And I say “Watch Them”! Prison officials often enter into such agreements and then routinely ignore them. A judge must monitor the compliance and HAMMER them for infractions! They have NO respect for law. I have SEEN it. READ Culture of Cover Up – Prison Abuse Looks great on paper, but I am telling you: Watch Them!
Excerpts from the Article:
Disability Rights Florida, the state’s Protection and Advocacy organization for people with disabilities, has reached a settlement agreement with the Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) that includes widespread changes to mental health treatment for prisoners.
The agreement was filed in conjunction with the complaint in federal district court in January 2018, and approved the following month. The settlement was the culmination of a multiyear investigation by Disability Rights Florida into the care and treatment of FDOC prisoners with mental health issues. The parties engaged in a year-long series of mediation sessions and reached the agreement with the assistance of federal judge Harvey Schlesinger.
Florida has over 18,000 state prisoners diagnosed with a mental illness that requires treatment. The FDOC operates 10 inpatient mental health units in prisons that treat about 1,200 prisoners whose mental illness significantly impairs their ability to function in a general prison environment.
The complaint alleged the FDOC provided only “cookie-cutter” Individual Service Plans (ISPs) that rarely changed, and treatment typically lacked any meaningful content and had “little to no direct relationship” to the prisoner’s actual mental health condition or ISP. Rather than provide appropriate care, “assignment to an inpatient unit amounts to little more than prolonged isolation similar to disciplinary confinement or close management.”
Further, the complaint cited a lack of qualified clinical staff and guards in the inpatient mental health units, and condemned the use of involuntary medication, restraints and punishment for behavior caused by prisoners’ mental illness. It also alleged the FDOC had “no system to identify and correct systematic deficiencies in the quality of care in the inpatient mental health units.”
The settlement addressed those issues. It requires the creation of ISPs that tailor treatment to the individual needs of the prisoner, and Multidisciplinary Services Teams were created that must meet and address each prisoner’s care needs at the initial stage and at regular and emergent intervals. Evidence-based practices and measures will be implemented, which include ten hours per week of structured out-of-cell treatment and no less than ten hours of unstructured out-of-cell time that includes at least five hours of outdoor exercise. The FDOC agreed to train staff with respect to clinical orders, checking on patients and motivational interviews of prisoners who refuse mental health treatment.
Additionally, the agreement implements new policies to address the excessive isolation and use of restraints and disciplinary reports that were previously used to address behavioral problems related to a prisoner’s mental illness. The new policies specify that psychological staff provide counsel and advice before disciplinary action is taken.
“This settlement agreement represents significant changes in the way inmates with serious mental illness receive care and treatment while serving sentences in Florida’s prisons,” said Maryellen McDonald, then-executive director of Disability Rights Florida. “With the dramatic rise of individuals with serious mental illness entering our criminal justice system, it is no surprise that our state prisons sadly become the last stop for those most at risk of severe psychiatric crisis.”
Attorneys from Disability Rights Florida, Florida Legal Services and the law firm of Holland & Knight represented Disability Rights Florida in the lawsuit; a settlement regarding attorney fees was reached in August 2018. See: Disability Rights Florida v. Jones, U.S.D.C. (M.D. Fla.), Case No. 3:18-cv-00179-HES-JRK.
Previously, a settlement in a similar lawsuit filed by Disability Rights Florida resulted in the FDOC agreeing to reforms to ensure prisoners with physical disabilities receive the services and accommodations they need. [See: PLN, Mar. 2018, p.44].
There are too many of these assholes praying upon desperate inmates and their family members. ALL should be prosecuted. The real harm they are doing with this scheme is cheating a real addict out of possible help.
Note: the RDAP program mentioned here is one of only a handful of prison treatment programs with any evidence of success!
Excerpts from the Article:
The prison consulting business has been plagued by gimmicks and false promises. Now a federal indictment in Connecticut could blow the lid off of a number of scammers that have taken advantage of defendants and their families.
US Attorneys in Connecticut have indicted three people who worked at RDAP Law Consultants LLC (RDAP Law) a firm that promised, guaranteed, that its clients would earn up to 18 months off of prison for hiring them. Tony Tuan Pham, Samuel Copenhaver and Constance Moerland were indicted on charges that they coached people to fake drug and alcohol habits to gain entry into the Bureau of Prisons’ 500-hour program, Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP). Getting into the program can get inmates up to one year off of their prison term and it is the only program in the BOP that offers a reduced time in prison. The BOP considers it one of their premier successes:
“The Bureau and National Institute on Drug Abuse combined funding and expertise to conduct a rigorous analysis of the Bureau’s RDAP. Research findings demonstrated that RDAP participants are significantly less likely to recidivate and less likely to relapse to drug use than non-participants. The studies also suggest that the Bureau’s RDAPs make a significant difference in the lives of offenders following their release from custody and return to the community.”
