How many similar reports have I read? 200?400? Hundreds for sure, hundreds of articles about entirely preventable deaths in America’s prisons. All of it, with the investigations, the cover ups, the lawsuits, costing YOU billions of tax dollars annually!
Note that he was in for a VOP … and READ
Letter to Editor or Editorial Submission – What a Monster we Have Created! Probation and Parole 2/19/19 PUBLISHED
Excerpts from the Article:
Did you hear the one about the prisoner who allegedly hanged himself while restrained in a straitjacket? That isn’t an opening line for a sick joke; rather, it’s the contention of officials in Essex County, New Jersey when trying to explain the death of jail detainee Lucas Vieira.
Vieira, who struggled with substance abuse and mental illness and was being held for a probation violation due to a positive drug test, was found dead in his cell. He was in a straitjacket and on suicide watch at the time.
In 2017, WNYC News conducted an investigation into the high prisoner death rate in New Jersey county jails. In response, Governor Philip Murphy pledged to ramp up oversight of the troubled lock-ups. That apparently did not happen. One of the new guidelines, published in December 2018, requires a morbidity report to be completed after all jail suicides. When WYNC News requested Vieira’s morbidity report from a jail records custodian under the state’s open records law on April 2, 2019, they were told no such document existed. A report was then generated two days later – eight months after Vieira’s death. Pursuant to New Jersey statutes, that particular record was required to be issued within three days after a prisoner dies.
The line in the report indicating the cause of death had been redacted; a footnote referenced an active criminal investigation by the county prosecutor’s office.
There is no indication when the investigation started, and New Jersey Department of Corrections (DOC) acting director Marcus Hicks was not available to answer questions. According to a DOC spokesperson, Hicks was preparing for legislative budget hearings and would address the DOC’s failure to enforce the three-day death reporting requirement on Essex County officials at a later time. According to jail spokesman Anthony Puglisi, “Whenever there is a suspected suicide, the Prosecutor’s Office conducts an investigation.”
Attorney Hillary Nappi is representing Vieira’s estate and his surviving family members in a wrongful death suit against the jail and its for-profit medical provider, CFG Health Systems. The complaint states that Vieira arrived at the facility on August 14, 2018, and his mental health and substance abuse histories were documented. He was later transferred to the medical unit on August 25 and put in a straitjacket and on suicide watch.
“Mr. Vieira was placed in a straitjacket, which is the extreme measure that should only be used with a prisoner if they are presenting a very clear-cut risk to themselves, or to correctional officers or other inmates,” Nappi stated. “And we know that Mr. Vieira was placed in a straitjacket … he was the highest level risk … he should have had constant supervision.”
Jail spokesman Puglisi declined to comment on the case due to the litigation, while CFG Health Systems refused to comment at all. They provided no explanation as to how Vieira had managed to hang himself. The suit remains pending. See: Estate of Vieira v. CFG Health Systems, LLC, U.S.D.C. (D. NJ), Case No. 2:19-cv-08452-MCA-JAD.
Just another example of how they disregard their own policies. Minor compared with the guards who rape inmates, but illustrative of the fact that …
Excerpts from the Article:
Eight employees at a northeast Georgia jail have resigned or were suspended after an investigation found some engaged in sexual activity among themselves while on duty. No inmates were involved and activity appears to have been consensual.
A retiring jail supervisor say he accepts responsibility for misconduct among Hall County employees.
Lt. Ken Nix retired Nov. 25. He tells The Times of Gainesville he knew supervisors could be questioned for actions by subordinates. All the employees worked the same night shift. The Hall County Sheriff’s Office announced violations including unbecoming conduct, unsatisfactory performance of duty and failure to supervise.
Nix says he wasn’t involved and reported allegations in mid-November, sparking the investigation.
Nix says he advanced his retirement date by a month, but knew of no intent to fire him.
It’s called over criminalization, and I spoke on that very subject on a bus tour promoting the Libertarian party in the summer of 2015, in NY, Mass, VA and NJ. Idiots get elected to the legislatures and they think they must “do something”, so they pass many asinine laws. On top of that, they fall into the utterly failed “get tough on crime” mindset. And all of this nonsense does NOTHING to keep you safer and wastes TONS of your hard-earned tax money! Those are FACTS. Innumerable studies show the best way to reduce crime is to educate inmates; that’s not “coddling” them, it is being “smart on crime”!
