Judge defers action in lawsuit seeking safeguards for at-risk inmates during pandemic The lawsuit over the Maine Department of Corrections’ response to COVID-19 will continue to move forward.
Prison is one of the worst places to be for any illness; the “health care” is abominable. If you have a friend or loved one who gets coronavirus in any prison in America, you should call my friend, Steve Hampton. If your inmate is not in Delaware, Steve can help you find a good lawyer wherever he/she is. Share this Post!
“Mediation”? Hell, prison officials will not honor any mediation agreement. It is hard enough to get them to honor a Court Order. I have seen cases where the prison will ignore a court order until the judge imposes stiff fines!
Excerpts from the Article:
A federal judge has denied the first motion in a lawsuit by inmates over the Maine Department of Corrections’ pandemic response, but the case will still move forward.
U.S. District Judge John Woodcock wrote in his order that he could not take immediate action because the parties have too many disputes about the facts of the case. He said the court would schedule a phone conference to discuss another pending motion and the next steps.
“The order these individuals seek would fundamentally alter central details of the Department’s COVID-19 response,” Woodcock wrote. “Because the Court believes that significant unresolved factual disputes preclude a finding that the incarcerated individuals have established a likelihood of success on the merits for their claims or that they have established a likelihood of irreparable harm in the absence of injunctive relief, the Court denies temporary injunctive relief.”
He also suggested the need for action was not immediate because Maine prisons have so far been spared the widespread outbreaks that other states have experienced. One employee at Bolduc Correctional Facility in Warren tested positive for the disease in March, and four inmates at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham tested positive in May. The adult prison population as of Monday was 1,850.
“Given the relatively low number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in MDOC facilities and what the Court expects will be a rapid resolution of the request for a preliminary injunction, the Court does not see the need for temporary injunctive relief at this time,” Woodcock wrote.
The plaintiffs are Joseph Denbow and Sean Ragsdale, who are both incarcerated at Mountain View Correctional Facility in Charleston. The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine is representing them and seeking class-action status for hundred of other inmates, especially those who are medically vulnerable to the coronavirus. The lawsuit includes a May email from a correction official, who wrote that 925 inmates have underlying medical conditions.
The plaintiffs have argued that the state is not doing enough to release incarcerated people who are at risk during the pandemic, and the prisons are unable to allow for physical distancing to prevent the spread of the virus. They have asked the judge to take certain immediate steps, like ordering the department to review all medically vulnerable inmates for furlough or instituting universal testing in certain prisons.
The state has argued that the Maine Department of Corrections is reviewing inmates for its home confinement program and taking other steps to prevent the spread of disease inside prisons. They have also said the inmates have other opportunities to pursue release outside of federal court.
The judge held a hearing last week on a motion for a temporary restraining order, which is an immediate and short-term form of relief in federal court. He denied that motion Monday but did not make significant findings on the facts of the case. The plaintiffs also filed a motion for a preliminary injunction, which will require another hearing. Woodcock wrote that he would proceed quickly to deal with that motion.
“Both sides, in other words, have painted quite different pictures of what is happening behind the walls of MDOC facilities,” he wrote at one point. “At this juncture, the Court has no reason to credit one picture over the other.”
Woodcock has also suggested that the parties consider mediation.
Good. This is how they – prison guards – manage to stay out of prison for many crimes, and to “float” above the law: legal bribery in the form of donations! The fine should have been more!
Excerpts from the Article:
The Rhode Island Board of Elections voted in December 2019 to fine correctional officers’ union president Richard Ferruccio for allowing the union’s Political Action Committee (PAC) to exceed the state’s limit on annual campaign contributions for three successive years. Ferruccio agreed to pay the $1,020 penalty after the board voted to approve the fine.
The PAC exceeded the state’s $25,000 cap by $4,075 in 2017, $1,350 in 2018 and $4,775 through the first three quarters of 2019, according to the board’s findings.
Traditionally, the union has a vocal role in proceedings at the State House, particularly on criminal justice reform issues, including its recent opposition to the plan to close the high-security unit at the Adult Correctional Institution while a new unit is built. The PAC is also known to issue political endorsements during election season.
During 2019, the PAC donated $1,000 apiece to Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea, Congressman James Langevin, Treasurer Seth Magaziner, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President Dominick Ruggerio.