The RDAP program is a 9-month program of intensive drug and alcohol therapy. Those who enter the program participate in a regimen of therapies while incarcerated and counseling sessions after their release from prison. To qualify, a defendant must state that they have a drug or alcohol dependency within the year prior to their arrest … but that statement must be included in a Presentence Report, a historical report that provides detail on the defendant’s life (criminal past, family history, medical history and drug abuse). In many cases, defendants, particularly those involved in the drug trade (the majority of federal charges), have a drug problem. However, having that abuse documented in the Presentence report is imperative to gaining admission. When it is not, documentation must be provided to support a history of abuse … and that has launched a cottage industry of “consultants” who are falsifying information for those who did not initially qualify for the program.
When a defendant, a desperate defendant, reached out to RDAP Law, they would direct them to fraudulently obtain one or more prescriptions for medications used to treat withdrawal symptoms, and to bring those medications upon reporting to a BOP facility to begin serving their prison term. This created the false appearance of substance abuse disorder. RDAP Law also educated clients about how to mimic withdrawal symptoms and instructed clients “who were not yet in custody to adopt a daily habit of drinking alcohol or to have a medical professional provide a prescription for anti-anxiety medication prior to the client reporting to a BOP facility.” If none of those worked, RDAP Law recommended that defendants show up at prison drunk. For all of this, they would charge fees up to $10,000.
I know that the complaints voiced here are true. Hell, I have 2 guards who talk to me regularly, but they dare not go public for fear of losing their jobs, or worse. The inmates here are unlikely to get to first base, however, because, in case you don’t know it, judges do not even read the documents filed by inmates without a lawyer.
Excerpts from the Article:
Nine inmates charged in a Delaware correctional officer’s murder during a riot are suing corrections officials, alleging that they were abused.
News outlets report that Dwayne Stats, who has said he organized the 2017 uprising, filed the federal lawsuit last month with eight other inmates claiming inmates were “physically, mentally and emotionally” abused by those running the state’s prisons. These inmates weren’t permitted to be part of a similar class-action lawsuit filed by inmates who weren’t charged in the riot.
After the 18-hour standoff, Officer Steven Floyd was found dead and a prison counselor was rescued.
The lawsuit claims police unnecessarily beat the defendants after the building was reclaimed and they were denied medical care for months. It also accuses corrections officials of disposing of the inmates’ belongings.
Buried report: Sussex inmate died after Connections nurse’s ‘incompetent’ actions – and 6 months from now the “health care” in Delaware DOC still will be a disaster! – kra
Why am I not surprised to see this story?! Why? (1) Because I was in the prison during the time of the federal investigation mentioned here; I read every word of the “Consent Agreement” – 58 pages if I remember correctly – and saw the prison personnel violate its terms in serious ways daily at the same time that the Commissioner (“Do nothing Danberg”) and others were lying like hell in the press about all of the “progress” and “improvements” being made! (2) Since that time other activists and myself have gotten – still receive – a steady stream of emails and calls from inmates’ family members indicating that the system is WORSE!
This case absolutely is reflective of the quality of the organization’s health care in state correctional facilities.
I have edited out of my article quotes from the Governor and others about how “concerned” they are, and about all they are doing about the problem, because, as Ms. MacRae, Mr. Hampton, I, and many others know all too well, such comments are complete BS!
Surely there is a special place in Hell for the Governor, the Legislators, Delaware’s U S Attorney, and other officials who allow abominable treatment of inmates to continue. Give me a call and I shall tell you how I really feel! 🙂
As the first sentence of my – nearing completion – book says: “I used to be proud to be from the little, great state of Delaware, until I saw what goes on in Delaware D O C”.
Read how a six month sentence becomes a death sentence!
Equal to the atrocity of the “health care” itself is officials’ steadfast resistance to disclosure of the TRUTH!
See many related articles on this website, including one suggesting that the cause of death information, Autopsy Reports, Death Certificate, and police investigative files, be presumed to be public records unless, within 30 days of any inmate’s death, D O C or others can show good cause in court why they should not be!
Excerpts from the Article:
James Daniels collapsed in the chow hall at Sussex Community Corrections Center. He was unresponsive, foaming at the mouth and lying in a puddle of his own urine. Only “gurgling” sounds escaped his mouth. But no one at the Georgetown facility for probation violators, including the nurse who responded, called 911 when officers reported a man down. The nurse would later say she was trying to follow policy, which required permission for most 911 calls.
The 911 call wouldn’t be made until 18 minutes later, when Daniels no longer had a detectable pulse. Just over an hour later Daniels was pronounced dead. The delayed 911 call is just one example of inadequate health care Daniels received in his final moments on April 10, 2016, according to a Division of Professional Regulation report obtained by The News Journal.
The report states Daniels died after the “incompetent” and “egregious” actions of the nurse whose license is now on probation.
Lisa Roseanne Peace, then employed by Connections Community Support Programs, did not take Daniels’ blood pressure, check his blood oxygen levels, test his pain reactions or examine his pupils, the report states. The report states she also left the patient’s side twice. “The Board (of Nursing) found that Ms. Peace’s actions clearly failed to comply with the legal and acceptable standards of nursing and were incompetent on that morning,” Board President Pamela Zickafoose wrote in a February 2018 order to put Peace’s license on probation for a year. “Overall, the Board found Ms. Peace’s conduct particularly egregious when she failed to further assess the inmate by not taking his blood pressure and leaving him multiple times while he was in clear distress.”
