They knew it was wrong; they did it anyway. Private prisons are the worst mistake since the beginning of the war on drugs. Obama saw this and was getting them out; tRump brought them back because they donated HUGE sums to his campaign.
Excerpts from the Article:
The operator of a privately run federal prison in Kansas and its phone provider have agreed to pay $3.7 million to settle a lawsuit filed by attorneys who alleged that calls with their clients at the facility were illegally recorded.
CoreCivic, which runs the Leavenworth Detention Center, and its phone provider, Securus Technologies, agreed to pay the money into a fund that will be distributed among attorneys who had in-person or phone communications intercepted.
A judge in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri approved the agreement. The settlement comes a year after the companies agreed to pay $1.6 million to current and former detainees who made similar allegations.
CoreCivic told the newspaper in an email that the company maintains that there was no wrongdoing on the part of its company or its employees.
The attorneys for the plaintiffs and Securus Technologies did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Attorneys who had their in-person clients visits or phone calls intercepted or recorded will be entitled to up to $10,000 in compensation under the terms of the settlement. Those who had both in person and phone communications intercepted will be entitled to up to $20,000.
David Johnson and Adam Crane, the named litigants who sued in 2016, will each be awarded $25,000. Just under $1.3 million will be set aside for attorneys fees.
The rest of the money will be donated to Legal Aid of Western Missouri and Kansas Legal Services.
Last year, U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson held the U.S. attorney’s office in Kansas in contempt of court, finding it willfully violated court orders during an independent investigation of the systemic practice. The judge also found that some federal prosecutors improperly listened to recorded communications between inmates and their attorneys.
More than a hundred criminal defendants have filed petitions seeking to get their sentences vacated or indictments dismissed. Those proceedings are ongoing.
This article by Mr. Bethel is an interesting discussion of some of the issues involved with Black Lives Matter.
I don’t agree with some of what he says about the Constitution, and I shall ask him about that when (if) we meet. I am trying to track him down. He surely is spot on with this remark: “Black lives didn’t matter in the beginning, from 1619, through slavery, through the Jim Crow laws, and no, Black lives don’t matter to some people even in 2020.”
Excerpts from the Article:
Black Lives Matter doesn’t have anything to do with the disapproval rating of Donald Trump (Frank Daniels’ question “What is Black Lives Matter?” July 24). If anyone is a Marxist and an anarchist (yes, I do know the meanings), it’s Trump and his enablers in the Senate who have, time after time, turned a blind eye to his autocratic, demagogic, authoritarian way of ruining this country.
I have the utmost respect for you, Mr. Daniels, for serving your country as a retired colonel. What is disappointing to me is the fact that you still support this man after he’s used the military as a political stunt when he had them gas and clear out innocent protesters, just so he could do a photo op in front of a church. Trump has all but turned his back on not only the military itself by not taking the bounty attacks from Russia seriously, but he’s also turned his back on us as Americans during the coronavirus, by not listening to the scientists or anyone in his administration who repeatedly tried to warn him of the coming pandemic as many as a dozen times between January and February. Even some military retirees are now putting ads out against Trump to get him out of office. He is the most dangerous, incompetent, ignorant and worst president this country has ever had in the whole history of the United States of America — by far!
Black Lives Matter is not doing anything to Trump that he’s not already doing to himself. So, let’s not blame Trump’s ineptitude on Black Lives Matter. He has single-handedly destroyed the moral fabric of this country and distanced us from our allies while continuing to sow the seeds of racism and division.
Joe Biden will not destroy our neighborhoods and suburbs like Trump claims. The truth of the matter is that the president is losing suburban white voters. This is why he’s trying desperately to paint a picture of fear and trouble. However, that 2016 playbook of law and order and paranoia is not going to work on the majority of Americans who see Trump for what he really is: a shallow, weak and insecure man who has the attention span of a 3-year-old.