According to Richard Hahn, the PAC’s treasurer, the union has started new policies ensuring that it complies with state law, and he apologized for the past violations.
In other actions, the board fined Christopher Buffery, chairman of a PAC run by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, $350 for going over the state’s cap in 2018; and Raymond Berarducci, a former Providence City Council candidate, agreed to pay a $2,000 fine for accepting a loan from a family member.
Another lawsuit, wholly preventable! Prison abuse, including abominable health care, will end only when YOU protest it!
NOTE: If you have a loved one in prison who is in need of medical care, I can tell you how to force the prison to provide it. CALL me at 302-423-4067
Excerpts from the Article:
Instead of treating inmate, ‘they were watching him die’ former prison doctor says.
Willie Whaley’s type 1 diabetes was out of control, and the people in charge of his care had reason to know it. Time after time, they checked his blood sugar and found it dangerously high, sometimes so high the meter was unable to read it.
Such readings are a sign of potentially deadly diabetic ketoacidosis and should lead to immediate hospitalization, say experts in the treatment of diabetes.
But Whaley was in a place where a different kind of thinking exists. Instead of a hospital, he was confined to a cell at Georgia State Prison. And that’s where he was later discovered, his lifeless body on his bunk.Whaley’s death in December 2017 is now the subject of a federal lawsuit that once again points to flaws in the medical care provided to Georgia’s state prison inmates.
AJC investigations have repeatedly found that misdiagnoses and delayed or denied treatments have led to a grim legacy of deaths. Substandard prison medical care also has cost the state millions of dollars in lawsuit settlements in recent years. Whaley’s mother, Rebecca Hill, is seeking at least $10 million in damages for what she claims is negligence by an assortment of officials and workers with the Georgia Department of Corrections and Georgia Correctional HealthCare, the branch of Augusta University that employs the medical personnel working in the prison system.
While we like to think that government officials do the right thing, it is not uncommon for medical examiners to make false statements about “cause of death”. They usually do it to try to cover up abuse by prison officials, and, too often, police.
Excerpts from the Article:
An independent autopsy commissioned by George Floyd’s family determined the cause of his death was “asphyxiation from sustained pressure,” attorneys for the family announced Monday, findings that differ from the preliminary results of the Hennepin County medical examiner.
Pockets of the United States have descended into chaos in the week since Floyd died in Minneapolis after a white police officer pressed his knee into the 46-year-old black man’s neck.
On Monday, President Trump urged the nation’s governors to use force and take back the streets.
Here are some significant developments:
In some cities, law enforcement officers were seen marching and kneeling with protesters. But elsewhere, police in riot gear continued to increase their use of force, which added to the disorder. On Monday, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) ordered a state investigation after a man was fatally shot during an overnight confrontation with Louisville police and the National Guard.
Former president Barack Obama spoke out about the unrest, urging those angered to focus their efforts on state and local elections.
More than 4,000 people were arrested across the country during weekend demonstrations, according to the Associated Press. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s daughter, Chiara, was among the hundreds of people arrested in the city after failing to disperse.
Several Facebook employees publicly chastised chief executive Mark Zuckerberg for his hands-off approach to a divisive post on the demonstrators by President Trump.
A number of major retailers, including Walmart and Target, have temporarily closed their stores in some areas rocked by upheaval. In California, state government buildings were ordered closed Monday “in downtown city areas.”
Who do you think is paying for all of these verdicts? In this case, $25 MILLION. YOU are! You also are paying a fortune in the litigation costs from all of this preventable bullshit in our prisons!
Spending a fraction of this to prosecute those responsible and put them behind bars would end much of the abuse!
Excerpts from the Article:
A jury awarded a prisoner brutally beaten at the Baltimore City Detention Center $25 million, after guards allegedly worked in concert with a gang and arranged a beating as retaliation for complaints filed by a detainee awaiting trial.
The beating left Daquan Wallace in a coma for two months, and now he has to use a wheelchair and cannot talk. The incident happened in October 2014, after three Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) guards cooperated with members of the Black Guerilla Family gang to set up the brutal beating. Wallace’s lawsuit claimed that the beating was in retaliation for complaints by his mother that jailers weren’t protecting her son from the gang.
