This will be a welcomed relief for the thousands of inmates who are even more seriously and widely abused and medically neglected in private prisons than those in prisons operated by the government.
You tell me: How absolutely insane is this?! “A quota policy adopted by Congress in 2009 requires ICE to maintain an average of 34,000 immigrants in detention on a daily basis whether that many need to be detained or not…”
Excerpts from the Article:
California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law in October 2017 that blocks the expansion of for-profit immigration detention facilities, demonstrating the state’s opposition to President Trump’s efforts to crack down on undocumented immigrants and increase deportations.
The Dignity Not Detention Act (SB 29) restricts new contracts between local government agencies and private companies that operate immigration detention facilities in California, blocks plans to expand existing facilities, and requires a 180-day notice and public hearings for future building permits. The law also requires private immigration detention centers to adhere to national standards for conditions, and requires the California Department of Justice to perform annual audits of such facilities.
“California should not be siding with companies that profit from the detention of asylum seekers,” said state Senator Ricardo Lara, the bill’s sponsor. There are four privately-run immigration centers in California. The GEO Group, which operates the Adelanto Detention Facility in San Bernardino County and the Mesa Verde Detention Facility in Bakersfield, is one of the largest contractors with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), having held $900 million in ICE contracts since 2013. CoreCivic, formerly CCA, runs the Otay Mesa Detention Center in San Diego, while the Imperial Regional Detention Facility in Calexico is operated by Management & Training Corp.
A quota policy adopted by Congress in 2009 requires ICE to maintain an average of 34,000 immigrants in detention on a daily basis whether that many need to be detained or not, which has resulted in lucrative contracts and increased profits for private prison companies. The 2016 budget for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) included $3.3 billion to detain immigrants plus $350 million to add more “family” detention beds. More than three-fifths of immigration detainees are held in privately-run facilities, according to DHS.
Many immigrants are refugees who entered the U.S. illegally or overstayed their visas, while others hold green cards, according to Christina Fialho, co-founder and executive director of Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC), now known as Freedom for Immigrants.
“We’ve had people file complaints with us about maggots in meat, expired milk that’s being served, and really disgusting things that are taking place behind closed doors with little transparency or accountability” at privately-operated detention centers, she said.
The new bill was one of 11 recently signed into law that expanded protections for undocumented immigrants in California, including a sanctuary state policy and education and housing protections for immigrants.
An estimated 4,000 immigrants are held in detention centers in California at any given time, mostly (70 percent) in privately-operated facilities.
How could anyone think this is not torture?! Newsflash: THE LAW APPLIES INSIDE PRISON WALLS. Jailers responsible should be prosecuted. Read the whole story to see the typical lies by prison officials to try to cover up.
Excerpts from the Article:
A criminal investigation into actions at one county jail is nearing an end, and what was found could potentially cost taxpayers in the form of civil penalties. FOX 25 has confirmed the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation has issued a report into the treatment of inmates at the Kay County Detention Center. The investigation centered on complaints that FOX 25 also looked into that one group says was tantamount to torture.
When confronted by FOX 25, jail administrators admitted a practice known inside the jail as “crucifixion” was happening to inmates.
“It is exactly what the name implies,” said Brady Henderson, the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma which is now also looking into the jail issues. “The key feature of a ‘crucifixion’ handcuffing is that you take a detainee’s arms and you put one one direction as far as it will go and you put the other the other direction as far as it will go.”
FOX 25 has learned there is video of at least one of these “crucifixion” handcuffings obtained by the OSBI and presented to Kay County District Attorney Brian Hermanson.
“[Crucifixion cuffing] is not that dissimilar from the rack, an old torture means used in medieval Europe,” Henderson said. “The concept is just to painfully stretch somebody and in this case instead of wanting them to talk or wanting them to do a particular thing you are doing it as a punishment.”
In one instance, Henderson told FOX 25 an inmate was kept cuffed with his arms outstretched until the cuffs cut into his wrists causing him to bleed.
The ACLU of Oklahoma told FOX 25 it is just beginning its investigation by interviewing current and former jail employees as well as current and former inmates. The group also plans to review public records, including those FOX 25 has already obtained, before determining the extent of the legal action it will take against Kay County.
Kay County District Attorney Brian Hermanson told FOX 25 he could not comment on the investigation. However, FOX 25 has learned he has been in possession of the case for several weeks. Hermanson said, despite his role as the attorney for the county, he would not be turning over the case to an outside prosecutor.
This article is about one small prison in NJ, but the very same problems occur in prisons all over America. Women are totally controlled by staff, and every day many are raped … every single day.
While men too are raped, most victims are women.