Trump has quit on this country at a time when we need real leadership. As of this writing, he still has no federal plan on how to combat the virus. Why doesn’t he attack the coronavirus like he attacked the peaceful protesters in Portland, Oregon, or in other cities? He is a coward who will not accept responsibility for anything and blames everything and everyone else for things that happened on his watch.
At least Joe Biden has some sense. He is compassionate, he listens, and he understands the needs of the American people! He will unify us, not tear us apart, unlike Trump, who only cares about Trump and what will be best for Trump.
He’s already trying to sow seeds of doubt about the election, due to increased mail-in ballots. Now he’s saying that he doesn’t know if he will accept the results if he loses. So we need to make sure that we see what he will do when he loses. We need to completely destroy him at the polls or by mail-in ballots, so that there is no doubt that he has to go!
Although I’m disappointed in the fact that a former military man like Mr. Daniels supports Trump, it doesn’t really surprise me. It doesn’t surprise me that the president still has his die-hard base standing by him no matter how racist and divisive he is. A lot of his base wants to go back to the “good old days” of the ’50s and ’60s, maybe even further.
Let’s journey back so we can see why we are where we are today in regard to Black Lives Matter. There’s a racial caste system that’s been going on since slavery, to Jim Crow, to mass incarceration today. The more times change, the more things stay the same for Black Americans. The structure and content of the original Constitution was to preserve slavery, while, at the same time, affording political and economic rights to whites, especially propertied whites. The Southern slaveholding colonies would agree to form a union only on the condition that the federal government would not interfere with the right to own slaves. Northern white elites were sympathetic to the demand for their property rights to be respected, so they wanted their property (slaves) protected. So, the Constitution was designed so the federal government would be weak, not only in its relationship to private property, but also in the relationship to the rights of states to conduct their own affairs. The language of the Constitution itself was deliberately colorblind. The words “Negro” or “slave” were never used. However, the document itself was designed for a compromise regarding the control of Blacks. Federalism (which is the division of power between the states and the federal government) was the device used to protect the institution of slavery and the political power of slaveholding states. Even identifying the winner of a presidential election (the Electoral College) was developed with the interest of slaveholders in mind.
Under the term of our country’s founding document, slaves (Blacks) were defined as three-fifths of a man, not a real, whole human being! I’m making a point as to why Black Lives Matter exists now. Black lives didn’t matter in the beginning, from 1619, through slavery, through the Jim Crow laws, and no, Black lives don’t matter to some people even in 2020.
Just take a look at all the Black men in some kind of prison system today. The war on drugs has put more Black people behind bars than for all other reasons combined. Drug arrests have tripled since 1980. More than 31 million people have been arrested for a drug offense, the majority of them Black. Once released from prison, they are reduced to not even second-class status, but a permanent underclass status in life. No really good job opportunities, no voting rights or housing assistance or any kind of government benefits. Let’s not even get into the countless acts of police brutality and violence against Blacks, which is one reason why Black Lives Matter formed. This is what it means to be Black in America.
Slavery defined what it meant to be Black (a slave), and Jim Crow defined what it meant to be Black (a second-class citizen). Today’s mass incarceration defines the meaning of Blackness in America: Black people, especially Black men, are seen as criminals. This is what it means to be Black in America.
The good news is that the majority of our country is made up of people who really want change. The majority of our country realizes that all lives will never really matter until Black lives do really matter.
Those “good old days” are gone, aren’t they, Mr. Daniels?
Francis A. Bethel III is a veteran of the U.S. Army and a Kraft Foods retiree after 32 years. He resides in Dover.
Depression is the most widespread undiagnosed MH problem in America, and it is rampant in our prisons. The MH care in prisons is a total FARCE! In Delaware, for example, there is one psychiatrist for more than 6,000 inmates; the others are “licenses clinicians”, and I have SEEN what the do/know. They must have had to take a test and fail it to become licensed!
These superstars should be praised for speaking out about it. MH illnesses should not be a stigma; they are an illness, like measles or any other illness, except in the brain.
READ Inside The Hole: What Happens To The Mind In Isolation? and related articles on my website.