Daniels was serving a six-month sentence for a probation violation. James Daniels, a 40-year-old inmate at Sussex Community Corrections Center, died after he became unresponsive in the facility.
Connections holds two contracts worth nearly $60 million to manage inmate health care: a behavioral health contract signed in 2012 and the primary medical care contract that began in 2014. The nonprofit agency offered no explanation for Daniels’ death in the nearly three years since he died, until contacted by The News Journal for this story.
When Daniels died, the Department of Correction did not release the cause or circumstances of his death other than to say no foul play was suspected. The state’s report does not specify the cause of his death. Unlike in many other states, cause of death information, autopsy reports, and police investigative files are not considered public records in Delaware. As a result, Delawareans often only learn what government agencies choose to tell them. Usually, the most the public learns about an inmate death is simply that they died.
In Daniels’ case, a complaint from Peace’s superior led to an investigation by the Board of Nursing, whose records are public. A report from a hearing officer, who acts as a quasi-judge in medical discipline cases, was quietly issued Nov. 3, 2017. An order to put Peace on probation for one year was issued on Feb. 9, 2018. A News Journal reporter stumbled upon them last week while pursuing another story.
The incident was captured on video that was submitted as evidence and played in a public administrative hearing in 2017. The News Journal requested a copy from the Delaware Division of Professional Regulation on Jan. 29 and was told the evidence file was in the possession of the Superior Court.
The News Journal requested the file from the court on Jan. 30. On Feb. 4, a court representative said the file would be delivered back to the Division of Professional Regulation. Despite the video and other evidence’s admittance into a public forum in 2017, a DPR spokesman said the agency would not allow a reporter to obtain the file before it undergoes “legal review.” A Freedom of Information Act request with DPR is pending.
Peace did not respond to a request for comment. But during her hearing, her attorney Gary Alderson argued that his client should not be blamed for not calling 911 because she was following Connections’ policy. At the time of Daniels’ death, Connections advised health care workers not to call 911 without the chief medical officer’s approval unless inmates experienced cardiac arrest or had hanged themselves, according to the hearing officer’s report. Peace testified that in the past, she had been reprimanded for calling 911 without authorization.
The hearing officer, Roger Akin, wrote in his report that the policy was problematic. He speculated that perhaps Connections wanted to limit the number of 911 calls to prevent civilians entering secure areas of state prisons, to reduce the cost of prison health care by limiting the use of outside emergency responders or to reduce the possibility of “false alarms.”
“Regardless of the rationale in limiting 911 calls, to the extent that the policy appeared to eliminate or override nursing judgment and dissuade timely emergency calls, it was not adopted with the primary or sole intention of ‘safeguarding’ inmate-patients,” Akin wrote. Sixteen days after Daniel’s death, Connections issued a memo to all of its correctional medical and behavioral staff telling them to immediately call 911 when presented with a person experiencing a “life threatening emergency condition,” the report states.
In a statement, Connections spokesman Adam Taylor said the circumstances surrounding Daniels’ death are “absolutely not” reflective of the quality of the organization’s health care in state correctional facilities.
Connections fired Peace on April 15, 2016, “as a direct result of the events in this case,” according to the hearing officer’s report. Peace claimed in her hearing testimony that she had issued a resignation letter five days earlier, on the day of Daniels’ death, because Connections had offered her another position. Besides pointing to the 911 call policy, Peace did not offer much of an explanation for her other alleged missteps, according to the report. “Based on this review of the evidence, it is clear to me that Ms. Peace’s critical ‘primary,’ or first, assessment was deficient even by her own standards,” Akin wrote.
A history of healtDaniels’ case is not the first time an inmate’s death has highlighted inadequate health care in Delaware correctional facilities, and it won’t be the last, said Dover attorney Stephen Hampton.“They’ve lost the fact that these are human beings,” said Hampton, who is representing a former inmate who is allegedly suffering from “irreversible neurological damage” as a result of inadequate care by Connections.
Stephen Hampton a lawyer and owner of Grady & Hampton, LLC, Attorneys at Law in Dover has filed suit on behalf of inmates who alleged they received inadequate healthcare in Delaware correctional facilities. “The DOC, the state, they’ve become callous to human suffering.”
In 2005, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice opened a formal inquiry into medical care and other systemic issues inside Delaware prisons following a six-month investigation by The News Journal that uncovered several failings by prison health care providers. Among the more egregious examples of how Delaware’s prison health care system failed was the case of Anthony Pierce, an inmate whose brain tumor grew to the size of a second head. His cellmates called him the “Brother with Two Heads.” Pierce was serving 14 months for a parole violation stemming from a burglary charge at the Sussex Correctional Institution in Georgetown when a small lump appeared on the back of his head and a prison doctor employed by a private medical contractor said the marble-sized lump was most likely a cyst or an ingrown hair. Seven months later, when the growth had become like a second head, Delaware’s contract prison medical director, Dr. Keith Ivens of Correctional Medical Services, stabbed the bulging tumor five times with an 18-gauge needle, withdrawing a bloody fluid. Rather than keeping the sample for analysis, Ivens emptied the syringe into a trash can, according to Michelle Thomas, a former prison counselor who was holding Pierce’s hand during the examination. Terminal cancer spread as prison neglected Delaware inmate’s pleas. The News Journal gained access to Pierce’s medical file through his family, and there was no record of a biopsy performed before cancer ate into the 21-year-old’s skull. Pierce died from the brain tumor in 2002.