Excerpts from the Article:
What goes on behind the bars at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women? That question is the subject of an ongoing criminal probe by county prosecutors, an independent investigation ordered by the state attorney general last year and, perhaps soon, a special commission being proposed by state lawmakers.
Edna Mahan, a small prison with a population of about 650 inmates in Hunterdon County, has seen seven of its staff members criminally accused of sexually abusing inmates since 2015. Yet facing a scandal that has stretched on for two years across two administrations, the state Department of Corrections has divulged little about what it has done to curb allegations of sexual abuse at the hands of its own staff.
Officials declined to attend a public hearing on conditions at the prison, and to answer specific questions from the media or release unredacted e-mails sought under the state’s records laws. The re-nomination of Commissioner Gary Lanigan was put on hold because lawmakers intended to ask tough questions at his confirmation hearing, and Lanigan later announced his retirement. His replacement, acting Commissioner Marcus Hicks, will likely face those questions at budget hearings in front of the state Legislature scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday.
The criminal trial of Jason Mays, a former senior corrections officer who was convicted last week on charges he sexually abused two inmates at the prison, brought to light new details about the ongoing criminal inquiry and gave glimpses of how abuse can go undetected behind the walls of a state prison.
Although it can take months or years for accusations of abuse to surface, in places that do have cameras, the footage is stored just 30 days before it is erased, one supervising officer testified. And while authorities have long recognized the connection between the prison contraband trade and sexual abuse, there is no policy in place to prevent staff from smuggling cigarettes, food or drugs onto the grounds in their personal vehicles, according to Lt. Hector Smith.
Here, you can drive your car into the facility, which is very, very strange.”
Mays, who was convicted on charges he abused two inmates, was often the lone officer assigned to A Cottage, a minimum security housing unit containing about 40 inmates which is not surveilled by cameras.
Several prisoners testified they had sexual encounters with the officer in the “beauty room,” a spare white room with a brown floor and two basin sinks in front of twin mirrors, where inmates can do their makeup or get a haircut. The room has a window overlooking the walkway, from which Mays could keep watch for anyone approaching the building, the women testified.
Under state law, any sexual contact between inmates and staff is a crime because prisoners cannot legally consent.
The officer, who was found not guilty on 10 counts related to three other inmates, denied those claims and is planning to appeal his conviction, according to his attorney, Leslie Sinemus. In an interview following the verdict, she told NJ Advance Media that while the investigation that led to charges against her client was flawed, it clearly showed the prison’s policies not only put inmates at risk, but also left officers vulnerable to false claims of abuse.
Without adequate surveillance and staff, investigators in the Special Investigations Division, the prison system’s internal affairs unit, are often left to sift through sometimes-conflicting claims of abuse, whether in the form of confidential complaints or word-of-mouth among inmates.
“Win, lose, or draw, whether it happened or didn’t happen, what you absolutely can say is they don’t take sex abuse in custody seriously,” she said. “Because if they did, they’d have different procedures in place.”
Four other corrections officers at the prison still face trials, and prosecutors have said little publicly about the evidence they’ve gathered.
Last week, a pair of state lawmakers also introduced five new bills aimed at cracking down on the prison. One of the sponsors, state Sen. Linda Greenstein, D-Middlesex, said she would amend several of them to apply to prisons statewide.
You can read the article yourself: https://delawarestatenews.net/news/prison-report-calls-for-better-patient-health-management/
Here is what you need to know!
Letter to the Editor or OP Ed Submission: They lie, lie, lie! 5/17/18
It was quite interesting to read: “Prison report calls for better patient health management”*. The article reports the findings of the study performed by National Conference on Correctional Health Care, Resources Inc., citing deficiencies in the health care system in the prisons, and then continues with numerous gratuitous quotes from D O C officials defending the prison’s policies and practices, suggesting that the health care being provided is satisfactory. Those officials have NO credibility. The most accurate remarks came from attorney Steve Hampton and from Lori Alberts of Link of Love.
I was inside Delaware prisons from 2006 to 2012**, and SAW what really goes on. It was a time when the feds came in – due to abominable health care – and after their investigation D O C entered into a 58 page “Consent Agreement” to improve the health care service. I read every page of that agreement and SAW it violated in many ways every day … very day! As I explained years ago to Lori Alberts – and she said in the article – the only change was the name of the company hired as the health care contractor. [“Since as long as I can remember, the only thing that changes is the name of the health care contractor,” said Ms. Alberts.] D O C hired a new company. That company, meanwhile, kept the same employees as its predecessor, and, because there is no accountability, they just continued the same neglect and cover-up as has gone on for decades! D O C officials were spouting the same sort of lies that we see in this recent article. There is a word in the English language for this: propaganda. Information put out by government to deliberately deceive.