Excerpts from the Article:
Athletes Stephen Scherer, Jeret Peterson and Kelly Catlin have two things in common: They all reached their dream of becoming Olympians, and they all died by suicide.
Olympians are known for pushing their bodies to the extreme but much less understood are the mental and emotional rigors paving their road to greatness. Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian in history, says he had suicidal thoughts even at the peak of his remarkable swimming career and calls depression and suicide among Olympic athletes an “epidemic.”
Phelps is opening up about his mental health struggles in “The Weight of Gold,” a new documentary that premiered last week on HBO. The film explores depression and suicide among the world’s top athletes and what should be done to address the problem.
Other high-profile Olympians including speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno, snowboarder Shaun White, skier Bode Miller, hurdler Lolo Jones and figure skater Sasha Cohen also detail their own struggles in the film.
“It was important for me for the American public to see, ‘Hey, you have celebrated these athletes and it’s been amazing that you’ve done that.’ But it’s not all what you think it is,” said Ohno, who has won two gold, two silver and four bronze medals.
Like Ohno, the vast majority of Olympians spend most of their childhoods competing in their given sport. As they progress, competition becomes the main focus of their lives before family, friends, school or fun. For years they work toward that goal for what amounts to a competition that lasts minutes or mere seconds. The difference between winning and losing can be a fraction of a second, and millions are watching.
And then, it’s over. Either for another four years or forever, depending on the athlete and the sport.
“It does define you, and you lose your human identity,” said Jeremy Bloom, a three-time world champion skier and two-time Olympian. “That’s where it becomes dangerous. Because at some point, we all lose sports. We all move on. We all retire or the sport kind of shows us the door because we age out. And then we’re left to redefine ourselves.”
That becomes the breaking point for some athletes. Bloom’s friend, aerial skier Jeret “Speedy” Peterson, killed himself in 2011 just a year and a half after winning a silver medal. He was 29. To Bloom, Peterson had always seemed like “the happiest guy.” Except the night Peterson knocked on his door at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid around 2005.
“He was in tears. I’ve never seen him cry. He’s like, ‘I just need to talk to you,’” Bloom said recently from his home in Boulder, Colorado. “He really opened up to me about some of the mental struggles that he was he was dealing with.” But Bloom said he “was not equipped at all.
“I had no idea the things to ask, the things to say. I just felt like he was having a bad night,” he said. “And I wish I could go back to that moment and know what I know now and be able to be a better support for him … And so I said, ‘Well, I better educate myself, better get smarter about it, and I better start talking about it because that’s what Jeret would want me to do.’”
Phelps, a co-executive producer on “The Weight of Gold,” said the need for change also is what drove him to speak up. He and other Olympians are calling on the International Olympic Committee and the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee to do much more to address the problem.
Phelps said the first step is “treating people like humans” instead of something on an assembly line.
“We’re just products,” the 35-year-old Phelps said from his home in Scottsdale, Arizona. “It’s frightening. It’s scary. And it breaks my heart. Because there are so many people who care so much about our physical well-being but I never saw caring about our mental well-being.”
“Clearly there’s a need for better resources because Olympic athletes are dying,” said “The Weight of Gold” Director Brett Rapkin. “They have this incredibly unique psychological journey they go on and it needs to be paired with appropriate resources to handle it. Those things clearly aren’t there.”
More out of control prison abuse, which costs YOU taxpayers BILLIONS of dollars each year. All of it is PREVENTABLE!
There will be dozens of lawsuits as a result of this and YOU also pay for those.
Excerpts from the Article.
After what officials are calling coordinated fights, six Oklahoma prisons were placed on lockdown status for over a week. One prisoner died and 36 prisoners and several staff were injured in the melees.
The lockdowns began on September 15, 2019, after fights between gangs at prisons in Hominy, Sayre, Fort Supply, Lawton, and Stringtown occurred within 24 hours of altercations at Northeast Oklahoma Correctional Center in Vinita.