That’s the same year that Bernard Coston was taken to prison on charges he stole a $50 jacket from an elderly woman. Diagnosed with AIDS before he went to prison, Coston spent his last four months in the infirmary of Wilmington’s Gander Hill prison (now Howard Young Correctional Institution). Coston’s death certificate stated that he died of AIDS, but the external examination from the autopsy painted a more gruesome picture for someone who’d been in an infirmary for months:“ The scalp is dirty.” “Examination of the skin on the back reveals a layer of dirt.” “Dirt is noted under the fingernails.” “Fecal material is smeared on the buttocks.” A forensic nurse who agreed to review Coston’s autopsy report for The News Journal said it was “obvious he got poor, poor, poor medical care.” The nurse also found it hard to believe Coston had been treated for four months in a prison infirmary: “If I did not know this individual was in the infirmary, I would wonder if he had been buried under dirt at some point in time.”
The U.S. Department of Justice found “substantial civil rights violations” inside Delaware’s prisons. Federal regulators identified a host of problems, including inadequate screening and health assessments, inadequate treatment of inmates with infectious diseases, inadequate treatment of inmates with serious mental illness and deficiencies in the state’s suicide-prevention measures. The state signed an 87-point agreement promising to correct the deficiencies and “meet generally accepted professional standards.”
After six years of working to improve inmate health, U.S. Department of Justice released the DOC from the agreement at the end of 2012.
My city of Dover, DE, does this too. All cities should because … need I say it again?! “When we help the homeless we help our communities”!
Please post and share this on Facebook, LinkedIn, MeWe, etc. … perhaps some Mayors or other city officials will see it an ACT! 🙂
Attend the next public meeting at City Hall where YOU live, and get this going! 🙂
Excerpts from the Article:
FOR THE LAST TWO YEARS, DENVER HAS OFFERED DAY JOBS TO PEOPLE LIVING ON THE STREET — AND IT’S HELPING THEM GET OFF OF IT. Brett Hart never imagined he’d end up homeless. The Denver-based engineer spent years working maintenance jobs and earning a decent living, until a bike accident upended his life.
“I was T-boned by a car,” he says. “And so unfortunately when that happens, you end up in the hospital… You spend 30 days in the hospital and you’re not working, so you can’t pay the rent for those 30 days. So you get evicted and you lose your job… So you find yourself pretty much on the street.”
Living temporarily in a camper and desperate for cash, Hart discovered a program that could help him get his life back on track.
Denver Day Works was launched by the city’s Human Services department in November 2016 to provide low-barrier employment opportunities to people experiencing homelessness. Modeled after similar programs in other cities, Denver Day Works pays participants $12 to $13 per hour to help with city projects like cleaning up the streets, landscaping and general maintenance. Participants also receive breakfast and lunch while they’re working, bus fare to get to worksites, and access to employment specialists who can help them find long-term work opportunities.
“Maybe a subtitle for this program is MythBusters, because I think a lot of people, including myself, weren’t sure how successful this would be,” says Don Mares, executive director of Denver Human Services. “We had so many people sign up … that we had a waitlist of folks to come and do that work.”
Boosted by the legal marijuana market and a booming aerospace industry, Denver’s economy continues to thrive. But with its economic resurgence, the city must also grapple with rising housing prices and a recent spike in homelessness.
Watch the video above to learn more about how Denver Day Works is helping people like Hart and others who have fallen on hard times get a fresh start.
Whistleblower Says Corizon Health Administrators Directed Him To Cheat Arizona Prison Monitors – a pretty good summary of the health care horrors occurring every day in many of our prisons! kra
Of course they did. They lie like hell regularly to cover up their abuses! See articles here under “prison abuse”!
This judge’s appointment of an independent monitor will prove futile unless the Court cracks down, imposes harsh sanctions for failure to comply, for lying to the Court, etc. … I SAW Delaware D O C health officials violate the every day the 58 page “Consent Agreement” they signed with the U S Dept. of Justice!
READ this article for a pretty good summary of the health care horrors occurring every day in many of our prisons!
Excerpts from the Article:
The sound of coworkers crying. Sprinting to stabbings and hangings. The hiss of an empty oxygen tank. The inevitable loss of life. These are the memories of Jose Vallejo from his time in an Arizona prison. Vallejo worked for Corizon Health in the Arizona Department of Corrections for two years from December 2016 to December 2018. He alleges the company is violating state regulations, purposefully misleading state auditors, and putting patient lives at risk.