It is a genuine tragedy that the press is so easily bamboozled by D O C officials, with blind deference to their pronouncements and reports. While this goes on Steve Hampton, Lori, and I continue to receive a seemingly never- ending stream of calls and emails from horrified, frightened, and appalled family members of inmates, and letters from inmates themselves, relating the truth of their needless suffering.
Really, reading that article is enough to make one want to vomit. Send a reporter or an FBI agent INTO THE PRISON, UNDER COVER, and learn that what I say is correct! There will be no doubt about the outcome; if is an FBI agent, he or she will emerge with enough facts for several indictments. And, sad to say, prosecution of those indictments is the ONLY thing that will change the abysmal health care which has caused so much harm.
**Yes, I screwed up badly and lost everything to drugs.
Ken Abraham, Deputy Attorney General of Delaware 1974-1979, founder of Citizens for Criminal JUSTICE, Dover, DE 302-423-4067
I get lots of letters published, and ghost write for others. THIS IS THE BEST WAY TO REACH THOUSANDS OF READERS! The keys to getting your Letter published are:
1. Keep it to 250 words or fewer.
2. Do not make it about “poor little old me”. Describe the problem as one which not only affects the individual, but is a senseless or ineffective measure, policy, or law which also harms communities and society. For example, with reentry, the obstacles make it unnecessarily difficult for the individual, but also harm society by making it hard to become productive, spending money and paying taxes in the community, and they cause increased recidivism = increased crime.
3. Speak from your heart.
4. Google any facts you are not sure about.
5. Do not name-call.
Do what works: Write that Letter!
Letter to Editor – sign name, town, state, and your phone number (they often call to verify that you sent it), and “Member of Citizens for Criminal JUSTICE” if you like – shows you are part of a large group.
Send the email to yourself, and put on the “bcc” bar the email addresses for Letters to the Editor for the top ten newspapers in your state and several national ones – The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, U S A Today (google the Letter to Editor email addresses). Any questions, CALL me at 302-423-4067!
GOOGLE THE EMAIL ADDRESSES FOR “LETTERS TO THE EDITOR” FOR THE TOP TEN NEWSPAPERS IN YOUR STATE AND SAVE THAT INFORMATION FOR REPEATED USE – Some papers will print a letter from you every 2 ekke, some every 30 days, some every 90 days. They have varying policies. But if you really want to make a difference shoot them a new letter once a month! I send one out every 2 weeks.
Need a Letter on some criminal justice issue and not a great letter writer? NO EXCUSE! Email me a rough draft and call me and I’ll polish it up! firstname.lastname@example.org .
ANY QUESTIONS, CALL ME AT 302-423-4067.
Protest Results in Three Arrests at CoreCivic’s Annual Shareholders Meeting -Our friend Alex Friedmann Speaks! kra
Those of you who have known me for a while have seen many articles about the atrocities of private prisons. CoreCivic is the most monstrous of the monster corporations in that business. I suggest to you that you join the ever-increasing legions of Americans who are speaking out about this problem. Why?
It is the right thing to do.
YOU are affected in numerous ways by all of the ineptitude, neglect, and wrongdoing – READ Prison Abuse – Why Massive Indifference is a Massive Mistake – kra http://www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net/prison-abuse-massive-indifference-massive-mistake/
The problems are costing YOU BILLIONS of your hard-earned dollars every year! YOUR tax money. YOU are paying for many of the needless (could be prevented) lawsuits – the attorneys, the judges, the support staff, etc., and YOU are paying the thousand of settlements and jury awards!
Speak Out! READ Practical Tip – Get Empowered! How YOU Can Create a Powerful, Effective Force for Reform of our Criminal Justice System – http://www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net/practical-tip-how-you-can-create-a-powerful-effective-force-for-reform-of-our-criminal-justice-system/
Excerpts from the Article:
On May 10, 2018, drumbeats echoed and faux “blood” flowed through the parking lot at the Nashville, Tennessee headquarters of CoreCivic (formerly Corrections Corporation of America), as activists staged dramatic street theater to represent the sorrow, suffering and deaths of prisoners at the hands of the for-profit prison operator.
“Over the past decade, this protest, outside of CCA’s shareholders meeting, has become an annual event,” said Jane Hussain, an organizer with the Nashville Peace and Justice Center. “But this year there was a mood of increased desperation and fury over the continued growth and increasing injustices of America’s incarceration industry.” The vocal crowd of demonstrators consisted of representatives from the No Exceptions Prison Collective, Nashville Antifa, Nashville Anarchist Black Cross, Face to Face Knox, and several other groups and individuals. The protesters erected a shrine as well as dozens of crosses, banners and cardboard tombstones to commemorate the names of people who have died in CoreCivic’s custody. Two former prisoners, “Chris H.” and the poet James Floyd, spoke to the crowd despite a sudden drenching downpour.