Excerpts from the Article:
As societal standards continue to evolve, devolve, and change for better or worse, legislatures continue to enact laws to prohibit illegal acts and protect people. New technology always opens opportunities for improvement, as well as attendant avenues for less-than-stellar individuals to take advantage of law-abiding citizens. Legislatures respond in the only way they know: They pass more laws. At what point does passing more and more and more laws just become crazy?
The U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) attempted to do a count of the number of actual criminal laws (presumably federal ones) on the statute books in the 1980s. The DOJ wound up ceding defeat, perhaps because they were frantically trying to enforce the estimated 300,000 or so laws.
Attorney Mike Chase, author of the book How to Become a Federal Criminal: An Illustrated Handbook for the Aspiring Offender, points out that if he broke just one law every day, it would only take “800 years to finish the job.”
Making matters far worse is Congress granting government regulatory agencies the authority to promulgate regulations that carry the force and effect of law. This creates an entirely new set of laws that shouldn’t be, but really are. Just plain crazy. If you doubt this, try selling runny ketchup. Still in doubt? Try removing a steaming pile of llama poop from a quarantine facility. Need more convincing? Go to a national park and make an “obscene gesture” at a passing horse. Whatever constitutes an “obscene gesture” would have to be defined by the charging bureaucrat as it is a sure bet the horse would not care if you gestured at it one way or the other.
A recent SCOTUS decision underscores the sheer insanity of this situation. Alaska state cops arrested a citizen for disorderly conduct (as vague a crime as making obscene gestures). Their stated reason for the arrest was to punish the man because he expressed an opinion that hurt their feelings. To begin with, punishment is assessed by judges or juries, not by cops. That is called due process of law, supposedly guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. Secondly, since when is merely expressing an opinion, an act supposedly protected by the First Amendment, an act of disorderly conduct?
Apparently these weighty constitutional amendments must have escaped the notice of at least five of the nine SCOTUS Justices. The case was affirmed because probable cause for the arrest was believed to exist, which in turn apparently trumps violations of the Constitution. With its uncountable number of vague laws, the government itself has become the less-than-stellar individual body that is taking advantage of its law abiding citizens (though with so many laws on the books, can anyone truly be a law abiding citizen?).
My friend Steve Hampton and I talk at least once a week. He sent me this article.
Excerpts from the Article:
Before 21-year-old Seth Zakora’s body was found lifeless in his bunk in 2017, his cellmate had warned guards that something was wrong. Zakora didn’t look well.
In the days leading up to Zakora’s illness, illicit drug overdoses sent two other prisoners at Michigan’s Lakeland Correctional Facility to the hospital. By the time corrections officers checked in on him in the morning, Zakora’s body was stiff and covered head to toe in a sheet. Zakora’s family claims he died of an overdose of fentanyl, which they say flowed into the prison through a drug-smuggling ring run by the guards, according to a federal civil rights complaint filed last week.
The lawsuit claims state corrections officials failed to stem the flow of illegal drugs into the prison or care for prisoners vulnerable from opioid addiction. Its allegations capture the challenge that corrections facilities face as the opioid epidemic roils outside prison walls: How can they care for inmates with drug addiction while drugs remain as lucrative and in-demand in prisons as they are on the street?
“Whatever you can get on the outside, you can get on the inside, but it’s easier because you know it’s coming from the guards,” said Solomon Radner, the attorney representing Zakora’s estate.
Opioids killed more than 47,000 people in 2017 alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and their lethal nature doesn’t stop at prison doors. In California, which has the largest prison population, overdoses are up 113 percent over three years, with opioid-related deaths on the rise as well, according to an investigation earlier this year by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Just one week after Zakora’s mother, Brandy, filed the lawsuit in Michigan, the family of a man who died of a fentanyl overdose while jailed in New Orleans filed a similar claim that alleged the jail staff’s failure to treat his addiction and stop the flow of illicit drugs violated his constitutional rights.
“When someone comes over and tells you something that sounds crazy, they laugh it off. But you hear it from 20 people … maybe you start to think, there’s something to it,” Radner told The Washington Post.
