TJ Hutchins is a former Correctional Officer for the correctional facility in Stillwater, MN. After working there for five years, Hutchins is very knowledgeable about occurrences inside the prison walls.
Despite the fact that the flagstone floors are waxed and cleaned regularly, the inmates have been known to get foot issues from the communicable surfaces. Janitors and other workers maintain the facilities as best they can.
“They’re people in there. They don’t want to live in filth.” Hutchins said.
The bathrooms and showers get cleaned to maintain a healthy living environment for these inmates. Still, there are over 300 people who use the same facilities and because the floors cannot be cleaned after every single use, diseases of the foot tend to spread.
While inmates do not directly report their foot health issues to the Correctional Officers, Hutchins still knows of many instances of athlete’s foot, warts, and other issues.
Throughout the course of Hutchins’ career at the Stillwater institute, there were no extra precautions taken to avoid foot health issues aside from requiring inmates to watch a series of videos that informed them of the risks of the showers. When showering, soap, dirt, and water fall downward to the feet. Most people are not aware of this dirt staying on the feet and in between the toes.
The lack of precautions does not mean there is no care for the inmates. All of them receive the general, necessary treatment when issues do occur.
The inmates receive the proper treatment from a real medical professional. The issues are reported to medical personnel, an appointment is made, and appropriate care is given to them, whether that would be applying ointment or undergoing expensive surgeries.
“You don’t see anyone walking around in anything like Jellyfeet,” Hutchins said. “They might get something like a plastic bag.”
The nature of Jellyfeet is to cover, treat, and protect feet. They could ultimately prevent foot health issues in facilities like the Stillwater location. If Jellyfeet were a standard issue piece of equipment, all inmates could use them to keep the dirt, dust, and other filth on the communicable floors from coming in contact with their bare feet.