After a small contingent of activist shareholders – including Prison Legal News managing editor Alex Friedmann and Monte McCoin, social media director for PLN’s parent organization, the Human Rights Defense Center – entered CoreCivic’s headquarters to attend the shareholders meeting, the protesters moved into the parking lot and constructed a small cage to represent a jail cell. Rev. Jeannie Alexander, a former prison chaplain and director of the No Exceptions Prison Collective, and activist Patrick Bigg then sat inside the cage and refused orders to leave from CoreCivic’s private security guards.
When one of the guards attempted to intervene, protester Dami Feral doused him and the caged activists with faux “blood.” All three demonstrators were arrested on misdemeanor charges; Alexander and Bigg face criminal trespassing charges, while Feral was charged with assault. Volunteer legal observers from the National Lawyers Guild monitored the event and arrests.
When interviewed after her release, Alexander issued the following statement: “We do not recognize CCA property as legitimate private property. The property was acquired through the ill-gotten gains of slavery, torture, trauma and death. We find it ironic that CCA officials were so angry about our blood-soaked cage, when every single day their prisons create environments full of blood-soaked cages.”
Meanwhile, inside the meeting, Friedmann confronted the company’s board members about the disparity between the salaries of CoreCivic employees and those of the company’s executives, including CEO Damon Hininger, who made $2.37 million last year. [See: PLN, May 2018, p.56]. Friedmann asked whether CoreCivic has “any plans moving forward to address this wide gap between CEO compensation and median employee compensation,” given that low wages paid to the company’s workers result in high staff turnover rates and understaffing at CoreCivic facilities, which in turn contribute to higher levels of violence.
McCoin, who owns a single share of the company’s stock, addressed the lack of communication between CoreCivic and prisoners’ families, telling the board, “The most common question these families have is ‘Why won’t this company answer [their] questions.’ Why won’t prison officials communicate with them? After hearing their stories, I’m not here as a concerned shareholder anymore. I’m here as an outraged shareholder, and I want to know too.” Alas, CoreCivic CEO Hininger deflected both of those questions with corporate talking points rather than providing substantive answers.
At the conclusion of the meeting, the activist shareholders returned to speak with the protestors and provide a debrief of the events inside. Friedmann described how the meeting was all about profits and executive compensation, with no interest in the welfare of prisoners held in CoreCivic’s for-profit detention facilities. McCoin encouraged protestors to purchase a share of stock so they could attend the company’s next shareholders meeting in person.
This was a stupid move. While the governor is correct that nobody can predict the future, it is well established that private prisons are a disaster, do not save money, and there is no reason in the world to think that will change! Has he caved to their lobbying and campaign contributions?!
Many officers and employees of CoreCivic should be behind bars!
Excerpts from the Article:
Assembly Bill 303, introduced by Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno, a former prison guard, would have granted the Nevada Department of Corrections a five-year period to renovate existing prison facilities before eliminating the state’s relationship with for-profit prison firms. The bill progressed through the Nevada legislature with a 38-3 vote in the Assembly on May 24, 2017 before being sent to the state Senate Judiciary Committee, then the full Senate.
According to news reports, the bill was struck down on June 8, 2017 when Governor Brian Sandoval issued a veto. Sandoval explained his reasoning in a statement, saying: “Where AB 303 goes too far, however, is by limiting the discretion of the Director of the Department of Corrections by prohibiting the use of private prisons, starting in 2022. Between now and 2022, much can happen, and there is no way to predict whether private prisons may need to play a critical part in Nevada’s future prison needs.”
Some lawmakers don’t like the idea of for-profit incarceration on principle, while civil rights advocates have raised concerns that private prison companies are not subject to public records laws on the federal level and in some states. “There’s really no oversight over that if we’re not able to request that information through [the Freedom of Information Act],” said Holly Welborn, policy director for the ACLU of Nevada. “There’s no way to hold them accountable.”
On October 10, 2017, the Nevada Board of Examiners approved a $9.2 million, two-year contract with private prison operator CoreCivic, formerly known as CCA, to transfer 200 state prisoners to the company’s Saguaro Correctional Center in Arizona.