Radner said that even though the cases are widespread, the lawsuits are difficult to bring no matter how dramatic the allegations appear on paper; Zakora’s complaint includes claims of an affair between a guard and a prisoner that facilitated the drug smuggling and hints at a coverup by corrections officials.
“You need a perfect storm for a [lawsuit] like this. One, you need someone to have suffered. Second, you need someone, or their loved ones if they’re deceased, to care,” he said, noting that prisoners in the throes of addiction are unlikely to complain about the presence of illicit drugs. “[Third] is overcoming this rule that people don’t snitch — and that make[s] it particularity difficult to have not only inmates but guards come forward.”
Zakora’s lawsuit claims that drug smuggling is a well-known issue in Michigan Department of Corrections facilities and that efforts to flag it were met with retaliation against staff and prisoners. It cites two other facilities where claims of drug smuggling went without investigation and prisoners who confessed to taking part in the smuggling operations wound up dead in custody.
In the Lakeland facility, where Zakora died, drugs were “in abundance,” the lawsuit states, and were introduced into the prison through a smuggling ring that a female corrections officer allegedly orchestrated with the help of a prisoner she was having a relationship with. Even when another prisoner tried to alert investigators to the matter, going so far as to describe how the drugs were coming in and from whom, the state took no action, according to the complaint. An investigation into drugs in the prison didn’t take place until after Zakora’s death; a drug-sniffing dog reportedly made “positive indications” for contraband, the lawsuit said.
Zakora’s death was the first overdose death at Lakeland in nearly 20 years, while 13 people have died from drug overdoses in MDOC facilities in the past decade, according to Gautz.
Several of the corrections officers named in the lawsuit knew Zakora “had involvement with the drugs,” the complaint said. Zakora, who was serving a sentence of three to 22 years for sexual assault when he died, “feared for his life and told his grandmother what was happening in the prison, how drugs were coming in from the outside, and how he was afraid he would not make it out alive,” the lawsuit said.
When Zakora left solitary confinement, two corrections officers allegedly told him “he had gotten himself into this mess,” in reference to Lakeland’s drug problem, “and now it was his problem to deal with. ”
“There’s misconduct and corruption in the prison system and it happens at the highest level, and people are dying as a result,” Radner said.
“I think sometimes people think of [prisoners] as less than human,” Clarke said. “It’s important to remember that everyone who is in prison is someone’s child, brother or sister. The best thing for people with addiction is to make treatment available. ”
More than 20 percent of people in the MDOC system have opioid use disorder, according to information from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) office. In November, the state announced it would begin offering medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, in three MDOC facilities, with the goal of having MAT in all state prisons by 2023. Lakeland is not among the facilities in the pilot program.
This needs to become law! Google it or read innumerable articles on this website: private prisons ARE A DISASTER! READ this by my friend Alex Friedman: Apples-to-Fish: Public and Private Prison Cost Comparisons – An Excellent and Thorough Analysis by Alex Friedman:
Excerpts from the Article:
Arizona state Rep. Diego Rodriguez says privatized health care for inmates in state prisoreans is a failed experiment whose time has come to an end. Rodriguez has authored a new bill that he says will undo the privatization that was mandated by the state Legislature 10 years ago.
“We all know that the normal sales pitch for privatization of a public function is that it’s supposed to be more efficient and save money,” he said. But Rodriguez says a recent report commissioned by a federal judge in the Parsons v. Ryan prison health care settlement, combined with testimony he’s heard in the House Judiciary Committee and ad hoc committee on earned credits, has convinced him the promises of privatization have been broken.
“We’re actually paying for the health care several times now,” Rodriguez said. “You have the attorneys fees and the sanctions that are being paid by the state because of the failure of the third party vendors to meet minimum standards. And then the state is double-paying for administrative costs.”
Rodriguez says the report on the Department of Corrections by Dr. Marc Stern shows “[t]here are mirror positions in the private vendors’ corporate structure in terms of how the medical system is managed. For example, there’s a medical director for the private vendor and there’s a medical director for the Department of Corrections and then they have staff that branches out underneath them.”
Rodriguez says it was his understanding that when privatization was mandated 10 years ago, it was done with the hopes of eliminating redundancies. “It has been exactly the opposite effect,” he said.
