51 NC jail inmates have died in past five years after poor supervision from jailers – The tip of the National Iceberg! kra
The “Whole Story” describes other deaths which never should have occurred, besides, Ms. Call’s. People DIE because prison staff is so very seldom held accountable. We can never know the true numbers, because prison officials lie so much to cover cause of death [see numerous related Articles on this website!]
As I have seen, even when they are supposed to watch inmates, the guards sleep through their shift and then awaken to falsify reports, indicating that they had checked on inmates … when they had not.
This is just the count for county jails in one state, and does not include the main prisons. The true number of preventable, needless, deaths is beyond outrageous!
Excerpts from the Article:
It couldn’t have been any clearer to Wilkes County jail staff that Emily Jean Call intended to kill herself. She had been arrested on April 16, 2012, for missing a court date. Call had told detention officers then that she was high on crystal methamphetamine and wanted to kill herself. She had cut her wrist two weeks earlier, requiring a trip to the emergency room, state records show.
After two days in jail, she told medical staff she was sick, fatigued and depressed, feeling like she was going to have a nervous breakdown. The county’s mental health provider was no longer offering services at the jail, which meant no one was available to treat her mounting depression, the records show.
She should have been watched closely – at least four times an hour, according to state regulations. But Call, 32, a mother of two struggling with drug addiction, went unwatched for more than an hour. She slipped away to a bathroom in a common area, slung a bed sheet over a water pipe, tied it around her neck, stood on a toilet and stepped off.
“I said: ‘Please, I beg you, watch her,’ ” her mother, Anna Call, recalled telling a jail employee she knew. It was among many phone calls she said she made to jailers to keep an eye on her daughter. She said her daughter was being treated for a suicide attempt when she was arrested for missing a court date.
Emily Call was one of 51 inmates who died in North Carolina’s county jails in the past five years after being left unsupervised for longer than state regulations allow, a News & Observer investigation shows. Jailers failed to make timely checks, left in place sheets or towels that prevented them from seeing suicide attempts, or didn’t fix broken cameras or intercoms that helped them keep in touch with inmates.
“There were no rounds made the entire day,” a state report said of Reynolds’ death. “…It is clear that there was a gross failure to properly supervise inmates.”
Often, the inmates who died had not been convicted of the charges that landed them in jail. Many were for lesser offenses such as illegal panhandling, drug possession and larceny, though some had been charged with more serious offenses, such as murder.
The deaths account for slightly more than half of those investigated from 2012-2016 by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Construction Section, which is better known for inspecting medical facilities. A lack of supervision was blamed for one out of every three of the 151 deaths in county jails in that time period.
The deaths also expose the rising number of inmates who suffer from mental illness, drug addictions or both – and underline the importance for jailers to check on them frequently.
“The duties of the jail to properly manage, supervise, care for these inmates is paramount,” said Morey, a Democrat. “And the number of cases that you’re telling me about when the regulations are not being followed is appalling.”
You know, some laws are just made to be broken. The government is not always right, and too often they are seriously wrong, as with most of our marijuana laws. The only two which I see as legit are keeping it from youths [because their brains still are developing] and prohibiting driving or operating equipment while high!
It is hard to believe that witnessing the epic failure of the war on drugs, we still fight it!
Excerpts from the Article:
In some circles, Jessica Andreavich is known as the Robin Hood of Delaware’s medical marijuana community. But to law enforcement and others, she is a drug-dealing felon who gamed the system. For years, the activist and medicinal marijuana cardholder turned the plant form of the drug into edible candies, oils and creams for Delawareans with ailments like cancer, multiple sclerosis and post-traumatic stress disorder. State law permits those with cards to share marijuana.
Experts and physicians say ingesting marijuana in a food form can make it more potent and last longer than smoking it. Occasionally, Andreavich would give her candy to military veterans struggling to get into the state’s program.
Only recently did the 45-year-old – who uses marijuana to treat her depression, anxiety and arthritis – start charging people the cost of processing marijuana into an alternative form, making little to no profit, she said.
