Scott Watch: Jamie’s friend passes away.

Mrs. Rasco received word that last evening a 13 yr. friend of Jamie Scott’s took a few steps toward her and fell down dead. The guards ran to her aid and tried CPR and everything that they could, but the woman had passed away.


Jamie became hysterical, vomited blood and began losing breath. The guards there calmed Jamie, prayed with her, and stayed with her until her heart rate returned to normal. This woman had issues with her medication and health care in the prison for years, and was just questioning her medication earlier that day. The consensus among the inmates was that this woman’s death was just another example of the poor medical care in that hellhole.


The issue remains of Jamie vomiting blood, as well as reporting that there are large, infected knots spread in various parts of her body which are painfuland full of pus and blood. Jamie is terrified that she will be the next one to die and reports that her body is again full of infection. She has also been told that she has become anemic and that her blood sugars are only checked on a once weekly basis!


Please support by participating in two action requests!–

1. ACTION

Jamie needs to be hospitalized and cleared of these infections! There also needs to be a determination about the level of medical care she is receiving as it is apparent that she is not being monitored carefully as these infections continue to thrive and remain untreated until there is a demand from the outside.


Please contact these officials and let them know that Jamie Scott, #19197, needs to be hospitalized ASAP as she has infections throughout her body that need immediate treatment!


Attorney General Eric Holder
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
HOTLINE: 202-353-1555
PHONE: 202-514-2000
202-307-6777 fax
AskDOJ@usdoj.gov

Dr. Gloria Perry, Medical Director
(601) 359-5155
gperry@mdoc.state.ms.us

Christopher Epps, Commissioner MDOC
601-359-5600
CEPPS@mdoc.state.ms.us
723 North President Street
Jackson, MS 39202

Governor Haley Barbour
P.O. Box 139
Jackson, Mississippi 39205
1-877-405-0733 or 601-359-3150
Fax: 601-359-3741
(If you reach VM leave msgs, faxes, and please send letters)

2. ACTION
Please e-mail, the following persons at The American Bar Association in support of the Scott Sisters. Please blind Copy (bcc) and paste in all e-mail addresses. A 1-800 number is also included below. Our goal here is to have thousands contact the ABA as there is power in numbers.

PilchenI@staff.abanet.org
KEnglehart@staff.abanet.org
CurdB@staff.abanet.org
windsorp@staff.abanet.org

American Bar Association
Attention: President Carolyn Lamm
321 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60654-7598
800.285.2221

Dear President Lamm:


I would like to bring your attention to the Case of The Scott Sisters. In the state of Mississippi, Jamie and Gladys Scott were convicted of armed robbery. A jury found the sisters guilty in 1994, transcripts conflictingly state that $11 dollars was netted. The sisters received double life sentences each for this crime, had no prior criminal records, and no one was injured in any way.


A 14 year old testified that he was coerced and threatened to be sent to Parchman Penitentiary if he did not lie on the sisters by signing a statement. Other witnesses stated that the sisters were not involved in this crime. Jamie and Gladys Scott were convicted with no physical evidence. The sisters are in need of a pro bono criminal law attorney.


Currently, an attorney is handling Jamie Scott’s medical issues as she has had kidney failure and is receiving sub standard medical care via the MDOC and Wexford Health Sources, Inc.. Jamie Scott is in stage 5 of kidney failure, which is the final stage.


I am requesting that you assist in securing a criminal attorney to review their prior appeals process and determine additional ways to re enter state or federal court. Above all, the sisters should be immediately exonerated. Thank you for your attention in this matter.


Sincerely,


(Your name)

Case Summary: http://freethescottsisters.blogspot.com/search/label/Case%20SummaryLegal Transcripts: http://www.scribd.com/doc/21748820/Scott-transcript


============


Jamie and Gladys want to thank all of the supporters so much for everything that’s being done on their behalf, they are so happy to receive mail and to know that we are out here fighting for them and want to make sure that you know how grateful they are!

See More

Scott Watch: Contact MS NAACP.