Wallace’s mother told jail staff numerous times that her son was routinely beaten for refusing to join the gang, the lawsuit said. In response, staff allegedly moved him to a unit with the gang members, with more unmonitored areas to allow the beating.
Wallace claimed that when everyone went to dinner one night, guards allowed gang members to stay back with their cell doors unlocked, against policy. Within minutes, Wallace was beaten by the gang. Wallace’s cellmate returned to find him unconscious with blood on the walls.
A spokesperson for DPSCS, who did not want to be named, said the three guards involved were fired, but would not comment on disciplinary action taken or the outcome of the internal investigation. However, after the internal investigation concluded, nobody was charged criminally for the attack on Wallace, according to a different spokesman for the department.
In 2013, state and federal officials said the Black Guerilla Family had effectively taken control of the jail. They were running a drug smuggling conspiracy with jail staffers, they said. Dozens of people were charged, and at least 40 were convicted. [PLN, April, 2015] The century-old jail was finally torn down months after Wallace’s attack. The decrepit conditions at the jail were a “black eye” for the state, the governor said.
See: Wallace v. Mayor and City Council Baltimore City, U.S.D.C (D. Md.), Case No. 1:2017cv-03718.)
This is good news, in that the guards did not use lethal force! Given all the prison abuse by staff, the uprising is quite understandable to me. But stupid to do this so close to release.
Video obtained by KOB 4 shows emergency teams firing off non-lethal rounds at 22 inmates after a disturbance at a New Mexico state prison facility.
The incident occurred on March 23. at the Northwestern New Mexico Correctional Center in Grants. The facility is a pre-release facility for men, meaning it’s designed to house inmates who are two years or less away from release.
Surveillance cameras inside the facility appear to capture inmates hatching a plan. The video shows inmates re-arranging furniture inside the pods to create a make-shift barrier, blocking windows with clothing and using soapy mops to cover the cameras overhead.
At one point, the inmates are forced outside to the grounds where they were surrounded by officers from at least six different law enforcement agencies. Video: Emergency team fires non-lethal rounds at inmates after prison disturbance. “Be advised, they’re throwing rocks up at the officers on the roof,” said one officer.
Eventually, emergency teams deployed non-lethal rounds at the inmates. The move triggered the inmates to back down as prison officials worked to restored order.
The state reports the inmates caused quite a bit of damage, including some broken windows in the pods and minor damage to a fire door.
At least 22 inmates were disciplined for actively participating in the stand-off. However, none of the inmates have been criminally charged so far.
I have news for you: Health care services are killing men and women at all prisons. See scores of articles on this website or google it!
Excerpts from the Article:
With four deaths in five months at Virginia’s Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women (FCCW), a federal district court began moving its focus from care for individual prisoners to systematic change in July 2019.
The Virginia Department of Corrections (VDOC) was party to a 2016 settlement in a lawsuit alleging the provision of medical care at FCCW violated prisoners’ constitutional rights. (Scott et al v. Clarke, U.S.D.C. (W.D. VA), case No. 3:12-cv-00036.) The agreement required VDOC to meet 22 health-care standards.
VDOC failed to fulfill its end of the deal and by January 2019 twelve prisoners had died while in FCCW’s custody since the settlement was approved. “Some women have died along the way,” said federal district Judge Norman K. Moon. VDOC vowed to hire 78 more nurses at that hearing.
That order is significant but not enough, said Shannon Ellis, an attorney with the Legal Aid Justice Center. “The judge’s order did not specify what level of qualifications the nurses need to have, and a historic problem at Fluvanna and at prisons across Virginia is very underqualified medical professionals,” Ellis said.
Margaret Breslau, head of the Coalition for Justice in Blacksburg, related a story that illustrates Ellis’ point. “A woman, after trying to get on sick call forever and ever and ever finally gets to see an OB/GYN, and they discover a mass the size of an eggplant. She has had pain. She’s had bleeding. The doctor tells her — and she has paperwork on this — to eat more vegetables.”
The care provided to prisoner Margie Ryder was brought to the court’s attention. Ryder suffered from pulmonary arterial hypertension, a terminal disease if not treated properly. “She depends on life-saving medication that has to be administered every two days,” said Ellis. “She’s been hospitalized … multiple times because of failures to have her medication available, failures to have the pump necessary to administer it, administration of the medication in incorrect amounts, so at times she has symptoms of toxicity.”