But the minute money and drugs were exchanged with those not permitted to have it, Andreavich broke Delaware law. She was found guilty Wednesday of one count of drug-dealing and one count of conspiracy after selling five marijuana gummy candies and one bottle of tincture (plant extract) for $60 to an undercover New Castle County detective. She was sentenced to one year of probation and community service.
“I’ve always known that if they (the state’s medical marijuana program) decided to turn me in, I’d go to jail over this,” said the former employee of First State Compassion Center, which operates the state’s two medical marijuana dispensaries. “But it was not designed to make money.”
Andreavich believes the state dispensary charges patients too much for the product, and she has made it her mission to make medical marijuana more affordable for the poor.
“This sounds like somebody who has a real humanitarian spirit,” said Dr. David Bearman, a clinical medical cannabis expert. “And indeed, cannabis is very expensive. … Frankly, I think that law enforcement has better things to do with their time.”
Under state code, those who are afflicted with specific ailments such as cancer or multiple sclerosis can obtain a medical marijuana card to ease their pain. But the marijuana must be purchased at one of two state-approved dispensaries.
Andreavich’s case raises questions about the access to the state’s medical marijuana program and the high cost of marijuana once patients are accepted into the program. These issues have been debated since a law allowing the sale of medical marijuana was approved in 2011. Patients complain of paying high costs for small amounts of marijuana at the First State Compassion Centers – one outside Wilmington and another near Lewes. Many say the cost makes it nearly impossible for low-income patients to afford the drug prescribed to them by a doctor.
Baltimore Police Officer Accidentally Records Himself Planting Drugs At Crime Scene – Prosecute his ass! kra
Yet another pathetic cop. They MUST be prosecuted!
This is why body cameras are a MUST. They dropped the charges here, but how many thousand innocent people are rotting in prison due to such antics?
Excerpts from the Article:
An officer from the Baltimore Police department accidentally recorded himself planting evidence. On Wednesday (July 19), Baltimore’s Fox 45 published footage of the officer hiding drugs at a crime scene without realizing that his body-worn camera caught him in the act. In the recording, which was captured in January, officer Richard Pinheiro and two other officers, can be seen in an ally on the side of a house. The body camera appears to capture Pinheiro hiding a bag of pills under a heap of trash, while the two other officers stand behind him.
The cops head back to the sidewalk, at which point Pinheiro turns on his body camera. But as VOX notes, body cams can record up to 30 seconds of footage before being manually activated.
“I’m going to check here,” Pinheiro is heard telling the other officers before heading to the back of the house where he pretends to rummage through the trash heap. After a few second, he uncovers the bag and alerts the other officers.
The defendant who was charged in the drug case was scheduled to go to trial this week. The charges were dropped after a public defender reviewed the body cam footage (a night before the trial was set to begin) and contacted the state prosecutor.
That this is featured in Time Magazine is good in spreading awareness of the issue. As I have long said, the human toll of many problems in the system is even more costly than the calculable dollars wasted!
On any given day we have from 450,000 to 700,000 people in our jails and prisons awaiting trial, not yet convicted of any crime. Many are there needlessly; they should be released on their own recognizance. (no bail).
Excerpts from the Article:
Seventeen years ago I made a song, “Guilty Until Proven Innocent.” I flipped the Latin phrase that is considered the bedrock principle of our criminal justice system, ei incumbit probatio qui dicit (the burden of proof is on the one who declares, not on one who denies). If you’re from neighborhoods like the Brooklyn one I grew up in, if you’re unable to afford a private attorney, then you can be disappeared into our jail system simply because you can’t afford bail. Millions of people are separated from their families for months at a time — not because they are convicted of committing a crime, but because they are accused of committing a crime.
But when I helped produce this year’s docuseries, Time: The Kalief Browder Story, I became obsessed with the injustice of the profitable bail bond industry. Kalief’s family was too poor to post bond when he was accused of stealing a backpack. He was sentenced to a kind of purgatory before he ever went to trial. The three years he spent in solitary confinement on Rikers ultimately created irreversible damage that lead to his death at 22. Sandra Bland was also forced to post bail after her minor traffic infraction in Prairie View, Texas, led to a false charge of assaulting a public servant (the officer who arrested her was later charged with perjury regarding the arrest). She was placed in a local jail in a pre-incarcerated state. Again, she was never convicted of a crime. On any given day over 400,000 people, convicted of no crime, are held in jail because they cannot afford to buy their freedom.