Rodriguez says he’s heard countless stories from his constituents over the years of inadequate care leading to deaths and disfigurements and permanent disabilities.
“The quality of the care is far below where it should be,” Rodriguez said, “especially for patients suffering from mental health issues. I’ve heard from families of people who committed suicide in ADC who may have passed away due to inadequate emergency response,” he said.
Rodriguez says his bill will prevent the state from entering into any more third-party contracts to provide health care at state-owned prison facilities. If adopted in this legislative session, that means health care in the Department of Corrections would be shifted back into the control of the state after the current contract with Centurion expires.
Rodriguez says he has full confidence that the Department of Corrections can run the health care system on its own again. “In my time at the Legislature, I’ve met with representatives from the Department of Corrections, and they’re all good people that are dedicated to their jobs. I have no doubt, if they’re given the opportunity to go back and fix these issues, they will get the job done.”
Representative Rodriguez, a practicing criminal defense attorney, says he believes including a profit motive on the back end of the criminal justice system jeopardizes the integrity of the system.
“If the state is going to be responsible for incarcerating or punishing its citizens, then the state also should carry the responsibility for administering them through that process,” he said.
Rodriguez also cites the revolving door of contractors that the state has employed as further evidence that privatization isn’t working.
“The hue and cry from our constituents and the people of Arizona is too clear and too loud to ignore,” Rodriguez said. “Improving health care for incarcerated people is just one part of a comprehensive criminal justice reform package that we intend to put forward.”
Here’s a real life Catch 22 situation, which illustrates the INJUSTICE of the PLRA, which I have noted in THE 1994 CRIME LAW HOGS THE LEGAL REFORM SPOTLIGHT. BUT A LESSER-KNOWN LAW DESERVES MORE ATTENTION. Yes! Modify or Eliminate the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) – kra – With Letter to Editor
Excerpts from the Article:
An attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union asked the 11th Circuit on Tuesday to reinstate a mentally and physically disabled Georgia inmate’s lawsuit seeking better medical care.
The ACLU filed an appellate brief in January on behalf of Baldwin State Prison inmate Jeffery Geter – who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, bipolar disorder and other conditions – arguing that a federal judge wrongfully dismissed the complaint Geter filed after the prison rejected his grievance due to a procedural error.
Unable to fill out the prison grievance form himself, Geter sought the help of a staff member. The worker failed to follow a policy requiring that the grievance focus on a single issue, instead including 17 issues on the form. The grievance was rejected by the prison warden as a result.
In its appeal brief, the ACLU argued the district court’s order dismissing Geter’s case raises questions “regarding the availability of administrative remedies under the Prison Litigation Reform Act to prisoners with serious mental illness and/or cognitive disabilities.” The Prison Litigation Reform Act requires prisoners to exhaust administrative remedies before taking their grievance to court, but the ACLU argues that those remedies may not be accessible for prisoners with serious mental illness or intellectual disabilities.
“This case is about whether Geter should be barred from court because his mental illness and intellectual disabilities made administrative remedies unavailable to him,” attorney Jennifer Wedekind of the ACLU National Prison Project argued Tuesday morning before a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit.
Wedekind noted that Geter, who has an eighth-grade education and is designated a mental health level III patient by the Georgia Department of Corrections, repeatedly included information about his disabilities in his grievance and in his October 2016 pro se complaint seeking damages and equitable relief for the rejection of his grievance.
According to GDC policy, mental health level III inmates have a “tenuous mental status,” may be easily overwhelmed by everyday pressures and demands, and may experience poor judgment, delusional thinking, and hallucinations.
The district court dismissed Geter’s complaint in October 2018, finding that he failed to properly exhaust his administrative remedies.
“He could not understand the grievance procedure as a whole,” Wedekind told the panel Tuesday morning, adding that Geter tried to exhaust his administrative remedies before bringing his pro se complaint but was unable to access the grievance process due to his disabilities. “It doesn’t immediately follow night from day that he was unable to avail himself of the procedures simply due to his bipolar mental illness and disorders,” said U.S. Circuit Judge Stanley Marcus, a Bill Clinton appointee.
