RE “Inadequate health care for inmate Sal Dimasi is a crime too many convicts suffer”: Bravo to Yvonne Abraham for her June 28 Metro column. It reminded us that there is compassion and dignity that goes with being a human being, and that even prisoners are entitled to this compassion and dignity when it comes to life-threatening illnesses.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky wrote, “The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.” On the basis of inmate Salvatore DiMasi’s treatment and that of other prisoners, it would seem our civilization has gone down a few degrees.
No question the former Massachusetts House speaker violated the public trust, broke the law, was convicted, and was duly sentenced for his crime. But he should still be treated with a measure of humanity. To allow any inmate to languish with spreading cancer while the prison system moves at a snail’s pace to decide what to do, let alone treat him, is unconscionable.
I realize that the ability to provide treatment may be tied to shrinking government revenues, the nature of the economy, and bureaucratic procedures that have no feelings.
Regardless of those impediments, we should face the issue. In the end, it’s not about any single inmate; it’s about humanity.