When black and brown people are over-policed and arrested and accused of crimes at higher rates than others, and then forced to pay for their freedom before they ever see trial, big bail companies prosper.
This pre-incarceration conundrum is devastating to families. One in 9 black children has an incarcerated parent. Families are forced to take on more debt, often in predatory lending schemes created by bail bond insurers. Or their loved ones linger in jails, sometimes for months—a consequence of nationwide backlogs. Every year $9 billion dollars are wasted incarcerating people who’ve not been convicted of a crime, and insurance companies, who have taken over our bail system, go to the bank. We can’t fix our broken criminal justice system until we take on the exploitative bail industry.
Jeff Sessions: 400 medical professionals charged in largest health care fraud takedown – They Don’t Get It! kra
While it is good that this fraud was caught and will be prosecuted, this widely-publicised bust will do little to save lives. In the speeches given by all of the various officials thumping their chests and patting each others’ backs for being “tough on crime”, scarcely a word was said about the TREATMENT which is needed to save lives!
As surely as I sit here, there are other health care workers similarly abusing the system, stealing additional billions of your dollars, and they too should be tracked down and prosecuted!
Excerpts from the Article:
Federal authorities announced charges Thursday against 412 physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other medical professionals, in what Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the largest health care fraud enforcement operation in U.S. history. Sessions said the suspects accounted for more than $1.3 billion in fraudulent transactions across more than 20 states, and at least 120 people were charged for their alleged roles in overprescribing and distributing opioids, making it also the largest-ever opioid-related fraud takedown.
Of the 412 charged in the year-long operation, 56 were physicians.
“Too many trusted medical professionals…have chosen to violate their oaths and put greed ahead of their patients,” Sessions said. “Amazingly, some have made their practices into multi-million dollar criminal enterprises.”
Which state has the most opioid-dependent patients with private insurance? Opioid prescriptions down, but numbers still dramatically high in some places, CDC says
A doctor at a Houston clinic is accused of writing 12,000 prescriptions for opioids, enough for more than 2 million illegal doses.
The enforcement effort comes as the country continues to battle a fatal epidemic of prescription drug abuse, much of it involving opioids. Abuse of the expensive painkillers often lead addicts to cheaper and often-lethal alternatives: heroin and fentanyl.
Last year, an estimated 59,000 people in the U.S. died from drug overdoses, many of them linked to opioid abuse, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. Casualties are on pace this year to exceed 60,000, Sessions said.
He said investigators found opioid addicts “packed in standing room-only waiting rooms” at doctors’ offices waiting for their prescription painkillers. “Some doctors were writing more prescriptions than entire hospitals,” McCabe said.
In one case, a group of six Michigan doctors allegedly operated a scheme to provide patients with unnecessary opioid prescriptions and later billed Medicare for $164 million in false claims. Some of the those prescribed painkillers, authorities said, were resold on the street to addicts.
How 6 Milwaukee kids died in 5 days
Iceland knows how to stop teen substance abuse but the rest of the world isn’t listening – we SHOULD! kra
Because our system is so dominated by stupid politicians – gutless, lacking leadership – and by money (the politicians are in the pocket of the private prisons, the union, the police unions, and similar entities who give millions of $$$ to their campaigns) we do not learn from Norway how prison SHOULD operate, from Portugal how to win the war on drugs, nor from Iceland about addiction!
Excerpts from the Article:
In Iceland, teenage smoking, drinking and drug use have been radically cut in the past 20 years. Emma Young finds out how they did it, and why other countries won’t follow suit.
Listen to or download an audiobook of this story on SoundCloud and iTunes.