Georgia Assistant Attorney General Ronald Stay urged the panel to uphold the district court’s dismissal and pointed out that Geter had been able to file a grievance without assistance four years before the rejected grievance that led to the appeal.
“The mere fact that someone has a mental disability gives no indication as to what that person can and cannot do… Geter signed [the grievance] and added 15 handwritten pages to it. Clearly Geter understands the general basis of the grievance policy,” Stay said.
“Whatever disabilities Geter has, they did not make it impossible for him to access the process,” he concluded. In rebuttal, Wedekind noted that Geter’s first grievance was also rejected. Geter is currently serving a 40-year sentence for rape and other offenses.
Marcus was joined on the panel by U.S. Circuit Judge Elizabeth Branch, appointed by President Donald Trump, and Senior U.S. District Judge Paul Huck, another Clinton sitting by designation from the Southern District of Florida.
The panel did not indicate when it would reach a decision in the case.
Yes it could, and that is fantastic news for EVERYONE! Law enforcement, inmates, anyone in our court system, and especially taxpayers! Amid all the talk talk talk of the past few years about ending mass incarceration, little has changed: a 2% decline in prison populations. We MUST do more.
Excerpts from the Article:
On Tuesday, business mogul, former New York City mayor and Democratic presidential contender Michael Bloomberg visited Jackson, Mississippi, to speak on criminal justice reform.
“Keeping people out of the criminal justice system was a top priority for me as mayor for 12 years,” Bloomberg said. “Even as the number of people incarcerated went up in the rest of the country, we [in New York City] were able at the same time to reduce the number of people behind bars by 39 percent.… If the rest of the country had achieved that kind of reduction, there would have been about 900,000 fewer people behind bars today nationwide.”
Such a large figure may seem outlandish, especially for a candidate who has already had to apologize for one of his previous approaches to criminal justice—Before and during Bloomberg’s administration, New York City policy carried out hundreds of thousands of “Stop and Frisk” searches, wherein officers could halt and pat down civilians based on little evidence. The policy was disproportionately enforced in communities of color and was the subject of lawsuits brought by multiple advocacy organizations against the city.
Nevertheless, the math in Bloomberg’s statement was correct. According to data released in March from the Prison Policy Initiative, approximately 2.3 million people are in some manner of confinement in the United States—including prisons and jails—and 39 percent of that number is about 900,000.
Data from the New York City Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice comparing the number of inmates in New York City jails and prisons per 100,000 residents with the rest of the country showed that the number of people imprisoned in New York City steadily dropped during Bloomberg’s time as mayor. However, the trend actually began years before he took office. Between 1999 and 2000, the number of incarcerated people in New York fell from 853 per 100,000 residents to 750 per 100,000—a 12 percent drop.
“Notice that the downward trend in the city’s jail [and prison] population began before the Bloomberg administration, and was dropping at a faster pace,” the president of the Council on Criminal Justice, Adam Gelb, wrote to Newsweek in an email.
In fact-checking similar statements Bloomberg has previously made related to the drop in New York crime, Politifact reported that he “can’t claim all the credit.” Still, the website rated his statements about the lower rate of crime “mostly true.” “It’s very difficult to attribute credit or blame to a specific administration,” Gelb said. “It’s complicated here by the fact that the trends were well underway before he took office.”
As for whether or not it would be feasible to extend New York policies across the country, Deborah Archer, an associate professor of clinical law at New York University, told Newsweek that it is indeed “possible.”
Archer’s message aligned with what Bloomberg said in Jackson, detailing how programs needed to be put in place locally to be effective at reducing crime and incarceration. Bloomberg told his Mississippi audience that reducing the prison population required “improving schools, expanding job training, and investing in economic growth” and that the best way to keep people out of jail was to invest in “local programs.” If he were elected president, he said he would do in communities across the country what he did in New York.
“If New York City can reduce its prison population significantly there is no reason the entire country cannot make significant strides towards decarceration,” Archer told Newsweek in an email. “It is entirely possible to reduce incarceration and crime at the same time. But, it will require national leadership.… It would require a president and federal government committed to getting smarter about how we achieve criminal justice.”
DOC medical staff erred in treatment of pregnant inmate, internal probe says – Raise a Ruckus, Folks!