“It has to be a coordinated effort,” said Bobby Cleveland, director of the Oklahoma Corrections Professionals. “They even had fights at the minimum-security prison.” He noted that prisoners use contraband cellphones to coordinate illegal efforts.
Following the lockdowns, guards conducted shakedowns of the prisons and confiscated homemade weapons. “A lot of shanks . . . broken broom handles, broken faucets, faucet heads that have a cord attached to them,” said Matt Elliott, spokesman for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (OCDC). “The types of weapons inmates typically use and fight with.”
Prisoner Chad Burns, 27, was killed in a fight at the Dick Conner Correctional Center in Hominy. He was serving a 15-year sentence for 2016 convictions on charges of weapons, assault and battery, robbery, and burglary. Of the 36 injured prisoners, 12 were hospitalized with “non-life threatening injuries.” No prison staff were hospitalized.
The fights were gang- and race-related, Elliott said. He refused to identify the gangs involved.
“No, and I don’t know that we will,” he said. “We don’t want to spread that information and touch off more violence and add notoriety to those gangs. When you do that, you’re building their street cred.”
OCDC took action to attempt a break-up of the gangs. “DOC staff are transferring inmates identified in the fights to other facilities for their safety,” OCDC said in a statement. “The agency has also added staff to the above facilities to enhance security.”
The number of prisoners involved in the fights was undetermined. “We’re still investigating as far as the numbers involved,” Elliott said. “It’s going to be a lot of people involved.”
Prison officials began lifting the lockdowns on September 24, 2019. The process was graduated with controlled movement in the initial stages before normal operations were resumed.
Indeed, I have seen this problem for years. The real reason why we have more than 4 million Americans on probation and parole is because there are powerful financial forces opposing needed changes. Sending people back to prison is job preservation for tens of thousands of people in the criminal justice system. Most return for “technical violations”, like being 10 minutes late for curfew (if you think that does not happen you don’t know what is really going on!) It certainly is not for public safety.
Excerpts from the Article:
Probation and parole are often advertised as “alternatives to incarceration” that allow people to largely continue on with their life around a support group. However, a new report released late last week from the Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) found that probation and parole actually drive high numbers of people right back to jail or prison.
Many of these people are disproportionately Black and brown, and the authors say their return to a cell is largely due to the fact that they don’t get the services and resources they need.
“Probation and parole are seen as acts of leniency, but in the states we examined, they often lead to incarceration just for using drugs, failing to report a new address, or public order offenses like disorderly conduct,” said Allison Frankel, Aryeh Neier fellow at Human Rights Watch and the ACLU, and the report’s author. “Incarcerating people for failing to meet the overly burdensome requirements of supervision upends peoples’ lives without meaningfully addressing their underlying needs.”
The data shows that over the past 50 years, the use of probation and parole in America has “skyrocketed” — parallel to increasing jail and prison populations. As of 2016, 4.5 million people, or 1 in every 55, were under supervision, often for years.
To better understand this problem, the authors did in-depth research on states where the problem is particularly acute — Georgia, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania — and interviewed 164 people directly impacted by the probation and parole system.
One man, Earnest Burgess, was convicted of drug possession in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 2011. After looking at his conditions of supervision document, he noticed certain conditions like “You shall not have in your possession at any time more than $100.00 in cash without agent’s approval,” felt onerous. With more than 35 rules and conditions, Burgess said he wondered, “Are you trying to rehabilitate me, or are you trying to punish [me]?”
Researchers also spoke with a Black Pennsylvania woman who “cycled through probation and jail,” mostly for shoplifting and drug offenses, which she says “stemmed from a substance use disorder.” “I asked for programs,” the woman told the researchers, “but [probation] didn’t want to hear that I need help; they just gave me time.”
The researchers also found that there are stark racial disparities in supervision, and its resulting punitive enforcement.
Nationwide in 2016, Pew Charitable Trusts reported that 1 in every 81 white people was under supervision, compared with 1 in every 23 Black people. They also found that Black Americans are more likely to be arrested and found in violation of their supervision terms compared to any other race or ethnicity.