U.S. District Judge Roslyn Silver, overseeing the Parsons v. Ryan prison health care settlement, recently appointed an independent expert to review the entire Arizona prison health care system after similar allegations were made by previous whistleblowers. Vallejo read their accounts and came to KJZZ with his own story, after he says his concerns fell on deaf ears at Corizon and the Department of Corrections.
Vallejo is no stranger to the correctional world. He has worked as a correctional officer and a police officer, as well as a correctional nurse. For the past two years, he was employed as a licensed vocational nurse at the Arizona State Prison Complex – Eyman in Florence. Much of his time was spent working in the SMU-1 unit, where some of the most seriously mentally ill patients in the state prison system are housed.
Vallejo worked as an hourly employee for Corizon Health, logging 12-hour shifts, four or five days a week. His duties included distributing medicine and providing health care to thousands of patients. He estimates he was putting in between 120 and 150 hours every two weeks at the prison.
“It’s mentally exhausting — emotionally — physically,” he recalled in a recent interview at his home. “We have to stop what we’re doing to respond to emergencies. We have inmate stabbings, inmate hangings. It takes a toll. It really does.” When Vallejo first started at Eyman, he said he was forced to hit the ground running. Instead of the two weeks of training he was promised, “I literally got two days of training, and I was thrown into working nights by myself.” He says his previous work experience helped steel him against the pressure, but other nurses were simply not prepared.
“There’s RNs there that don’t even know how to start an IV,” Vallejo said. “There are nurses that can’t operate an oxygen tank. A lot of them have no type of training. They’re book-smart, but when it comes to a hands-on situation, they have no idea what’s going on.”
An independent expert hired by Magistrate Judge David Duncan in 2018 to review Corizon’s staffing woes found that “recruitment and retention are an ongoing issue, resulting in staff being stretched too thin to provide coverage.” Vallejo said not much has changed. He says he and his colleagues were run ragged.
Despite Corizon’s contract with the state guaranteeing 90 percent staffing fulfillment, Vallejo claims his unit was usually only 50 percent staffed with health care personnel. He says the turnover was like nothing he has ever seen. “Corizon is just hiring bodies, trying to get their numbers up,” he said. Vallejo kept internal employee logs that he claims show several units at the Eyman prison were continually understaffed.
Vallejo says a registered nurse should have been at the prison complex at all times, but often there was no one working with that level of certification. Many times, he says, licensed vocational nurses were forced to make decisions that should have been handled by someone with more experience.
Vallejo says this included inadvertently giving inmates the wrong medication, “which can ultimately kill them, depending on what you’re giving them. I mean you have blood pressure medications, heart medications – critical stuff.”
Vallejo says inmates with chronic illnesses suffered the most. “There was a lot of times, due to lack of staff, that diabetic inmates weren’t getting their insulin until 9 or 10 o’clock in the morning,” Vallejo said. “That’s pretty dangerous considering we turn around and give it to them again at 3 p.m. So they’re not even hitting their peak when we’re turning around and giving them more.”
In addition to serving thousands of patients’ daily needs, Vallejo says there were constant emergencies. He claims during one shift he worked in early November, there were 28 Incident Command System (ICS) responses. An ICS is an emergency situation at the prison requiring an all-hands-on-deck type of response from health care providers and Department of Corrections staff. “It was everything from inmates cutting themselves to cell extractions to chest pains,” he said.
He claims several patients and Department of Corrections staff were injured. He says the inmates were rebelling because they had not been receiving their medication. “They warned us that they were going to go off,” Vallejo said. “But nobody listened, and they ended up setting the unit on fire.”
Vallejo says despite the short staffing, nurses were expected to perform the work required of a full roster of employees. He claims Corizon supervisors repeatedly ordered him and his colleagues to improperly distribute medicine to patients. “She wanted one of us to pop ’em, while the other two went and handed them out,” he said. Vallejo says instructing one nurse to “pop” pills from their blister packs while directing another nurse to distribute them is against guidelines established by the state board of nursing. “We told her we weren’t going to do it. It’s illegal. We can’t pass medicines that somebody else has poured. But they didn’t care.”
“We have cancer patients not getting cancer treatment like they should be,” he said. “There are follow-ups by providers that aren’t happening. They’re just being overlooked.”
Dr. Jan Watson, who also formerly worked for Corizon as a health care provider at the Eyman prison, made similar accusations about poor access to specialty care to KJZZ in December 2017. Watson ended up testifying in federal court along with another Corizon whistleblower, Dr. Angela Fischer, who expressed similar concerns.
“I had one male patient that was so bloated he looked like he was nine months’ pregnant,” Vallejo said. “He was jaundiced so badly, he had pretty much yellowish skin.”
When we had an emergency and we didn’t even have working oxygen tanks that were full — they were all empty,” he said. “Other times, we’re having to run to another unit on the other side of the complex to get an EKG machine because ours isn’t working.” “People would break the secure tags on ‘man down bags’ to get supplies in an emergency and then wouldn’t replace them,” he said. “You have things in there that are expired and don’t even belong in there.”
The Arizona Department of Corrections created a monitoring bureau “to follow the medical care and treatment of inmates” after the state privatized prison health care in 2012. The bureau performs audits on the health care facilities at state-run prisons, currently operated by Corizon Health.