WHEN are you folks going to raise hell about this cruel, extreme medical neglect, rampant in America’s prisons? When YOUR “little princess” gets hooked on drugs and lands in prison?! ACT NOW! The resulting lawsuits – wholly preventable – are costing YOU billions of taxpayers’ dollars a year! 🙁
Excerpts from the Article:
A pregnant inmate had complained of pain numerous times to staff at York Correctional Institution during the week before she gave birth in her cell last year, but medical workers did not perform an assessment that would have determined she was in labor, nor did they tell a doctor about her abdominal pain or send her to an emergency room, according to a report unsealed Friday by a federal judge.
Tianna Laboy was eight weeks pregnant when she was admitted to the Niantic prison in August 2017. Officials considered her pregnancy high risk because of medical conditions that could have caused her to deliver pre-term.
Her health appeared normal until Feb. 7, 2018, when Laboy told staff she was experiencing abdominal pain, according to the report. She made similar complaints on Feb. 10. On Feb. 12, she again told prison staff she had stomach pains. Medical workers sent her back to her cell with a pitcher of ice water and a hot cloth for her stomach. Laboy’s cell mate told officials Laboy was up most of the night of Feb. 12, 2018, and made several requests to be seen by an obstetrician. Suffering from abdominal pressure, Laboy got up to use the toilet, and ultimately, during the morning of the 13th, delivered her baby into the bowl, the report said. The cell mate helped take the baby out of the toilet and wrapped her in a towel to keep her warm. The new mother then used an intercom to tell guards she had delivered.
A correction officer found her standing over a pool of blood holding a crying infant. The baby was born about a month premature.
The report, prepared by Department of Correction employee Jennifer Benjamin, was part of a months-long internal investigation into what led the 19-year-old inmate to give birth behind bars. Benjamin reviewed records and departmental policies, interviewed numerous staff members, and viewed video footage from inside the prison during her review.
The report was completed earlier this year, but the DOC refused a Freedom of Information Act request from the CT Mirror to release it, claiming the document was in “draft form” and part of an ongoing investigation. Laboy’s attorneys later filed a motion to lift a seal on the report. The judge granted their request Friday.
Laboy and her mother are suing prison workers, former Correction Commissioner Scott Semple and UConn Health – which until last July was managing inmate health care across Connecticut – alleging denial and delay in care. The DOC has since ended its agreement with UConn amid a flurry of lawsuits and complaints about the quality of medical services in the prisons.
“This is a woman who told you she was in labor over the course of three days. And they never sent her to an ER, never called an ambulance,” said DeVaughn Ward, one of the attorneys representing Laboy in the lawsuit. “They essentially told her to go back to her cell like she was an animal.”
After Laboy gave birth, two employees were walked out of York and told not return until the correction department finished its investigation.
Benjamin’s report identifies Michelle Fiala, who spent 14 years at Hartford Hospital as an OBGYN postpartum and nursery nurse, as the nurse at York with the most relevant experience at the time Laboy gave birth. Correction officers phoned the medical unit on the day of Laboy’s delivery at 4:42 a.m. and 6:15 a.m. Fiala denied receiving the calls, but security cameras showed otherwise. Fiala also claimed she performed an assessment, but camera footage shows Laboy had only been in the medical unit for about 10 minutes.
Fiala could not be reached for comment Friday evening.
The report recommended the state make the following changes:
Train York staff on how to treat inmates during labor and delivery of infants
Review its perinatal care policy to include guidance on assessing pre-term labor
Review the allocation of staff to best fill the facility’s needs
Review whether DOC should seek on-call OBGYN services
A spokeswoman for the Attorney’s General’s Office, which is defending the state in the lawsuit, declined to comment on the report Friday.
Hall’s ruling also approved attorneys’ efforts to add Fiala, Correctional Officer Alberto Ortiz, Correctional Officer Silvia Surreira and nurse Brianna Simmons to the suit.
“The fact that it’s not mandatory, that it wasn’t mandatory in 2018 and it’s still not mandated under law, is troublesome,” he said. “There has to be a more comprehensive look at how the department handles medical care for its female inmates.”
“It’s really a black asterisk on your prison system to have a birth in a jail cell,” Ward said. “You have to have a complete systematic breakdown across a number of departments to have an incident like that happen.”