In 2017, 45 percent of all state prison admissions resulted from probation or parole violations, proving that this problem is pervasive in the system, the authors detail.
Nearly half of all prison admissions in Pennsylvania were for parole violations; and, over the last two decades, Wisconsin prisons have reincarcerated “about twice as many people for supervision violations as for regular criminal convictions.”
In Georgia, during a 5-month period in 2019, between 23 and 43 percent of all jail bookings in 9 counties involved probation or parole violations.
At their root, probation and parole violations “often stem from poverty; a failure by authorities to support people in addressing underlying challenges, such as substance use disorder, housing insecurity, or mental health conditions; and racially biased policing and enforcement.”
Instead, they suggest the governments invest in jobs and housing opportunities while encouraging voluntary treatment for substance use disorders and mental health care for those that need it.
This way, the authors write, you’re treating the criminality at its root, and ensuring that everyone is well equipped to enter back into their life. “By investing in communities over supervision and confinement, governments can work to break the supervision-to-incarceration pipeline, and help people get the resources they need,” Frankel concluded.
The full ACLU/HRW report can be accessed here.
The Whole Story:
Prison time is the only way to curb guards’ corruption. And at least 90% of all prison contraband is brought in by guards!
Excerpts from the Article:
A Cross County man who worked as a prison guard will spend 12 months and a day in federal prison after he smuggled tobacco and cell phones into the federal prison at Forrest City, federal prosecutors said Thursday.
Josue Duane Garza, 42, of Wynne was sentenced in federal court in Little Rock in the case, U.S. Attorney Cody Hiland said in a media release.
Garza was arrested after a 2018 investigation by authorities. “In June 2018, an inmate at the Federal Correctional Complex in Forrest City, Arkansas informed prison officials that his family had been purchasing tobacco and cell phones and mailing them, along with cash, to Garza at a P.O. Box in Colt. The inmate reported that another inmate had started the scheme but had been transferred to another facility, leaving this inmate to take over the scheme,” Hiland said. “Both inmates confirmed that their parents had purchased tobacco and cell phones, mailed them to Garza’s P.O. Box, and included cash. The parents received money orders and cash from the inmates’ families, who were paying for the inmates’ purchases. The inmates said they split the proceeds with Garza.”
Garza, who pleaded guilty in Aug. 2019 to bribery of a public official, reportedly admitted during an interview with federal authorities that the scheme went on from Oct. 2017 to July 2018 and that he had received over $40,000.
In addition to the jail sentence, Garza also received one year supervised release in the case.
Another among thousands of articles about outrageous prison abuse. This abuse is costing YOU billions of dollars annually in judgments and settlements, needlessly. Every – yes, EVERY – prison abuse case is preventable, in many cases by D O C staff simply doing their jobs!
What happened here, to leave this 32 year old woman a vegetable? Take your pick: a) a guard felt like taking a nap on the job, b) several guards decided to play poker and skip checking the cells as required, c) guard A says, watching the video, “oh look, that one is tying bedsheets together”, and guard B says “Yeah, well, lets go out for a smoke.” … or “Yeah, well, it will be fun to watch her swing and kick for a while”. None of these would surprise me!
Excerpts from the Article:
Attorneys for a 32-year-old woman who suffered a traumatic brain injury after attempting suicide behind bars announced Tuesday an $8.5 million settlement with the city of Pasadena.
According to the Burbank Superior Court lawsuit filed in June 2016, Margarita Perez was in the Pasadena city jail on Feb. 22, 2015, and surveillance video showed her making preparations to take her own life but the jail staff did not notice her hanging from a second-story railing for about 25 minutes.
One of the officers on duty should have seen Perez attempting to measure her neck to the bedsheet, according to the suit, which also alleged the staff failed to respond promptly to the emergency and get her mental health treatment and aid.
“Our client was suffering and was calling out for help,” said lead plaintiff’s attorney Michael Carrillo, whose office filed a notice of settlement with Burbank Superior Court Judge John J. Kralik on April 1. “The jail staff tragically failed to follow the basic responsibility of watching inmates in order to protect them from self-harm.”
