By the end of 2016, Nicholas Bailey had no teeth. A Michigan prison dentist had removed all of them because they were decaying.
“I’m in pain,” he wrote in a series of complaints to prison staff, begging for dentures. “I cannot eat because I have no teeth.”
But instead of giving him dentures, the medical staff gave him soft food and told him he’d have to wait, even though he said his gums were swollen and bleeding. That’s because, under the Michigan Department of Corrections policy, prisoners can get dental care during their first two years in prison only if the treatment is considered urgent — and being toothless does not count.