Nurse sounded alarm over inmate’s death and sexual harassment at Orleans jail — then was fired: lawsuit
Do the right thing, and you get fired; that is how CCS and other “health care” prison contractors operate. Gross neglect of inmates, lies to cover up said neglect, and retaliation against those who expose it. I SAW Correct Care Solutions operations while I was in: atrocious.
This article documents the trials and tribulations of one nurse who tried to do right, only to be harassed and fired.
Excerpts from the Article:
When Dennis Edwards was taken to the Orleans Parish jail’s medical clinic early on Dec. 15, nurse Natalie Henderson first noticed the jerky movements in his arms. His upper body moved so widely that someone had handcuffed his wrist to the stretcher, she said. Edwards was coming down from some kind of drugs, she thought, and was clearly “in distress.” He kept flailing around. He was “not coherent,” she said. Edwards’ heart rate was “knocking on 200,” twice the normal threshold, Henderson said, recalling his vitals from memory at a recent interview. His oxygen saturation was below normal, and his blood pressure “at stroke levels,” she said. She recognized a smell coming from his body – a foul mix of blood and feces – indicating he could have gastrointestinal bleeding, she said.
“I said, ‘He needs to go to the hospital. He is going to die,‘” Henderson recalled telling a supervisor at Correct Care Solutions, the company that provides inmate medical care for the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office. Edwards, 41, was not taken to a hospital. Instead, sheriff’s office officials said, he died on the floor of the Orleans Justice Center jail’s medical clinic after EMS personnel were unable to revive him. It was only his second night at the jail, records show.
Four months later, Henderson was fired April 25 by Correct Care Solutions, according to a lawsuit she filed May 1 against Sheriff Marlin Gusman and her former employer, claiming her firing was retaliatory and violated Louisiana’s whistleblower protection law. Her lawsuit claims she complained to jail staff about alleged “improper care” of Edwards and other inmates, “but her complaints were not answered.” The suit also claims Henderson “and other nurses were being physically and psychologically sexually assaulted on numerous occasions by inmates,” and that CCS supervisors and jail staff in some instances “ignored” the “assaults.”
Henderson’s whistleblower lawsuit is raising new questions about the sheriff’s office’s actions in running a jail where a number of inmates have died in recent years. Edwards was one of six people who died while in OPSO custody in 2017 alone, according to the agency. A federal judge has cited the deaths and other poor conditions at the jail in imposing tighter monitoring over Gusman and the jail, which remains under a federal consent decree.
A federal judge said in a court order about the resignation he was “dissatisfied with the pace of reform” at the jail.
Henderson said she raised numerous concerns to a supervisor at CCS before her termination, which she said she detailed in emails she shared with NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune. They included the decision not to order Edwards’ transport to a hospital before he died, and her allegations of being harassed at the jail.
“I was trying to help the inmates, and at the same time I’m being sexually harassed… And I’m the one who’s terminated,” Henderson said in an interview at her attorney Joseph Albe’s office in Slidell. She believes an opportunity was missed to get Edwards stabilized had he been taken to an emergency room.
Henderson, 33, grew up in New Orleans East and earned her licensed practical nurse certification through Delgado Community College. The job suits her personality, she said. “I love to help people,” Henderson said. She worked mostly at nursing homes before applying for a job at the jail with Correct Care Solutions in October. As a single mother raising a 10-year-old autistic son, she was attracted by the better pay and good benefits. Her lawsuit states she had an annual salary of $90,000.
Henderson said her duties included passing out medicine to inmates in their housing units. Most days, she said, one or more inmates would walk up to her as she stood at her medicine cart, exposing their penis or masturbating. “I had seen it so much,” she said. She learned to turn her head and continue to “keep passing medicine.” Deputies often tolerated the masturbation in the open housing units, she said. She recalled one deputy once putting a stop to the behavior, though, telling the men, “We’re not having that today.”
What bothered Henderson more and prompted her to alert at least one CCS supervisor and OPSO jail staff, she said, was that some of the inmates would touch her inappropriately. They also began passing around printed copies of a photograph of herself she had posted on Facebook, she said, and used the picture to taunt her. She said she never learned how the men obtained the photo, despite her inquiries to jail staff.
At least five different incarcerated men touched Henderson’s buttocks while she was passing out medicine, she said. The first time, on Nov. 15, OPSO investigators launched a probe and eventually rebooked two people on sexual battery and other charges, court records show. A warrant for their arrests says video surveillance footage supported Henderson’s account. Louis Handy, 28, pleaded guilty Jan. 30 to misdemeanor sexual battery and was sentenced to six months at the jail. The other man charged, Evie Jackson, 54, was deemed mentally incompetent in January and his charges remain unresolved.