The loss of oxygen to the brain for 21 minutes left Perez with a permanent traumatic brain injury that left her paralyzed from the neck down, bedridden, blind and unable to communicate, according to the suit. Perez’ family provides her all her daily needs, according to her attorneys.
“We’re very pleased we could reach a resolution that will help our client’s quality of life,” said attorney Luis Carrillo, who also represents the plaintiff and is Michael Carrillo’s father. “This settlement will provide Ms. Perez with the professional nursing care she needs and offer her family some desperately needed respite.”
Defense attorneys maintained the city was immune from liability and that Perez exposed herself to the risk of injury.
The Whole Story:
11th Circuit Rules Florida Prisoner Claiming Sexual Assault by Guard Can Proceed With Cruel and Unusual Punishment Claim
Another horrifying tale of sex abuse in our prisons. Here, the trial court erred in that it – the judge – decided questions of fact in its ruling which granted summary judgment to the defendants. This is a basic no no, (I have seen it before) and I can only wonder how such idiots became judges. The appeals court reversed that decision, so the case is still alive. Note that it has been six years for the case to get this far!
Excerpts from the Article:
The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the grant of summary judgment for defendants in a civil rights action alleging a guard sexually assaulted and used excessive force upon a prisoner.
The ruling, on January 7, 2020, came in an appeal brought by Kirstin Sconiers. His lawsuit concerned events that occurred at Florida’s Marion County Jail on February 12, 2014. Sconiers was serving a sentence for a misdemeanor offense of exposure. On the day in question, he met with his attorney via video conferencing.
Upon completing the conference, guard Fnu Lockhart arrived to escort Sconiers back to his cell. According to Sconiers, Lockhart toyed with him like a yo-yo, telling him to sit and stand three times. When Sconiers questioned Lockhart about the treatment, he was pepper-sprayed and slammed to the floor. Once on the ground, Sconiers says Lockhart pulled his pants down. Lockhart then forcefully penetrated Sconier’ anus with his finger. An investigation ensued, but Sconiers hesitated before telling others about the sexual assault due to being embarrassed and an assumption that jail administrators were in league with the guards.
After Sconiers sued, acting pro se, the defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion, and Sconiers appealed. Sconiers was represented by counsel on appeal. He argued the district court erred in resolving material issues of fact to enter the summary judgment and applying Boxer X v. Harris, 437 F. 3d 1107 (11th Cir. 2006) to dismiss the sexual assault claim.
The Eleventh Circuit noted that fact finding is reserved for trial and is inappropriate at the summary judgment stage. It held the district court improperly resolved facts related to the sexual assault and the pepper-spray claims.
First, the district court improperly found Sconiers “was fully clothed at all times during the encounter” with Lockhart and that Sconiers did “not state that his clothing was removed to facilitate the alleged assault.” The Eleventh Circuit found that Sconiers’ November 9, 2014, declaration filed in the record stated otherwise. While “Lockhart’s and his fellow guard’s strenuous assertions that this did not happen are true . . . those protestations cannot support summary judgment since Sconiers has sufficiently attested that these events did, in fact, occur.”
It was also held that the district court improperly found that Sconiers “experienced no bodily injury as a result of the attack.” While a medical examination concluded that Sconiers’ pain was from hemorrhoids, that was “not necessarily inconsistent with Sconiers’ allegation that Lockhart anally penetrated him with his finger.” Additionally, Sconiers reported stinging pain and blood on his toilet paper when defecating.
The Eleventh Circuit further found it improper for the district court to resolve facts relating to the use of the pepper spray and takedown. If Lockhart was treating Sconiers like a yo-yo in directing him to sit and immediately stand three times, there was no penological justification to pepper-spray Sconiers, which meant the takedown would also not be justified.
The court then noted that its decision in Boxer X was partially abrogated by Wilkins v. Gaddy, 559 U.S 34 (2010). Boxer X held that sexual abuse claims cannot be actionable if the prisoner did not suffer “more than a de minimus injury.”
