settled" ACLU class-action lawsuit that Perryville has several problems. I am just very concerned about the water, as I have had to drink it & know there is something wrong w/it & actually had staff members tell me that they are told to bring their own water.