The day after a Dec. 5 incident when her buttocks was touched by another inmate, Henderson said she sent a supervisor an email, which Henderson provided, writing that a deputy who witnessed the inappropriate touching had notified an OPSO supervisor. But Henderson said she is not aware anything was done in response to that, or another incident she alleged.
The coroner’s office ruled Edwards died of natural causes from hypertensive cardiovascular disease, an autopsy report shows. At death he had several drugs in his body, including naloxone, which is given to people to reverse an opioid overdose, as well as morphine and the opioids hydromorphone and norfentanyl, the report said.
Court records indicate Edwards was booked Dec. 13 on misdemeanor charges of theft, simple criminal damage to property and criminal trespassing – none a felony. He was apparently unable to pay the $450 a bail bonds service would require to post the $4,500 bond assigned to him by a judge just under 17 hours before Edwards’ death. The autopsy report said Edwards died at 2:52 a.m. Dec. 15. An email Henderson said she sent to her CCS supervisor 16 minutes later, at 3:08 a.m., listed her concerns with the handling of Edwards’ medical care.
He had been in the clinic for “about 1 hour” and appeared “very unstable,” Henderson wrote, according to a copy of that email she provided. An OPSO report on Edwards’ death corroborates Henderson’s account of the timing and who was present in the medical clinic when he died. After reading his vitals, she wrote, “I explain to the charge nurse that he need to send the patient out.” The nurse in charge, Henderson wrote, “ignored everything I was asking him to do.” Henderson also wrote in the email that when she saw Edwards “coding,” meaning he needed to be resuscitated, she alerted the same supervisor, who Henderson said responded, “He’s OK.”
That immediate supervisor did not respond to messages seeking comment for this story.
“If my family member died like that I would have been upset,” said Henderson, explaining why she wrote to her CCS supervisors.
She had passed out medicine on March 18 when a large group of jailed men – she estimated about 20 – crowded around her, at least one holding a copy of her Facebook picture and some of them calling her names like “b—-” and “hoe,” she said. Handy, the man convicted of sexual battery for touching her buttocks, was among the inmates crowded around her, she alleged. One or more people “started throwing cups,” she said, as the on-duty deputy remained seated.
“She wasn’t saying anything. … She just let it go on,” Henderson said of the deputy.
When Henderson returned to work, she said, she was told she was not allowed on certain floors where she previously worked. A supervisor told her she was a “security threat” on those floors, she said. Henderson said it felt like CCS or the jail staff blamed her for being inappropriately touched.
CCS suspended Henderson April 15 for leaving her post the previous day, she said. Again, she said she did not receive documentation.
“If I complain I get harassed or reprimanded for speaking up,” she wrote in an email she said she sent to higher-ups in her company. “How do they expect me to function and work when they keep pulling me off of floors. Not explaining why I can’t go to a certain floor.”
The 2017 deaths include five people who were brought to a hospital from the Orleans Justice Center jail or the Temporary Detention Center, another OPSO jail facility. One of them, Jermaine Johnson, 23, died last May, less than two weeks after authorities say he hanged himself in his cell in the Orleans Justice Center – a case that prompted additional criticism of the jail and the sheriff’s operation of it. The sheriff’s office also faces a wrongful death lawsuit related to the February 2017 death of Colby Crawford, who had a history of documented mental health problems and overdosed on cocaine he injected inside the jail — an incident recorded on OPSO’s surveillance cameras.
After Three Years Of Failures, Federal Judge Says Prison Health Care Settlement Is Falling Apart – So what will he DO about it!? kra
“No sh#@, Sherlock!”. I saw from the inside of prison the fiasco when the U S D O J investigated health care in Delaware prisons. While the DOC administration spouted total BS lies about “progress”, I SAW the 58 page “Consent Agreement” violated repeatedly in many ways every day. Today the health care is worse than ever!
Corizon, one of the nation’s biggest health care contractors, is also one of its worst!
Excerpts from the Article:
“Here we are, in May of 2018 and the failures … continue,” Magistrate Judge David Duncan lamented in federal court Wednesday. “The excuses sound the same.” Duncan oversees the Parsons v. Ryan prison health care settlement, which has now stretched on for more than three years.
At the most recent monthly status hearing in the case, attorneys for the Arizona Department of Corrections went through a list of agreed upon health care performance measures that have still not been met. The latest numbers show people in Arizona prisons are not receiving of diagnostic studies in a timely fashion. Patients with urgent medical referrals are not being seen within 24 hours by a medical provider. Hospital discharge recommendations are being ignored.
Duncan said the continued failures show the prison health care system, operated by the state’s contractor Corizon Health, is stretched too thin.
