Text of the Philadelphia City Council Resolution
Passed by the city council on October 20, 2016
Calling upon Governor Wolf and the Pennsylvania State Legislature to ensure that individuals incarcerated and working in state prisons have access to clean water and proper health services.
WHEREAS, Recently there have been claims of black, foul smelling water at SCI Mahanoy, SCI Frackville and other State Prisons in Pennsylvania, as well as reports of prisoners not receiving specialized medications needed to treat their health conditions; and
WHEREAS, In some cases, the water is so toxic that prisoners are unable to use the water, leaving them with little to no drinking water and virtually no water to bathe in or in less severe cases prisoners are left to drink and bathe in dirty brown water; and
WHEREAS, Using the dirty water can exacerbate existing health conditions for some prisoners, and many prisoners do not have proper access to healthcare services to met their medical needs, and those needing medication become increasingly ill without it; and
WHEREAS, While the water problems at SCI Mahanoy and Frackville are fairly recent, other state prisons have been experiencing similar problems for years causing both prisoners and guards to experience serious health problems including but not limited to shortness of breath, dizziness, body sores and tumors; and
WHEREAS, The Department of Corrections has received complaints about the ongoing issues regarding water and medication but has reportedly not alleviated the problems; and
WHEREAS, The cause of the contaminated water has not been confirmed by the Pennsylvania State Government, and more resources and energy need to be devoted to solving this water and health crisis; and
WHEREAS, The Government bears the responsibility of protecting its prisoners and should remember that those who are incarcerated are people too, deserving of the basic human necessities that are required for their survival. Therefore, we ask that there be a sense of urgency in resolving these issues that affects the health of individuals under the Pennsylvania State Government’s care; and
WHEREAS, A copy of this resolution will be forwarded to the Governor and to all members of the Pennsylvania State Legislature.
Now therefore, be it resolved that the City Council of Philadelphia Calls upon Governor Wolf and the Pennsylvania State Legislature to ensure that individuals incarcerated and working in state prisons have access to clean water and proper health services.
Jannie L. Blackwell
Councilwoman 3rd District
Councilwoman 8th District
October 20, 2016