The Whole Story:
Like most prisons in America, you do not want to get sick in there! When these “studies” are done, everyone knows they are coming, so D O C and “health care” workers are reminded to keep their mouths shut about all of the neglect and wrongdoing!
The problem is not in the record keeping, but in people simply doing what they know they should do!! Maybe improved records will help a little, but The health care is abominable and will remain so until those responsible are PROSECUTED!
I have SEEN the corruption, the neglect, the wrongdoing and all the abuse, and daily I get a call or an email from the loved one of an inmate about it!
READ Culture of Cover Up
Excerpts from the Article:
Implementing an upgraded electronic health record system is critical to providing health care services to approximately 5,100 inmates, Delaware Department of Correction Commissioner Claire DeMatteis said Thursday morning. The agency’s leader spoke with the media at headquarters following the release of an independent review of medical and behavioral health care services within state prisons.
An 18-page analysis included recommendations to improve operations. Beginning in September, ChristianaCare utilized 15 staff members to conduct the analysis at no charge to the state. A previous cost estimate for implementing new technology was between $3 million to $5 million, officials said. The General Assembly would need to approve funding.
According to the report “It is questionable whether the current technology system used, iCHRT, even can be considered a viable electronic health record system. … “There was widespread evidence that the use of iCHRT as part of the delivery process creates substantial waste, including rework, for staff and providers, with questionable benefit. …” Speed and reliable connectivity with the facility’s network through iCHRT are problematic, according to the report. Also troubling is losing data that can’t be recovered, or after-hour documentation due to system limitations. Additionally, the report found, “iCHRT creates tremendous waste of workforce productivity that impacts all staff.”
According to the study, existing stakeholders within the DOC are “siloed” and have “inconsistent communication” that “limits opportunities for coordination, shared goal-setting and mutual accountability.”
High staff turnover and vacancy rates have plagued the DOC’s health care system, Commissioner DeMatteis said, exacerbated by an inmate uprising that led to a correctional officer’s death at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna in early February 2017.
For the current DOC personnel “It was evident in numerous facilities that staff were second victims, experiencing psychological trauma from adverse events, and that support for them was inadequate or non-existent.”
While an ongoing backlog of chronic care visits continues “there was no evidence that the fundamental backlogs are reported on, measured, or analyzed …”
Commissioner DeMatteis described the task of responding to the recommendations as “manageable,” and said “the improvements will benefit offenders, our medical and behavioral health teams, counselors and correctional officers alike.” The commissioner pointed to the 41 recommendations in a 169-page report addressed within a year following the Vaughn riot as a successful track record of implementing meaningful changes within the prison system.
Earlier this year, state lawmakers unanimously approved a bill reforming a committee charged with monitoring prison health care in Delaware, the Associated Press reported. According to the AP, the bill was introduced after the attorney general’s office confirmed that it was investigating allegations that DOC’s medical contractor, Connections Community Support Programs, had ordered staffers to forge documents to falsely state inmates were getting mental health treatment they never received.
From Sept. 17 to Oct. 3, the Christiana review team visited Delaware’s four maximum security prisons — Vaughn, Howard R. Young Correctional Institution in Wilmington, Delores J. Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution in New Castle and Sussex Correctional Institution in Georgetown. Also visited during the same period of time were corrections centers in Dover (Morris), Wilmington (Plummer) and Georgetown (Sussex).
“In our ongoing commitment to positively impact health in all the communities we serve, we are glad to provide our expertise in health care quality and safety to the Department of Correction through this report,” said ChristianaCare Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Ken Silverstein in a news release.
“We applaud the DOC leadership and staff for taking this important step to improve the delivery of care in its facilities.”
The DOC has had seven medical vendors in the past 34 years, with no assessments of how to improve delivery of healthcare and clinical quality during transitions, Commissioner DeMatteis said.