“The whole thing is falling apart on a continual basis,” Duncan said. “I just don’t think anyone contemplated, at the time the settlement was reached, there would be such a broken system so many years into it.” Duncan said it was especially frustrating because the performance measures are so basic. “It’s not as if we’re asking somebody to fly to Mars,” Duncan said. “We’re saying ‘provide the health care you agreed to provide.’”
The judge suggested the state had lost sight of the human element behind the monthly numbers.
“I think the frustration that I have felt in this case must just be so small compared to the suffering that seems to occur out in the prison yard because people are not getting this basic health care,” Duncan said. “It makes me think that at some point we have lost the connection to the fact that there are lives hanging in the balance.”
Judge Duncan said he was still working on a contempt order which could end up costing the state millions of dollars based on the failure to comply with specific measures in the settlement. Duncan suggested, as he has in the past, that money from fines imposed on the state could be used to appoint an independent expert to monitor the state’s compliance.
Duncan said one thing he hoped to accomplish before turning the case over to another judge was to go on another prison tour, to see the conditions plaintiff class members had told their attorneys about.
Plaintiff attorney David Fathi told Duncan he was “dreadfully sorry” to hear about his medical problems and pending retirement. “On behalf of all of us on the plaintiff side and the 34,000 men, women and children we represent, we want to send our good wishes to you during what I’m sure is a very difficult time,” Fathi said.
“The Mecklenburg County Jail’s mail policy, which is posted on the sheriff’s website, includes a list of banned publications that prisoners are not allowed to receive. That list includes Prison Legal News. HRDC alleges that this blanket ban on its flagship publication violates the First Amendment.” Our friends at HRDC have the resources to let the jackass prison officials know- in court – that they will not get away with such crap!
Charlotte, NC – Yesterday, the Human Rights Defense Center (HRDC), a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the human rights of people held in U.S. detention facilities, filed suit in federal court against Mecklenburg County Sheriff Irwin Carmichael and other employees of the sheriff’s office, alleging unlawful censorship of HRDC’s publications sent to prisoners at the Mecklenburg County Jail.
HRDC publishes two monthly publications, Prison Legal News and Criminal Legal News, which were mailed to prisoners at the jail along with legal books and educational materials. However, according to the complaint, the sheriff’s “policies and practices prohibit delivery of mail from [HRDC], fail to provide notice of and an opportunity to challenge each instance of censorship, and deny [HRDC] equal protection under the law as required under the United States Constitution.”
The Mecklenburg County Jail’s mail policy, which is posted on the sheriff’s website, includes a list of banned publications that prisoners are not allowed to receive. That list includes Prison Legal News. HRDC alleges that this blanket ban on its flagship publication violates the First Amendment.
According to the complaint, “Since May 2016, Defendants have censored the following mailed materials from HRDC: (1) individually addressed issues of the monthly journal Prison Legal News; (2) individually addressed sample issues of Prison Legal News; (3) individually addressed issues of the monthly journal Criminal Legal News; (4) individually addressed copies of the softcover book The Habeas Citebook; (5) individually addressed copies of the softcover book Prisoners’ Handbook; (6) informational packets; and (7) court opinions.”
HRDC claims that a total of 144 items of mail sent to prisoners at the county jail were censored. Some were returned stamped “Against Jail Policy,” or with notations that indicated the books or publications were “banned,” “not allowed,” “on banned list” or “refused.”
The complaint accuses Sheriff Carmichael and the other defendants of failing to provide a legitimate justification for their censorship decisions, and alleges that, in fact, there is no legitimate interest served by censoring HRDC’s publications and correspondence to prisoners. Further, the complaint alleges that the jail failed to “give meaningful notice,” or any explanation of the censorship, in violation of HRDC’s due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment. The lack of notice prevented HRDC from challenging or appealing the censorship decisions. Along with the federal complaint, HRDC also filed a motion for a preliminary injunction seeking to prohibit the sheriff from “(1) continuing to censor [HRDC’s] publications and enveloped correspondence; and (2) continuing to deprive HRDC of due process for any censorship decision.”
“Jail officials cannot impose a blanket ban on HRDC’s publications without violating the First Amendment,” said HRDC executive director Paul Wright. “That is particularly true where the jail allows prisoners to receive other publications but not ours. Fortunately, we live in a nation where the rule of law and the courts are available to redress such unconstitutional actions.”
