Read the impression of C. McCarthy, Discovery Team Member, of her visit into the men and women's prisons in 2008
"Arriving we hear the roar of the women who become aware of our presence....
As we enter many hands from the intensely crowded cells reach out from behind the bars to grasp our hands. Tears stream down our faces, but the women seek to encourage us. “Don’t cry, “A young woman says.
The iron bars open and we enter their world of 27 women in a room about 10 by 12 feet, foul with the smell of feces, urine, spoiled food and body odor! Urine on the floor. No toilets, defecating in plastic bags when in the cells. One woman calls out, “What will you do to help us? We cannot live like this.”
The women are all ages, but mostly young. The women move with us to an open courtyard where they are allowed 30 minutes a day. Here they bathe and move about. In the cells they are packed in like sardines. There are not enough beds nor even enough space for them to all to sit at the same time. We look at sores on their bodies; see the belly of a 16-year-old pregnant girl who'd been raped; women who have been accused but not convicted, many taken without their families knowing where they were going.
Next we visit a boy’s prison, the conditions are similar, although they have a toilet. The 10x18 foot room holds 35 boys, less than 5 square feet per boy. The boys reach out to us, the spaces between the bars full of haunting faces. “Just touch me and help me know that I am not forgotten.”