Vallejo claims he witnessed and took part in numerous practices, directed by Corizon Health administrators, that were conducted to deceive the state monitoring bureau and avoid potential fines. “When it’s time for audits, Corizon administrators will ask us to make sure all the books are signed and tell us to ‘fill in the blanks,’” Vallejo said. He says there are several logs maintained by Corizon for monitoring things like narcotics inventories and temperatures in the inmates’ cells.
“Our narcotic books are supposed to be signed every shift,” he said. “All the temperatures are supposed to be within normal limits.” But these books, he said, were often left blank. “I’ve been asked to fill in the blanks on multiple occasions,” Vallejo said. “Narcotics are supposed to be counted and signed for at the beginning of the shift and at the end of the shift. But there’s a lot of times where they aren’t. So two or three months later, they’ll ask whoever is around to sign off on the books, so they’re not getting dinged for it.”
Vallejo says there was a specific room at his unit where his supervisors would pile up the books full of empty blanks and a Corizon administrator would order Vallejo and his colleagues to fill them in. Vallejo admits to improperly signing several of the narcotic books under order from his supervisors. “It sucks because they’re putting us in a predicament where either we sign it — or if we don’t — we’d end up getting some sort of retaliation.”
Vallejo says he is certain that Corizon administrators knew when the audits were coming, and prepared for them. “They know before they show up. So they try to start fixing everything and hide what they can,” he said.“Every nurse that works there has been told at one point or another to fill in a blank, or sign something off, or back-date something, or chart on something that they might not even have been there to chart on,” Vallejo said. “It’s common practice.”
Vallejo claims that in addition to falsely signing forms and backdating patient visits that didn’t occur, Corizon administrators ordered nurses to hide expired medicines from the state auditors. “We were asked to make sure expired medications were out of sight so the auditor doesn’t see them,” he said. “We had medications in the med room that should have been discontinued,” he said. “When they find out the auditors are coming, they’ll go and stick the expired meds in the pharmacy room and pretty much just lock them up until the auditors are gone. And once they leave, they’ll bring them back out.”
Vallejo says when clinics at the prison would run out of medications, which he says occurred frequently, Corizon administrators would instruct nurses to give patients the expired medications.
Vallejo said he expressed his concerns about all of these allegations to the Corizon Health facility administrator, assistant administrator, assistant directors of nursing and the regional director of nursing. He claims nothing happened in response.
Vallejo saved emails from his superiors that show they were aware of the staffing shortages and the impact it was having on patient care.
Vallejo says he asked Arizona Department of Corrections officials for help as well, to no avail. “Anytime we try to go to ADC, they have us go up our chain of command at Corizon,” he said. “It got the the point where I started telling inmates to write grievances because we weren’t getting anywhere with management.”
In November 2018, Vallejo and his colleagues sent emails to Corizon Health administrators describing how dire the staffing situation had become. On Nov. 19, Vallejo filed an anonymous complaint with the Arizona Labor Department about the working conditions at Eyman. Vallejo says two weeks after the November email to supervisors stating the nurses would no longer distribute medicines without proper staffing, he was told by his supervisors they were going to report him for abandoning his patients. Vallejo says on Dec. 3, 2018, ADC officers escorted him from the property at Eyman.
“I just hope somebody opens their eyes,” Vallejo said. “I hope something is done about it, because there is a lot of potential there. You have a lot of great nurses there, but we don’t have the resources or the help that we need.” “Nothing is being done,” Vallejo said, “and nothing will be done unless it’s brought to the light. The only route that anyone can take now is bringing it out to where people can read about it and taxpayers can know what they’re paying for.”
Vallejo believes if Corizon would fill the contracted health care positions and provide better training for new employees, turnover would decrease and the quality of patient care would improve dramatically.
He says he’s heard from former coworkers since his departure who were told by Corizon administrators that if they took a stand like Vallejo did, they would face the same fate.
Vallejo says he continues to worry about the patients he left behind at Eyman. “They are not asking for anything out of the norm,” he said. “They’re just asking for the medications they need. They’re asking to be seen when they’re supposed to be seen. They’re asking for simple stuff. It’s not anything drastic, just basic necessities that we don’t have the resources for.”
“Somebody needs to do something,” Vallejo said, “or else more patients are going to die.”
The Arizona Department of Corrections recently announced it has selected a new health care vendor, Centurion Managed Care, to take over the state prison health care contract from Corizon Health on July 1, 2019.
Actual sexual abuse is horrendous, but looking at pictures is another story. In many states people unjustly get hammered ( 2 years minimum for each picture!) for looking at pictures, due to “sex offender hysteria”. THIS fool got what he deserved.
One of hundreds of articles I have read about abuse in privately operated “detention centers”, America’s worst prisons!
Excerpts from the Article:
A former youth care worker has been sentenced to 19 years in prison for sexually abusing teenage boys at a migrant shelter in Arizona, the Justice Department said.