HRDC is seeking declaratory relief, compensatory and punitive damages, and attorneys’ fees and costs. HRDC is represented by Raleigh attorneys Paul Cox and Jon Sasser with Ellis & Winters LLP; attorney Bruce Johnson with the Seattle, Washington law firm of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP; and HRDC general counsel Sabarish Neelakanta and staff attorneys Masimba Mutamba and Daniel Marshall. The case is Human Rights Defense Center v. Carmichael, U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Case No. 3:18-cv-00218, and a copy of the complaint is available here
The Complaint filed in Court = https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/media/litigation/HRDC_v_Carmichael_Complaint_NC_2018.pdf
Exclusive! Incorrect Cause of Tennessee Prisoner’s Death Reported by CoreCivic Employees – No Fooling!? kra
Prisons do this regularly, usually to cover up fatal abuse or neglect of an inmate by prison personnel or medical staff!
CoreCivic is the WORST!
Excerpts from the Article:
According to the Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC), state prisoner Edward Ray Gilley, Jr., 54, died on November 5, 2016 at the Trousdale Turner Correctional Center, a facility owned and operated by CoreCivic – previously known as Corrections Corporation of America. In response to a public records request filed by Prison Legal News, on February 13, 2018 the TDOC’s director of communication, Neysa Taylor, reported that Gilley’s death was due to “natural causes.” Unless overdosing on meth is “natural,” however, that cause of death was incorrect – though it evidently was not scrutinized or questioned by TDOC officials.
A previous news report by WSMV Channel 4 in Nashville indicated that Gilley had died of an overdose, though he wasn’t mentioned by name in the report. PLN obtained a copy of the autopsy results from the medical examiner’s office, which concluded that Gilley’s death was caused by “toxic effects of methamphetamine complicating hypertensive cardiovascular disease.” The report noted that a toxicology screen was “significant for methamphetamine” at almost four times the reporting threshold, and the cause of death was ruled accidental – as in an accidental overdose. It was not listed as due to natural causes.
Yet “natural causes” was the entry made by CoreCivic employees Lt. Julie Englebrecht and Beverly Atwood, an administrative assistant to Trousdale’s warden, according to records produced by the TDOC pursuant to another public records request filed by PLN.
Gilley’s sister, Diana, said prison officials at Trousdale falsely informed her that her brother had died of a “massive heart attack.”
“It was an overdose, an overdose of meth in this facility,” his sister told WSMV. “Words cannot express the shock we have on so many levels that this could even possible be anything that would be considered in a state correctional center. Unbelievable. How he got it, where he got it. Was it manufactured in there? Who supplied him with this? It’s beyond anybody’s comprehension how this could happen.”
CoreCivic’s Trousdale prison has been plagued with problems since it opened in 2016, including understaffing, complaints about inadequate medical care, a suicide, and high levels of violence and gang activity. [See: PLN, Feb. 2018, p.46]. There have been at least nine prisoner deaths, including Gilley’s, from 2016 through March 2018.
This was not the first time that CoreCivic incorrectly reported a prisoner’s cause of death. When Estelle Richardson, a mother of two, died at the CCA-operated Metro-Davidson County Detention Facility in Nashville on July 5, 2004, the company recorded her death as being due to “natural causes” in an internally-compiled list of incidents provided to Florida officials as part of a contract bid.
In fact, the medical examiner had determined Estelle’s death was a homicide.
On April 16, 2018, PLN managing editor Alex Friedmann provided public testimony before the state House Government Operations Committee. He raised the issue of Gilley’s death being incorrectly reported by CoreCivic as due to “natural causes,” noting that the company’s employees had an incentive not to disclose adverse incidents such as overdoses – which would raise questions about how the drugs were obtained, how they were brought into the facility and whether the company had conducted an investigation.
“We have a problem with CoreCivic misrepresenting the cause of death of a prisoner, and we have a problem with the Tennessee Department of Correction accepting that information, apparently without question, and disseminating it to the public even though it conflicts with the medical examiner’s report, which indicates a lack of oversight, a lack of monitoring,” Friedmann told the legislative committee.
During the same hearing, TDOC Commissioner Tony Parker responded to that issue. With respect to a prisoner’s overdose death, he stated, “it could appear to be a natural death depending on the circumstances …,” and noted it takes months to get autopsy results that list the official cause of death. “It is possible for a death to be assumed or listed as … a natural cause [of[ death, but after you get the reports back and other evidence comes forth, it can be changed,” Parker said. He added that the TDOC had taken recent steps to improve oversight at Trousdale, including assigning additional contract monitors and imposing fines against CoreCivic.
However, in the case of Gilley, the autopsy report that determined his death was caused by a meth overdose was completed by the medical examiner in December 2016, yet the TDOC was still stating that he had died of “natural causes” in February 2018 – indicating the incorrect cause of death reported by CoreCivic had not been reviewed or changed by state prison officials in over 14 months.