Ryder, 39, died in July 2019, just three months prior to her scheduled release. VDOC issued a statement after her death. “As is public knowledge following her lawsuit, she had a terminal illness.” Left unsaid was that University of Virginia Medical Center staff expressed concern with the care she was receiving at FCCW.
“My conscience says I have to speak out on Ms. Ryder’s behalf,” nurse Lauren Bedard wrote in a court filing. “Every time I see this patient … I wonder if it will be the last time I see her alive.”
Prisoner Shannon Dillon said prisoners often have to practice Civil War medicine. “I had a tooth pulled, and I kept telling them, ‘It still hurts. I think it’s infected.’ They still didn’t have me on the appointment list,” she said. “It’s starting to smell. It is killing me, so I got a bunch of Q-tips and a bunch of salt from the chow hall, and I dug out the infection with the Q-tips and packed it with salt from the chow hall.”
Ellis said FCCW is not the only prison with poor medical care. “At Goochland Women’s Prison, which is about 20 miles down the road from Fluvanna, the same practices that led to our lawsuit at Fluvanna are going on,” she said. “For example, LPNs conducting sick call. Having these underqualified nurses making diagnostic decisions is something the Department of Corrections is clearly aware is an unacceptable practice.”
Prisoners, meanwhile, pray that they don’t have any health issues while imprisoned. “It is a fear, an inherent fear with all women here, that if you get sick it could possibly be fatal,” said Dillon.
Inside A Federal Prison With A Deadly COVID-19 Outbreak, Compromised Men Beg For Help Inmates incarcerated at the Butner federal prison complex in North Carolina have filed suit, saying federal officials have failed to take action to stop the spread.
No shit Sherlock! Prison “health care” is notoriously abominable. So if you get coronavirus – and it’s a place where you probably will! – you are in really deep shit. We shall never know the true number of inmates who die from the virus, because the lie often about cause of death!
READ Culture of Cover Up =
Excerpts from the Article:
Inmates locked up in a complex that houses some of the federal prison system’s most medically vulnerable prisoners say decrepit conditions and failed social distancing policies have allowed COVID-19 to spread throughout the facility in an outbreak that has already claimed the lives of nine men.
A new class action lawsuit filed on behalf of the inmates at federal facilities in Butner, North Carolina, gives the public an inside look at what life is like as the coronavirus pandemic ripped through a federal prison complex that houses inmates with severe medical needs.
Nine inmates incarcerated at Butner have died since the pandemic began. The latest was Eric Spiwak, a 73-year-old man serving a 15-year sentence for possession of photos of child sexual exploitation, who had been at Butner since 2009. Like most other Butner inmates who died, Spiwak was not brought to the hospital until Friday, after he had experienced respiratory failure. Spiwak was pronounced dead on Monday.
“The situation inside [Federal Correctional Complex] Butner is dire,” the lawsuit states. “Plaintiffs, many of whom are medically vulnerable because of their age or serious medical conditions, must not be forced to sit helpless, hoping that chance favors them while Defendants’ combined inaction and defective practices roll the dice with their lives.”
The lawsuit was filed Tuesday on behalf of Butner’s prisoners by the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of North Carolina, the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, and the law firm of Winston & Strawn. The suit names Butner warden Thomas Scarantino, Bureau of Prisons Director Michael Carvajal and BOP Medical Director Jeffery Allen.
Declarations from Butner inmates describe a dirty environment where social distancing is impossible. The lawsuit states that inmates “are housed in close quarters and forced to eat, bathe, and perform all daily life activities in a communal setting where they cannot adequately social distance and protect themselves from this dangerous disease.” Both staff members and inmates travel throughout the complex, and inmates must line up multiple times a day for food and medicine. Inmates with symptoms are only removed if they meet certain conditions ― including requesting a sick call, which they have to pay for.
Michael Harrington, a 40-year-old inmate at Butner on a sentence for unlawful possession of a firearm by a person convicted of a felony, said he has stage IV colorectal cancer that spread to his liver. Doctors told him he has 13 months to live, and he has a bit over two years left on his sentence.
