Health & Environmental Conditions

A safe and healthy physical environment, adequate and affordable health care, and access to ample and nutritious food, clean water, and sanitation supplies and services are vital for both incarcerated people and those outside. However, people inside jails and prisons are often denied these essential human rights.

Frequently, physical and mental health care are grossly inadequate, untimely, or altogether non-existent. The quality and quantity of food is often deplorable. Incarcerated people routinely experience horrendous living conditions such as high heat, extreme cold, poor ventilation, mold, vermin, and poor water quality. They also often lack regular access to basic sanitation services such as showers and working toilets, and adequate supplies of items such as toilet paper, menstrual products, and face masks. In addition, prisons and jails are often situated in proximity to toxic industries or on sites that are environmentally contaminated, putting incarcerated people at an increased risk of harmful health impacts from polluted air and water.

Through organizing, litigation, and strategic communications, ALC works to mitigate the health and environmental conditions for incarcerated people.