It’s a little before three on a sunny Friday afternoon and Laugardalur Park, near central Reykjavik, looks practically deserted. There’s an occasional adult with a pushchair, but the park’s surrounded by apartment blocks and houses, and school’s out – so where are all the kids? Walking with me are Gudberg Jónsson, a local psychologist, and Harvey Milkman, an American psychology professor who teaches for part of the year at Reykjavik University. Twenty years ago, says Gudberg, Icelandic teens were among the heaviest-drinking youths in Europe. “You couldn’t walk the streets in downtown Reykjavik on a Friday night because it felt unsafe,” adds Milkman. “There were hordes of teenagers getting in-your-face drunk.”
We approach a large building. “And here we have the indoor skating,” says Gudberg. A couple of minutes ago, we passed two halls dedicated to badminton and ping pong. Here in the park, there’s also an athletics track, a geothermally heated swimming pool and – at last – some visible kids, excitedly playing football on an artificial pitch.
Young people aren’t hanging out in the park right now, Gudberg explains, because they’re in after-school classes in these facilities, or in clubs for music, dance or art. Or they might be on outings with their parents.
Today, Iceland tops the European table for the cleanest-living teens. The percentage of 15- and 16-year-olds who had been drunk in the previous month plummeted from 42 per cent in 1998 to 5 per cent in 2016. The percentage who have ever used cannabis is down from 17 per cent to 7 per cent. Those smoking cigarettes every day fell from 23 per cent to just 3 per cent.
The way the country has achieved this turnaround has been both radical and evidence-based, but it has relied a lot on what might be termed enforced common sense. “This is the most remarkably intense and profound study of stress in the lives of teenagers that I have ever seen,” says Milkman. “I’m just so impressed by how well it is working.”
If it was adopted in other countries, Milkman argues, the Icelandic model could benefit the general psychological and physical wellbeing of millions of kids, not to mention the coffers of healthcare agencies and broader society. It’s a big if.
“I was in the eye of the storm of the drug revolution,” Milkman explains over tea in his apartment in Reykjavik. In the early 1970s, when he was doing an internship at the Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital in New York City, “LSD was already in, and a lot of people were smoking marijuana. And there was a lot of interest in why people took certain drugs.”
This idea spawned another: “Why not orchestrate a social movement around natural highs: around people getting high on their own brain chemistry – because it seems obvious to me that people want to change their consciousness – without the deleterious effects of drugs?”
“We didn’t say to them, you’re coming in for treatment. We said, we’ll teach you anything you want to learn: music, dance, hip hop, art, martial arts.” The idea was that these different classes could provide a variety of alterations in the kids’ brain chemistry, and give them what they needed to cope better with life: some might crave an experience that could help reduce anxiety, others may be after a rush.
At the same time, the recruits got life-skills training, which focused on improving their thoughts about themselves and their lives, and the way they interacted with other people. “The main principle was that drug education doesn’t work because nobody pays attention to it. What is needed are the life skills to act on that information,” Milkman says. Kids were told it was a three-month programme. Some stayed five years.
Laws were changed. It became illegal to buy tobacco under the age of 18 and alcohol under the age of 20, and tobacco and alcohol advertising was banned. Links between parents and school were strengthened through parental organisations which by law had to be established in every school, along with school councils with parent representatives. Parents were encouraged to attend talks on the importance of spending a quantity of time with their children rather than occasional “quality time”, on talking to their kids about their lives, on knowing who their kids were friends with, and on keeping their children home in the evenings.
A law was also passed prohibiting children aged between 13 and 16 from being outside after 10pm in winter and midnight in summer. It’s still in effect today.
Clearly, the US has challenges that Iceland does not. But the data from other parts of Europe, including cities such as Bucharest with major social problems and relative poverty, shows that the Icelandic model can work in very different cultures, Milkman argues. And the need in the US is high: underage drinking accounts for about 11 per cent of all alcohol consumed nationwide, and excessive drinking causes more than 4,300 deaths among under-21 year olds every year.
In Iceland, the relationship between people and the state has allowed an effective national programme to cut the rates of teenagers smoking and drinking to excess – and, in the process, brought families closer and helped kids to become healthier in all kinds of ways. Will no other country decide these benefits are worth the costs?
