humedica Medical Team Operation Behind Bars

by Joachim Panhans, 2007/03/19

In a calm evening in November, 47 inmates broke out of their cells and slipped out through the door into freedom. This flight is not anything unusual in for this Liberian jail. What is noteworthy, however, is that one inmate stayed in his cell from where the others fled.

The prison guards discovered the young man the next morning in the unlocked cell. They were amazed that he hadn’t fled with his cell-comrades. The guards informed Sheriff Fatumatta, the managing director from Prison Fellowship Liberia and the Assistant Attorney General about the case. The sheriff personally asked the prisoner why he hadn’t fled. Out of gratitude, he said, simply gratitude, for help which he had received a month earlier.

He was one of the patients, who in October, during the „PF Global Assistance Programs“ - implemented in six prisons in and around Monrovia - was treated from humedica doctors. The young man had suffered for fifteen years from pain caused by an abscessed tooth. He waited hopefully in line to be seen by one of the dentists. The volunteer dentist pulled out the tooth and relieved him from the year-long pain. “These people came here to help us”, he explained to Sheriff Fatumatta. “They left their comfortable lives and came here to the prison in order to help us. I would like to serve my sentence and become a better person, just like the dentist.”

Sheriff Fatumatta looked over the case of the 23-year-old and discovered that he had already been in prison for six months due to burglary. The Assistant Attorney General asked him firmly, “Do you promise to never steal again?” “I promise”, assured the young man. Sheriff Fatamatta then petitioned for his early release to the proper authorities. His release was granted, and he was able to walk through the prison door as a free and rehabilitated man.

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