You don’t want to get me started on the abominable state of health care in our prisons. See numerous articles under “prison abuse”. Who PAYS for all of the avoidable litigation, the jury awards, and the settlements? YOU do!
UPDATED 10/14/18 Look at these. UNDERSTAND this! Here are two more articles about prison abuse, just this week. How many more are unreported because the inmate did not sue, or because the inmate settled, as they often do, for $50 or less after years of costly litigation. (PAID BY YOU – CALL ME AND I’LL EXPLAIN!)
Federal judge awards Nebraska woman $1M judgment against ex-guard who raped her = http://www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net/federal-judge-awards-nebraska-woman-1m-judgment-against-ex-guard-who-raped-her/
Santa Clara County pays $365,000 settlement to beaten jail inmate = http://www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net/santa-clara-county-pays-365000-settlement-to-beaten-jail-inmate/
Scores of newly admitted inmates DIE each year due to prison failure to diagnose and/or treat opioid withdrawal symptoms.
Excerpts from the Story
The Maine Department of Corrections will allow a Caribou man to receive medication in prison to treat his opioid use disorder. Zachary Smith, 30, sued the department in July. The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine filed the complaint on his behalf in U.S. District Court in Portland, claiming Smith was being denied his rights to medication in prison under the Americans with Disabilities Act. His Eighth Amendment rights, which prohibit cruel and unusual punishment, were also being violated, the lawsuit said.
The parties filed a settlement agreement in federal court Friday that will give Smith access to his regular treatment while he is in custody.
“This outcome will spare Zachary Smith from incredibly painful, and potentially deadly, forced withdrawal,” Zachary Heiden, legal director for the ACLU of Maine, said in a statement. “There is no justification for denying doctor-prescribed medication to prisoners with opioid use disorder. Withholding needed treatment actually undermines our chances of keeping people off of opiates.”
The agreement means a judge will not rule on the broader legal arguments in the lawsuit. But the ACLU of Maine said the settlement will make it harder for other corrections facilities to argue that providing this treatment to prisoners isn’t feasible.
“This settlement is an important first step to making sure that people with opioid addiction can get the treatment and care they need while they are incarcerated,” staff attorney Emma Bond said. “The solution to the opioid crisis has to be a multipronged approach, and one important part of that is making sure that jails and prisons are not making the problem worse.”
Maine is in the midst of an opioid crisis, with 418 Mainers dying of drug overdoses in 2017, and the state on track to experience a similar number of overdose deaths this year.
The ACLU of Maine said Smith has been in recovery for more than five years with the help of medication-assisted treatment, which is considered the “gold standard” for opioid treatment by addiction experts. Smith takes buprenorphine, or Suboxone, which is used as a long-term drug to help people recover from opioid use disorder. Some patients are on a maintenance dose of Suboxone for years.
Some states, including Rhode Island, New York and Florida, allow medication-assisted treatment in jails and prisons. But the Maine Department of Corrections generally prohibits it for inmates other than pregnant women.
“With certain limited exceptions, it is the policy of the Department not to provide treatment of opioid use disorder with buprenorphine or equivalent medications,” the settlement says. “In his complaint, Plaintiff claims that he will suffer irreparable harm if his treatment is not continued when he is in the custody of the Department.
A federal judge still needs to give formal approval to the settlement agreement. A telephone status conference in the case is scheduled for Monday.