That is 114 young people, someone’s son, brother, father … in ONE FRIGGIN’ WEEKEND. More that 1,800 so far this year. And the authorities still don’t get it! More federal agents, crackdowns … are pure political bullshit: “Look at me, I am doing something about this”. ONLY ENDING THE DRUG WAR WILL END THE HORRENDOUS VIOLENCE!
“The Trump Administration will not let the bloodshed go on; we cannot accept these levels of violence,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. BULLSHIT. LOOK AT CHICAGO VIOLENCE IN 6 MONTHS AND YOU TELL ME … HAS THE SITUATION IMPROVED?!
Excerpts from the Article:
More than 100 people were shot in Chicago over the long Independence Day weekend as a deadly wave of violence once again rocked the massive city besieged by unrelenting gun crime. At least 14 of the gunshot victims died, police said Wednesday.
Officer Jose Estrada, spokesman for the police department, said he could not verify but would not dispute reports by The Chicago Tribune and other local media that at least 101 people were shot between 3 p.m. Friday and 6 a.m. Wednesday.
49 shot in Chicago over Memorial Day weekend — and that’s a sign of progress
2 killed, 8 wounded in shooting at Chicago memorial
Estrada told USA TODAY the department logged 71 shooting incidents between 6 p.m. Friday and 6 a.m. Wednesday. He said an official count of wounded wouldn’t be available for several days.
Most of violence took place in a 6-hour period Monday night and early Tuesday, predominantly on the South and West sides of the city, Estrada said. Detectives investigating the shootings “suspect several incidents were retaliatory in nature and alcohol was a factor in others,” he said.
The vast majority of the 762 murders and more than 4,000 shooting incidents in Chicago last year occurred in a few predominantly black and Latino neighborhoods on the city’s West and South Sides, and were driven by gang-related feuds and drug wars.
The Trump administration announced Friday it was dispatching an additional 20 ATF agents to the city to stem gun violence that has left more than 1,000 dead over the past 18 months. The Justice Department and the city also announced the formation of a joint strike force of federal and local law enforcement officials to ramp up prosecution of gun-related crimes.
“The Trump Administration will not let the bloodshed go on; we cannot accept these levels of violence,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
This past weekend’s grim tally comes weeks after Memorial Day weekend, historically one of the most violent times of the year in the city, experienced a relatively low number of shootings. Five people were killed and 44 wounded in shootings over that holiday weekend, an improvement over last year’s total of 7 killed and 61 injured.
The Tribune said the last time the Independence Day holiday weekend spanned four days was in 2013, when July 4 fell on a Thursday and many people took Friday off work. At least 74 people were shot between Wednesday evening and early Monday that year, and 12 of them died, according to Tribune data.
These are some of the reasons why I must tell callers every day that the chances of release on Parole are slim to none. It is nearly as bad as the article about prison officials sleeping through time for parole hearings and then lying by saying the hearings were held!!
This is not just a New Hampshire problem; it is all over America … I know from the calls I get from everywhere.
Excerpts from the Article:
The New Hampshire parole board plays a key role in the state’s criminal justice system. Its nine members decide which inmates get out on parole, and which parolees return to prison. Although parole hearings are open to the public, they take place with little oversight or public scrutiny. And, unlike most legal proceedings, they can be surprisingly unrefined affairs.
We recommend listening to this story. It contains language some may find objectionable.
Sytek is one of nine members who take turns sitting in groups of three, for five hours a day, twice a week. Three of the members are lawyers. These often serve on Tuesdays, when the parole board decides which parolees have violated enough parole conditions to be sent back to prison. Parolees have a right to an attorney at those hearings, which often are more formal. On Thursdays, the board decides which inmates should be granted parole. It’s these hearings that tend to be the most profane and confrontational.
“I know I shouldn’t be chewing your ass like this but you know damn well what I’m talkin’ about,” board member Jeff Brown said to an inmate during a hearing in February.
“The thing about a good car salesman is they know how to blow smoke up your ass while smiling to your face and telling you absolutely lies,” Leslie Mendenhall, also a board member, told another inmate the month before.
