Welcome to the Prison Talk Online Community! Take a Minute and Sign Up Today!






Go Back   Prison Talk > U.S. REGIONAL FORUMS > CALIFORNIA > California Prison & Criminal Justice News & Events + 3 Strikes
Register Entertainment FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read

California Prison & Criminal Justice News & Events + 3 Strikes Do you have news relating to California's Prison or Ciminal Justice System and related efforts? Post them here! Also discuss 3 Strike laws.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-06-2004, 09:38 AM
froggysangel froggysangel is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Virginia USA
Posts: 119
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default A Public Health Crisis

Sunday, September 05, 2004
A public health crisis

Media must be allowed to report on abuses in prisons



The recent death of Anthony Shumake, a California State Prison at Solano County inmate, is but another incidence of death which may have been the result of medical neglect.
I have reports of possible negligence that resulted in at least two more deaths at the California Medical Facility and CSP-Solano, both in Vacaville, bringing the total to three since April.

As someone who has been taking complaints from inmates and their families from 33 prisons and most of the jails since 1998, I believe that death due to neglect is not unusual. I believe the media is essentially banned from state prisons as part of a coverup of medical neglect and abuses to inmates that routinely make them much sicker than before they were incarcerated. It is unacceptable that the media is banned from taxpayer-financed institutions, including prisons, jails and juvenile halls when the lawsuit payouts are so high.

Since I wrote an article decrying medical neglect ("Building better prisons: State institutions could use some major changes," Forum, The Reporter, Oct. 22, 2000), we as taxpayers have paid out hundreds of millions more of our tax dollars due to mismanagement. Conditions in prisons have worsened. Advocates, inmates and their families have no place to go for help even in potentially fatal emergencies. We're spending billions on a failed prison and jail system that is breaking the bodies and spirits of men, women and children. We call it "corrections," but nobody is being corrected. People are simply being destroyed for the rest of their lives.

There are no statistics anywhere showing the inhumane treatment is doing one thing to prevent or deter crime. In fact, it appears that what we are doing is destroying addicts and the mentally ill simply for being sick. Caging people instead of healing them is barbaric and ineffective. Yet legislators put into office by law enforcement unions refuse to put an end to the conveyor belt laws responsible for the overcrowding and resulting inhumane conditions.

Any sentence to prison or jail is a potential death sentence with the rampant abuses and disease epidemics raging out of control there.

And since we are all connected - at least 3 million people are in some way related to a prison inmate - this devastation is affecting everyone. During a Jan. 29 federal congressional hearing, it was reported by the Center for Disease Control that life-threatening diseases were leaking out to the public. The public safety is not being served when inmates are denied basic custodial care such as food, clean water, fresh air, medical, mental health and dental care. Yet this is what has been happening.

Anthony Shumake's death was preventable. The law states that an inmate's medical care should be at the same level as regular community care. But for the sake of making a profit on this slave-labor industry, human services are being denied to inmates on a daily basis. The standards are far below that of regular community care.

The death toll in prisons is high and taxpayers have a right to know the details. Politicians elected by law enforcement labor unions are so callous that you could drop a dead body on almost any desk in the Legislature and they would just work around it. Shocking conditions are considered business as usual and the lawsuit payouts are hidden from journalists, spread across several budgets.

Hospital and ambulance bills aren't getting paid. It is not uncommon for an ambulance to take two or three hours to arrive to the more remote prisons. Even prison visitors have died because the correctional officers usually aren't trained in even the most basic first-aid procedures and there are no doctors on the grounds at night or on the weekends.

Now with West Nile virus in full swing and no insect repellents or screens available for inmates roasting in sweltering cells, the risks of more medical deaths are even greater.

There are too many people in prison. The fiscal and human toll of this callous grinding machine are immeasurable.

The dead bodies have been stacking up now for six years, all of it flying beneath the radar of a banned media. We need to demand the immediate release of all nonviolent inmates for humanity's sake. Prisons might be just a photo-op for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, but he needs to sign Senate Bill 1164 by Gloria Romero, D-Los Angeles to allow media access to inmates in our prisons.

Last edited by Barbara; 09-07-2004 at 11:33 PM..
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 09-07-2004, 10:11 PM
San Diego Mom San Diego Mom is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: San Diego, Calif. USA
Posts: 267
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

Wow. I like what I read in the above letter. Very powerful. I hope a copy of this letter went to the "Govenator".
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-11-2004, 08:56 AM
froggysangel froggysangel is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Virginia USA
Posts: 119
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

San Diego Mom

This is not a letter, this was printed as an Opinion Column on the front page of the Forum Section in Sunday's Vacaville Reporter . It is a bylined commentary. Usually an opinion article like this brings out all CDC and law enforcement labor unions to blast it.

You can go to the link and fax it to the Governor and your local legislators if you like and if it draws criticism, write in to back up the columnist.

Not everyone can get a byline but this author has been doing that for 37 years before she became a volunteer advocate for prisoners and their families.

I hear that there is going to be a lawsuit filed next week over the deaths at CMF/CSP Solano so more fireworks are coming. Anyone who can attend the press conference in Vacaville on Monday or Tuesday is needed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by San Diego Mom
Wow. I like what I read in the above letter. Very powerful. I hope a copy of this letter went to the "Govenator".
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-11-2004, 01:43 PM
grammyC grammyC is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: California, USA
Posts: 136
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 1 Post
Default Missing links

I noticed that there are no links posted to the Reporter for viewing. Can you post it? I am interested in reading it.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-11-2004, 06:28 PM
froggysangel froggysangel is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Virginia USA
Posts: 119
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

The link was there when I posted the article. I noticed that a moderater edited it so perhaps she removed the link.


Quote:
Originally Posted by grammyC
I noticed that there are no links posted to the Reporter for viewing. Can you post it? I am interested in reading it.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
TEXAS Pro Bono Legal Resources David Prison & Criminal Legal Help! 7 08-14-2009 08:08 AM
Corrections Health Care News & Articles Ken General Health Care 154 09-28-2007 03:24 AM
TDCJ Health Care vim1946 Texas General Prison Talk 13 07-12-2005 08:46 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:17 PM.
Copyright © 2001- 2019 Prison Talk Online
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Website Design & Custom vBulletin Skins by: Relivo Media
Message Board Statistics