Levian Pacheco, 25, of Phoenix was convicted last year on seven counts of abusive sexual contact with a ward and three counts of sexual abuse of a ward. The abuse occurred between August 2016 and July 2017 at Southwest Key’s Casa Kokopelli facility in Mesa, court records show. It was part of the US government’s network of privately run facilities intended to care for unaccompanied minors, according to court documents. Pacheco began working there in May 2016.
Hannah Kearney has been in love with mountains ever since she first strapped on a pair of skis as a young girl, but her gold medal journey almost never happened.
The seven boys he was convicted of abusing, some on multiple occasions, were between 15 and 17, according to court documents. They were being held in detention pending possible deportation, and Pacheco, a youth care worker, supervised the minors, the Justice Department said. Pacheco touched six of the children’s genitalia over their clothes, performed oral sex on two boys and attempted to have anal sex with one of them, court documents said.
Pacheco’s prison sentence is set to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release, the department said Friday.
U.S. District Judge Steven P. Logan increased Pacheco’s sentence because he exposed the victims to the HIV virus, officials said.
The nonprofit group runs migrant children’s shelters in several states, including Arizona, Texas and California.
This legislation has been fraught with problems; they can and should be fixed ASAP. We have far too many people languishing in prison needlessly. People who are not dangerous should not be imprisoned because they cannot afford to pay $500!
They should issue these for real life! A “get out of jail free” card.
Excerpts from the Article:
Last year, lawmakers passed a bill to reform bail in Delaware. Their goal? To prevent someone who committed a relatively minor crime from being locked up before trial simply because he or she couldn’t afford to make bail.
The bill was hailed by supporters as a big step toward a fairer, less punitive system. Justice of the Peace Court Chief Magistrate Alan Davis told senators it would mean far fewer defendants remaining in jail “for want of $500.” The judicial branch was tasked with creating procedures for implementing the changes, which went into effect Jan. 1.
But, there have been some bumps in the road, according to one lawmaker. The issue could set the stage for a confrontation between the General Assembly and top decision-makers in the courts. While such a fight is likely to take place in private, spillover may leak out.
Sen. Bryan Townsend, a Newark Democrat who cosponsored the bail reform bill, acknowledged “[t]here have been a few different — one in particular in the Dover area — acts of criminality early in the new year that have resulted in certain bail decisions being rendered or essentially the assailant being released on unsecured bail and a lot of questions were coming up from law enforcement and other members of the community. After hearing multiple reports of individuals going free who likely should not have been released before trial without first putting up bail, he introduced a resolution urging the judiciary to revisit its interim rule and potentially make changes.
It passed overwhelmingly.
The resolution, which specifically notes the bail bill calls for cash bail for someone who commits a violent crime with a gun, strongly recommends a convening of “criminal justice stakeholders to finalize a court rule focused on balancing continued efforts to release defendants who should not be held pre-trial and to protect the public from defendants accused of violent crimes.”
In an interview, Sen. Townsend emphasized the recent legislation was largely targeted at ensuring the bail reform bill was understood and applied properly, not rebuking the courts for the rule judges and judicial administrators drafted.
“I think that the broader point was … the timing around when the rules were issued, when they went into effect, how much training was received by different stakeholders in the process,” he said, He noted the rule was announced two weeks before it kicked in. In one instance, bail was not set for an individual who led police on a chase in a stolen car before crashing near a crowded area, a situation the courts have admitted was improperly handled, he said. Coupled with a separate incident involving a gun crime, the episode sparked concerns from law enforcement, Sen. Townsend said.
That led to his call for a review of the process. “There are going to be growing pains to any new system, right, but when it’s a matter of public safety … the growing pains have got to be addressed as soon as possible,” he said.
The bail reform legislation passed in January 2018 gives judges greater discretion and more tools to set bail. A new risk assessment measure that analyzes more than 2,000 factors offers a look at how likely an offender is to commit another crime or skip a court hearing, rather than making a more arbitrary bail determination.
“The (bail amount I set) is magic, quite frankly,” Judge Davis testified in front of the Senate during a debate on the bill last year. “I do it all the time and I can’t tell you how I do it. I just look at the person that walks in and I kind of get a guess for how much their resources are and I use that as a guideline and I say this is the number. It’s a guess.”
The risk assessment involves an algorithm of sorts, with judges assigning scores to offenders based on things like past crimes. Its conclusion is nonbinding, meaning the final decision on bail is up to the judge.
Judge Davis last year said many judges felt pressured to impose bail even on low-level offenders, which can result in them remaining locked up before trial simply because they cannot afford to pay a few thousand or even a few hundred dollars. As a result, the system has in some ways essentially been biased against poor defendants.
As of October 2017, 712 people were being detained because they could not pay bail, with about 144 having bail of no more than $5,000, according to Judge Davis.
Being locked up for weeks or months can have devastating consequences for many, depriving families of much-needed paychecks — another way the system has hindered those of little means.
“Bail is supposed to be to protect people’s safety and ensure their appearance in court, period,” Sen. Townsend said. “It’s not supposed to be punitive.”