NHPR reviewed 20 hours of parole hearings from the last year: hearings during which public officials make decisions about people’s liberty and community safety. Where we expected civility, we found foul language and confrontation.
“There is a perception that the parole board is like the Wild West,” said attorney David Hendricks, “the rules are loosely applied.”
In a court, Hendricks said, lawyers take things for granted that go by the wayside in parole hearings. For example, hearsay and unsworn testimony are accepted by the parole board, but would be disregarded in a courtroom. Decorum, he said, can also go out the window.
Hendricks spent hundreds of hours in parole revocation hearings during his decade as a public defense attorney.
“I have seen habitual cynicism toward parolees, disrespect, unprofessionalism, and informality,” he said. “Most of it occurs in between hearings, when you are waiting for other inmates to be brought forward.”
While they may review cases beforehand, the parole board has only about 15 minutes to speak with people convicted of charges including sex offenses, drug crimes, and domestic violence before deciding if they can live safely outside prison walls. Members receive no training and appointment requires no prerequisite experience. Most of the time, inmates who meet minimum requirements are granted parole.
A few months back, I sat through a day of parole hearings including that of Adam Smart. His mother sat next me at the back of the room. Both of us were asked to explain our presence to the board.
During the hearing, Smart told the board he struggles with addiction. He said he didn’t get as much drug treatment as he would have liked behind bars, and that he’s on a waiting list for treatment in the community. At some point as he spoke, board member Leslie Mendenhall decided Smart was making excuses. She raised her voice.
“I think you’re full of shit, and I think you’re trying to sell a nice boat down the river,” she said. “You’re full of it. You’re full of yourself. Every single time. And what are you taking for medications?” “Nothing,” he replied. “Nothing! Why?” “Because they want to put me on sleep meds for anxiety,” said Smart. “Right, because do you know one of the best things you can do for bipolar is to make sure that you get a solid amount of sleep because that helps stable your mood?” Mendenhall asked.“I don’t know if I have bipolar,” Smart said. “All I know is I have anxiety.” “You’re sure presenting like a bipolar,” she replied.
Phil Utter is a private defense attorney who I met at a previous parole hearing. “It strikes me as completely inappropriate,” he said, after hearing a recording of the exchange. “It is certainly not the parole board’s role to advise them on their mental health issues. And swearing at an inmate? How can that possibly be helpful. This is a person who’s going to be reintegrating into society at some point. If you start belittling them… It’s just wrong. It’s just wrong.”
Here we see the Supreme Court hod that the First Amendment trumps the tradmark law barring disparraging names. I quite agree; even in distasteful situations, we must honor the Free Speech provision, and the Court so held, unanimously. Similar to a parade permit being gratned to Nazis allowilng a march in a city with a large Jewish population.
Now I am just waiting for the grand opening of the “Customers First – We Love All You Motherfuckers” grocery store!
Excerpts from the Article:
The Supreme Court on Monday struck down part of a law that bans offensive trademarks in a ruling that is expected to help the Washington Redskins in their legal fight over the team name. The justices ruled that the 71-year-old trademark law barring disparaging terms infringes free speech rights. The ruling is a victory for the Asian-American rock band called the Slants, but the case was closely watched for the impact it would have on the separate dispute involving the Washington football team.
Slants founder Simon Tam tried to trademark the band name in 2011, but the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office denied the request on the ground that it disparages Asians. A federal appeals court in Washington later said the law barring offensive trademarks is unconstitutional.
The Redskins made similar arguments after the trademark office ruled in 2014 that the name offends American Indians and canceled the team’s trademark. A federal appeals court in Richmond put the team’s case on hold while waiting for the Supreme Court to rule in the Slants case.
In his opinion for the court, Justice Samuel Alito rejected arguments that trademarks are government speech, not private speech. Alito also said trademarks are not immune from First Amendment protection as part of a government program or subsidy. Tam insisted he was not trying to be offensive, but wanted to transform a derisive term into a statement of pride. The Redskins also contend their name honors American Indians, but the team has faced decades of legal challenges from Indian groups that say the name is racist.