The Whole Story:
Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org
The moral of the story? If these assholes had been punished appropriately the first time, we would not have seen, and inmates would not have endured, their later criminal cruelty. READ How to avoid the deaths of prison guards and inmates
This article was sent to me by my good friend, great lawyer, Steve Hampton:
Excerpts from the Article:
When a prisoner shattered glass panes in a control center at a Baltimore jail, the staff summoned a paramilitary-style tactical team to help quell the disturbance. Some inmates used pieces of shirts or bedsheets to hide their faces. What happened at the jail on that Friday afternoon in May 2017 has become fodder for an indictment charging 25 correctional officers in Baltimore with operating as a “criminal gang” that used violence, threats and intimidation tactics against inmates.
The jailhouse disturbance also led to a federal lawsuit that provides additional details and context for the bare-bones allegations in Tuesday’s 236-count indictment, the latest in a string of corruption cases to cast a shadow over the city.
The indictment names 25 prisoners as victims of assaults by officers from the Baltimore Central Region Tactical Unit, better known as the “TAC team.” One of those inmates is Bryan C. Thompson, who sued five of the indicted officers over his alleged beating on May 19, 2017.
In a handwritten summary of his claims, Thompson said officers kicked, punched and stomped on him until he was “unrecognizable.” Thompson also claimed that tactical team officers arrived approximately two hours after order already had been restored at the jail, precluding any need for them to use force.
Antoine Mayo, whom the indictment identifies as a second victim of the May 2017 beatings, said he saw Thompson bleeding from his nose and mouth as officers dragged him away by his arms. In an affidavit for Thompson’s lawsuit, Mayo says officers punched and kicked him in the head after he asked them, “Why y’all do that man like that?” Thompson says he, Mayo and three other inmates were taken away for medical treatment.
An investigative report says Thompson had refused to remove his clothes and submit to a strip search. The report says Thompson tried to punch an officer, Kenyatta Barrett, who dodged the attack and responded by punching Thompson’s face and body. Barrett is one of two officers charged in the indictment with assaulting Thompson. On Wednesday, a federal judge refused to dismiss Thompson’s claims against two of the officers he sued.
“There is no evidence before this court to support a finding that the use of force against Thompson was a reasonable reaction to the circumstances confronted by the officers involved,” wrote U.S. District Judge James Bredar.
Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, whose office secured the indictments, said the investigation started in 2018 after officials heard “rumors and anecdotes” about officers using excessive force against inmates in the city’s state-run jails.
Some of the indicted officers already had been sued over excessive force claims before the state Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services began investigating. In one of those cases, an inmate accused tactical team members of severe ly beating him while he was handcuffed and shackled at the Baltimore City Detention Center in October 2008. The inmate, Brandon Grimes, had been convicted of killing a Baltimore city police officer. Grimes claimed officers screamed, “Cop killer!” and “You going to die up here today!” during the attack in his cell.
A judge who refused to dismiss Grimes’ claims against a warden said a log book didn’t note any incident between the tactical team and a prisoner. “Stripped to essentials, defendants’ argument is that the incident never occurred,” the judge wrote.
One of the officers indicted Tuesday was named as a defendant in the suit that Grimes filed in 2011. A settlement resolved the case in 2015 after the judge dismissed Grimes’ excessive force claims.
The judge said he was “sympathetic to (Grimes’) claim of unprovoked assault,” but noted that Grimes wasn’t certain how many officers had entered his cell and couldn’t describe them in any detail.
Steven Meehan, an attorney for the Prisoner Rights Information System of Maryland Inc. who represented Grimes, said the case settled over a medical claim. Grimes had claimed he was denied medical treatment. Grimes’ case isn’t mentioned in the indictments against the 25 officers, who are accused of assaulting and threatening detainees at correctional facilities, tampering with evidence and falsifying documents. The string of alleged assaults listed in the indictment date back to March 2016.
TAC team members operate inside four detention facilities in Baltimore and Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Other state-run jails in Baltimore have been plagued by violence and corruption.
In 2015, the state closed the men’s section of a Baltimore jail where a federal indictment exposed a sophisticated smuggling ring involving dozens of gang members and correctional officers. The investigation also revealed that a jailhouse gang leader had impregnated four female guards.
Corruption has plagued Baltimore’s city government for decades. Disgraced former mayor Catherine Pugh pleaded guilty last month to federal charges stemming from sales of her self-published children’s books. The city’s police department has been rocked by a string of indictments and guilty pleas by task force officers accused of extortion, robbery, falsifying evidence and reselling seized drugs.