Harrington lives on a floor housing other inmates with cancer. He says he’s one of the youngest on the floor, and that most are older than 65. Since mid-March, Harrington says he’s been locked down in his cell “essentially 24 hours a day.” He shares the 12-foot-by-12-foot cell with another man, and says it is impossible for them to stay 6 feet away from each other when their beds are 4 feet apart.
“Prison officials have said that my floor is covered with coronavirus and that is why they have us locked in our cells,” Harrington said in his declaration.
SOON – (room for improvement? You MUST be joking!)
I have my Court hearing this morning; super lawyers at the fore,
The goal is to get the bad guys onto that courtroom floor,
You see, the American trial process is designed to elicit the TRUTH, once you get in the door,
But if you’re a prisoner without counsel, the facts and the law, both the judge will ignore,
Heads are buried so DEEP in the sand concerning rampant problems in America’ prisons,
Legislators, clergy, so many others, even judges, see reality through very dark prisms,
The TRUTH is distorted, denied or ignored at every turn,
It’s enough to make your stomach churn,
The tragic dysfunction of our “corrections” (what!!??) system, could be easily solved,
By someone with integrity, professionalism, and sufficient resolve,
Good Lord, a handful of good managers could straighten out the mess,
And bring orderly progress to what is now chaotic distress!
Court today, moving in three days, a few days to get settled in, organized, back into gear,
Then on to expose America’s disgrace; got some new ideas to make the TRUTH perfectly clear.
I wrote this 13 months after my release, and the Courts are even more fucked up today!
Some tRumpsters say “Trump passed prison reform”. Are you shitting me! What he did was a drop in the bucket compared to what needs to be done and easily could be done! kra See so many articles on this website.
Another true horror story about “health care” in our jails and prisons. Another story of the anguish of inmates’ surviving family. I see, on average, at least two cases like this every week. All are preventable, and are costing YOU, the taxpayers, billions of dollars every year!
Excerpts from the Article:
Hardel Sherrell’s mother, Del Shea Perry, said she knew it all along.
She believes jail staff and medical personnel inside and out of the Beltrami County Jail in Bemidji completely disregarded her 27-year old son’s deteriorating health. She also says the in-house surveillance camera footage proves it.
The Department of Corrections Commissioner ordered a second more detailed investigation that uncovered a myriad of issues.
“They were doing whatever they wanted to do and treating him as a criminal, not as a human being who was sick and crying out for help, and they ignored all the signs – all of them.”
Hardel’s loved ones have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the county, jail staff, and healthcare providers stemming from the September 2018 death.
“This is a person who slowly progressed from being healthy, to being unhealthy, to being unable to move and then unable to breathe,” said attorney Zorislav R. Leyderman, who is representing the family.
The case is slowly working its way through the courts. This week, Del Shea and her legal team learned a new Department of Corrections review of the matter found “regular and gross violation of Minnesota jail standards.”
“This has to stop in all the jails, in all the prisons. This cannot continue,” Del Shea said. The DOC is responsible for licensing and inspecting county jails, and also reviews in-custody deaths.
The first time its investigators probed Hardel’s case, they did not find any violation of state standards and protocols. But, that review only looked at the 12-hour time period immediately preceding the death.
“We found that reviews we normally do are lacking,” said DOC Commissioner Paul Schnell.
After watching a FOX 9 story on the case and meeting with Hardel’s mom, Commissioner Schnell ordered a second, more detailed investigation that uncovered a myriad of issues. The issues were outlined in a strongly worded letter recently sent to the new sheriff in Beltrami County.
“We want to make sure we are taking a look at what happens during the term of incarceration,” Commissioner Schnell said.
Among the violations Commissioner Schnell cited, included a failure to follow a medical directive to return Hardel to the hospital if his condition worsened.
The letter notes that there was a belief within the facility that Hardel was faking his medical condition, or what’s known as malingering. It states if there are continued violations, the state will be required to take action up to and including suspension or revocation of the county’s license to operate a jail.
Del Shea said she felt relief, satisfaction and validation with these new findings and said her quest for absolute justice in her son’s death remains stronger than ever. “I have to be my son’s voice, I have to be the voice for many others. It’s painful, but we will get justice.”