The Wilkins court held that in Eighth Amendment excessive-force claims, the court shifted from an injury centric requirement to “the nature of the force — specifically, whether it was nontrivial and was applied maliciously and sadistically to cause harm.” Additionally, in 2013, Congress amended the Prison Litigation and Reform Act to allow sexual abuse claims in the absence of physical injury.
The district court’s order was reversed and the matter remanded for further proceedings. See: Sconiers v. Lockhart, F.3d. (11th Cir. 2020)
This is the very real, personal tragic toll of two nationwide problems: 1. the dysfunction of our prisons, which had gone on for decades, and 2. the failure of tRump to control the pandemic.
In this case we can see that: 1. judge is an idiot, and 2. the prosecutor has NO idea what really goes on with prison “health care”!
tRump on Coronavirus
He blunders and boasts and does very little good,
Hardly behaving as an American president should,
Despite dire warnings from his intelligence agencies in January; yes, months ago,
He dawdled, he downplayed the danger, did nothing, although,
He had been told quite clearly of the dangers would grow!
He has got to, got to, got to GO,
For into great harm our whole country he did throw!
In fact, his lies and bungling of this crisis are costing thousand of lives,
Yet the oaf in office seems to thrive,
He says there’s a vaccine because “I feel good about it”, you see,
But there is NO vaccine; how dumb can you be!?
He misstates the symptoms – now, how stupid can you get!?
Yet people believe him, for they have not learned yet,
That the oaf in office is dumb as a rock,
And nearly everything he says is a total crock,
5/12/20 Not content with 30,000 deaths, the FOOL now presses to “open up” the economy, with the death toll over 80,000 and climbing!
Trump is spending $1 Billion on a disinformation campaign this year. His absolute chaotic disaster response has killed a very large percentage of the dead so far. GET HIM OUT!
Excerpts from the Article:
A New Jersey man who was sentenced to one year in prison died on May 10, 2020, while in custody at the Central Reception and Assignment Facility in Trenton, where prisoners go before they are sent to a regular prison.
According to court records, Ricardo Williamson was given a one-year sentence on a single charge of fourth-degree shoplifting for stealing watches and perfume totaling about $200 from the Macy’s at the Willowbrook Mall in Wayne, New Jersey. Williamson said he committed the crime to support his drug addiction.
Williamson agreed to a plea deal stipulating to a one-year sentence, but James Sheehan, his court-appointed attorney, asked the court to consider time served (he had already spent four months at the Passaic County Jail) because Williamson, 62, suffered from multiple chronic illnesses that required intensive medical care.
The prosecutor, Melissa Simsen, countered, arguing that there were “services (in prison) where the defendant can get medical treatment, so I don’t think it will be a hardship.”
‘‘You continue to engage in criminal activity with this condition, so to say, ‘Well judge, I shouldn’t have to go to jail because my medical health is fragile and I could get very sick if I’m in jail and exposed to other folks who have illnesses,’ that’s not fair,” said Judge Justine A. Niccollai. “That’s not something that this court could, quite frankly, consider, because there is a punitive aspect (to the sentence).”
Williamson was transferred to the Central Reception and Assignment Facility as the coronavirus pandemic was escalating. He never left. The facility had logged just one death linked to the virus as of May 15, but it is unclear whether this number is accurate since testing is underutilized in prison settings. It is not certain that he died of the virus because the prison won’t comment on his medical history, citing medical privacy rules.
A NJ.com investigation found New Jersey’s prison system was ill-prepared to deal with the pandemic, and it took weeks to implement even the most basic protective measures like masks and hand sanitizer for prisoners. Williamson is one of more than 40 prisoners who have died in state prisons since the crisis began. Williamson’s niece, Nina Kemp, said the family wasn’t notified of his death by the prison authorities. They learned of it when they were contacted by a reporter. Kemp said her “Uncle Ricky” was a “wonderful man” who loved to sing for her and her children.
