Non-eat­ing pris­on­ers face forced feed­ing

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Aux­ilia Ka­ton­go­mara @Aux­il­iaK

PRIS­ON­ERS are set to be fed by force should fail­ure to eat threat­ens their health, new pro­pos­als in the Pris­ons and Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices Bill say.

The pro­posed law also says a cor­rec­tional fa­cil­ity shall have a med­i­cal of­fi­cer to en­sure that ev­ery in­mate is med­i­cally ex­am­ined on ad­mis­sion and when be­ing dis­charged from prison.

It says the med­i­cal of­fi­cer’s du­ties in­clude force­feed­ing in­mates to pre­vent the spread of dis­eases.

The pro­posed law says the med­i­cal of­fi­cer “shall for the pur­pose of safe­guard­ing or restor­ing the health of any in­mate or pre­vent­ing the spread or risk of any dis­ease take such ac­tion or di­rect such ac­tion to be taken with re­gard to such in­mate in his or her care in­clud­ing; force-feed­ing an in­mate, in­oc­u­lat­ing or vac­ci­na­tion an in­mate against dis­ease, med­i­cally ex­am­in­ing and treat­ing against dis­ease, iso­lat­ing an in­mate, pro­vid­ing an in­mate with other nec­es­sary pre­cau­tion­ary or pro­phy­lac­tic health mea­sures to curb such spread or dis­ease.”

The Bill states that in­mates serv­ing a death sentence or those in iso­la­tion or in hospi­tal must be ex­am­ined ev­ery­day by a med­i­cal of­fi­cer who vis­its the prison or the cor­rec­tional fa­cil­ity ev­ery day.

“The med­i­cal of­fi­cer shall ob­serve the men­tal con­di­tion of all in­mates un­der sentence of the death with a cap­i­tal of­fence and for that pur­pose, shall per­son­ally ex­am­ine all such in­mates ev­ery­day on which he or she vis­its the prison or cor­rec­tional fa­cil­ity, and shall fur­nish re­ports on such in­mates to the of­fi­cer in charge in such form and at such times as may be pre­scribed,” reads part of the Bill.

It says that upon the death of an in­mate, the of­fi­cer in charge of a prison shall im­me­di­ately no­tify the Com­mis­sioner Gen­eral, the med­i­cal of­fi­cer con­cerned, the magistrate of the district in which the prison or cor­rec­tional fa­cil­ity is sit­u­ated as well no­ti­fy­ing their next of kin.

It also states that all in­mates de­tained in a prison or cor­rec­tional fa­cil­ity shall have their men­tal state ex­am­ined reg­u­larly.

The pe­riod an in­mate is de­tained in a men­tal health in­sti­tu­tion while serv­ing a term of im­pris­on­ment shall be con­sid­ered to be part of the sentence.

The Pris­ons and Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices Bill pro­poses a num­ber of changes to pro­mote the rights of in­mates.

Some of the changes in­clude con­sid­er­ing parole for those sen­tenced to life in jail as well as pro­vid­ing em­ploy­ment and train­ing for in­mates.

The Bill also seeks to widen the rights of chil­dren and women by ex­tend­ing the time that chil­dren can be with their moth­ers in prison to five years from two years.

The set­ting sun is seen through a ve­hi­cles wing mir­ror in this photo taken along the Bu­l­away­oVic­to­ria Falls highway re­cently

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