Delaware has four types of bail: own recognizance, where a defendant is set free on the promise he or she will appear for future court dates; unsecured, where the same promise is made but the defendant must pay a certain sum if he or she fails to show up; secured, where a defendant can be released by providing a designated sum of money or property to cover the cost; and cash-only, which is similar to secured but requires a monetary payment in addition to an agreement the individual will appear for court hearings.
Bail can only be denied in Delaware for murder charges.
Sen. Townsend said he has talked to court administrators but hasn’t broached the subject with Chief Justice Leo Strine, who has rankled legislators in the past for speaking out and what some see as overreach.
“We don’t want necessary and important reforms to be delayed by avoidable problems that arise with implementation,” Sen. Townsend said.
This issue arises often for inmates. The question is: When is a court filing accepted by the Court? When it is mailed, or when it is received? The answer can mean the difference as to whether it will be considered. There are (unfair) stringent time limits on when inmates can file certain pleadings.
On July 24, 2018, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court held the state’s constitution requires adoption of a modified version of the “prisoner mailbox rule” when filing petitions for judicial review of prison disciplinary orders.
Maine prisoner Charles M. Martin was found guilty of a disciplinary infraction on April 25, 2016. Pursuant to 5 M.R.S. § 11002, he filed a petition for judicial review of that order by submitting it to prison authorities for mailing to the Superior Court on May 18, 2016. However, the court clerk did not receive the petition until May 26 – one day beyond the 30-day filing deadline imposed by § 11002(3).
The state moved to dismiss, arguing that the court lacked jurisdiction over the case because it was filed outside the 30-day deadline. Martin opposed the motion, urging the court to apply the prisoner mailbox rule established in Houston v. Lack, 487 U.S. 266 (1988). Under that rule, Martin’s petition would have been deemed filed when he gave it to prison officials for mailing on May 18, 2016, rather than when it was received by the court clerk. Concluding that § 11002(3) is “jurisdictional and mandatory,” and that “Maine has not yet adopted the so-called federal mailbox rule,” the Superior Court dismissed the action.
The Supreme Judicial Court reversed. Although Houston is not binding on the states because it involved the interpretation of a federal rule and did not invoke the U.S. Constitution, the Court observed that 24 states have adopted variations of the prisoner mailbox rule.
Finding that it could not consider the case on the same grounds as Houston, the Supreme Judicial Court followed the lead of Florida and Oklahoma in concluding “that the Supreme Court’s rationale in Houston rings of fundamental fairness required by both the open courts provision and due process clause of the Maine Constitution.”
Notably, the Court observed that Maine’s open courts clause derived from the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780 and had roots in the Magna Carta. Similarly, Maine’s due process clause “is identical to that contained in the United States Constitution.” This supported an argument that the prisoner mailbox rule is also mandated by the fundamental fairness provision of the due process clause of the U.S. Constitution.
Nevertheless, “it is not unconstitutionally unreasonable to require that the petition be delivered to prison authorities at least three days prior to the thirty-day filing deadline,” the Supreme Judicial Court concluded. “A pro se prisoner’s constitutional rights are only violated where – as in this case – he or she completes the prison’s procedures for depositing the petition with the prison for mailing at least three days before the last day on which the petition may be timely filed, and the petition does not reach the clerk of court until after that deadline has passed.”
Accordingly, the Superior Court’s order was vacated and the case remanded for further proceedings. See: Martin v. Department of Corrections, 2018 ME 103, 190 A.3d 237 (ME 2018).
The Whole Story
ICE Let Sexual Assault Reports Slide At Migrant Detention Centers Run By Contractors: Inspector General
I have been posting about this situation for 5 years now, and under tRump the abuses only worsen. Here I am seen speaking about the horrors – abuses – of ICE “detention centers” about 4 years ago:
Excerpts from the Article:
Federal immigration officials are not adequately policing contractors running immigrant detention centers where serious problems are often going unreported, according to a report the inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security released last week. In some cases, contractors ― including both private businesses and public operations, such as county jails ― failed to notify Immigration and Customs Enforcement of sexual assaults and employee misconduct, the IG report said.
“Instead of holding facilities accountable through financial penalties, ICE issued waivers to facilities with deficient conditions,” the report said.
The report said one facility, for example, was granted a waiver that allowed detainees with serious criminal histories to be held near those with nonviolent offenses. Another facility was granted a waiver to use tear gas instead of pepper spray, which is less toxic, according to the IG report.
ICE issued only two fines to contractors between October 2015 and June 2018, despite finding more than 14,000 deficiencies in that time period, the IG reported. One facility was fined for repeated deficiencies in health care; another for failing to pay proper wages. The fines amounted to $3.9 million — or 0.13 percent of the more than $3 billion ICE paid to contractors during that period, the report noted.
ICE approved 65 waivers allowing facilities to ignore contract requirements — most for indefinite time periods ― between September 2016 and July 2018.
The investigation examined 106 detention facilities run by contractors that hold about 25,000 detainees daily. ICE has about 45,670 immigrants in detention each day.
In the last two years, the DHS inspector general also found that ICE hasn’t followed its own contract procurement guidelines for the detention centers, and has not fully examined actual conditions at centers. ICE said it would do better.