“We made, as a state, a strategic decision that it made more sense to incarcerate him at $50,000 a year rather than figure out why it was that he was shoplifting,” said Rev. Charles Boyer, the head of Salvation and Social Justice. “He got a death sentence for shoplifting.”
Good. I have seen asshole prison guards do this.
Excerpts from the Article:
Surveillance video released in January 2020 from the Ottawa County Jail in Miami, Oklahoma, provides graphic evidence of the neglect and abuse suffered by detainee Terral Ellis at the hands of jail staff in the days leading up to his death from septic shock and pneumonia in October 2015. The new video and audio evidence corroborated details provided to an attorney for Ellis’ family by at least 16 former prisoners who were in jail at the time he died and agreed to testify on his behalf.
“It’s a horrific, horrific death,” said Dan Smolen, an attorney specializing in jail death cases who is representing the Ellis family. “It’s jarring.”
Smolen filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the Ellis family in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma in 2017 against the county, the sheriff’s office and the jail’s nurse contractor. See: Burke, et al v. Ottowa County, U.S.N.C. (N.D. Okla), Case No. 17-cv-00325-JED-FHM.
On October 10, 2015, the 26-year-old Ellis took his grandfather’s advice and turned himself in to the jail on an outstanding warrant for an old DUI. He wanted to get his life on track and be an example to his toddler son. But twelve days later Ellis was dead, after jailers repeatedly mocked and ignored his pleas for help as he died.
Ellis entered the jail a strong, healthy man, but a few days later video captured by the jail’s surveillance system showed him bedridden, with his cellmates having to take care of him. Medical staff had diagnosed him with a “displaced rib” and told him to stay in bed.
“I literally had to hand-feed and water him,” wrote Michael Harrington, one of Ellis’ cellmates, in testimony to the court filings. “It got so bad that I had to give him cups to urinate in and then dump them out for him.”
Harrington wrote that Ellis said to him, “They’re not going to help me, are they? I think I’m going to die.”
But before he did, Ellis got worse. He had a seizure, but staff accused him of faking it. When paramedics arrived, jail staff told them not to transport Ellis unless his condition was life-threatening. EMS did not fully evaluate Ellis before they left him at the jail because staff promised to monitorhim closely.
When Ellis began begging for help, staff locked him in an isolation cell for some “cool-down time.” The cell reportedly had no sink, no toilet and no bed. Jail staff was supposed to check on him every 15 minutes, but the newly released video showed that they did not — contradicting official jail log reports to the contrary.
Early on the morning October 22, 2015, video showed Ellis asking staff for water. Detention Officer Johnny Bray refused, telling Ellis to get it himself. Ellis begged staff not to leave him.
“My legs! Please! Please don’t go anywhere,” he yelled. “Please dude. Wait, dude. I can’t believe y’all are doing this! Help! Help! Help! Somebody help!”
Staff ignored him. When jail contract nurse Theresa Horn arrived at work later that morning, Ellis begged her to look at his legs. They were turning “black” and mottling, an early sign of sepsis.
“I think I’m dying,” Ellis said.
Horn put in her report that she checked on Ellis, but video evidence showed that she wasn’t even at work when she supposedly checked on him, the complaint says.
“I’m sick and tired of f–king dealing with your ass,” Horn allegedly yelled at Ellis. “There ain’t nothing wrong with you!”
Those would be some of the last words Ellis heard before he died. Not only did the jail’s surveillance system capture video, but it also recorded audio, and all of the recordings of Ellis’ pleas for help were filed with his lawsuit in court. So were all of staff’s comments mocking him over the hundreds of hours of video and audio obtained by Smolen.
Horn can be heard on the video suggesting that Ellis died by suicide. The medical examiner determined that he died from septic shock, though it was also noted that Ellis had “a bedsheet tied loosely around his neck” that had left no marks.
“If you don’t have (the recordings), this is just some kid who died in jail because he got sick,” Smolen said. “I want people to understand this is happening, every day, all day long, in jails across the United States.”
The Ellis lawsuit is still pending.