—————————-

from Free the Scott Sisters————————-

Greetings all,

Mrs. Rasco recently learned that Jamie’s condition is unchanged and that when last they spoke she was being worked up for a possible urinary tract infection.  She was mentally strong, however, and very grateful that her mother and supporters are sticking by she and Gladys through all that they have suffered.

MDOC Commissioner Christopher Epps, whom we’ve been contacting for months regarding the disastrous level of Jamie’s care and who’s  been steadily misinforming people that she’s not as sick as we’ve regularly documented, even after she had to be hospitalized several  times for high toxicity and infections that almost took her life, is  being HONORED as the KEYNOTE SPEAKER by the Jackson County, MS NAACP at their upcoming banquet on April 30, 2010!

Link: http://www.gulflive.com/sendthispage/sendthispage.ssf?http://blog.gulflive.com/mississippi-press-living/2010/04/christopher_epps_to_speak_at_freedom_fund_banquet.html

How could this branch, which is actually portrayed as an activist branch that has courageously taken on the police dept. and most recently the fire dept., completely ignore the sickeningly outrageous case of the Scott Sisters!  And to add insult to injury, laud Christopher Epps, who covers up the low-budget, some-timey care that denies Jamie Scott regular medications, regular dialysis, and the specific diet she has been told repeatedly that she needs to maintain any semblance of health. The medical care is said by inmates there to be abysmal on every level, and particularly so for Jamie Scott, with end stage kidney failure!

This is a smack in the face to Mrs. Rasco, to whom Epps made false promises of relief for Jamie, as well as Jamie and Gladys Scott, their  supporters, and the community at large!  This organization should be fighting on the front lines for justice for the Scott Sisters and not inviting Christopher  Epps to some banquet!  And what of the  National NAACP, why are they NOT responding to the many requests that have been made of them for the past 15 years to become involved in this case!
This is the final indignity and must not go unchallenged.  This bureaucrat should not pompously sit up there picking his teeth and pontificating while Jamie Scott lay suffering in one of the very prison cells that he oversees, a prison cell that she (nor her sister) should even be in!
Please contact the president of the Jackson County, Mississippi NAACP, Curly Clark, and ask him:
* Why is the NAACP distinguishing a man who would allow a woman to deteriorate in a prison on his watch until she is now at end stage of kidney failure?  
* Why does the NAACP want to hear from a man that won’t permit this same, very seriously ill woman to be housed in the Medical Bldg. on the grounds of that facility so that she can be cared for by her sister and instead has her housed in a mold-infested, damp, breeding ground for the infections which have repeatedly threatened her life?  
Ask Jackson County NAACP President, Curly Clark, and State President, Derrick Johnson, why they are not involved in the fight for justice for the Mississippi Scott Sisters, a shocking and internationally known atrocity occurring right in their own backyard! 
This entire event should be protested if Epps remains on the program and attendees given refunds for their $30 tickets!
Curly Clark, President, Jackson County NAACP 228-762-9692 

Derrick Johnson, State President Mississippi State Conference NAACP
1072 West J.R. Lynch Street
Jackson, MS 39203
Phone: 601.353.6906
Fax: 601.353.1565
Website: www.naacpms.org
===================
Visit and LINK to: http://www.freethescottsisters.blogspot.com
Subscribe to our group:  Send a blank e-mail to scottsistersupdates-subscribe@yahoogroups.com and share information!
Facebook Group: Free The Scott Sisters
Facebook Fan Page: Free The Scott Sisters
Free the Scott Sisters Petition:  http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/Free-Jamie-Gladys/index.html
Free the Scott Sisters Flyer: http://www.scribd.com/doc/28847395/Scott-Sisters-Flyer-Black-23-Mar-2010-20
Legal Transcripts: http://www.scribd.com/Scott%20Sisters

SCOTT Watch, Phoenix.

Just posted this on our side of the country, too…here’s my lead-in:

Called Commissioner Epps, Dr. Perry, and the US Department of Justice, leaving messages for all. Specifically asked the DOJ to initiate a CRIPA Investigation of the MDOC immediately re: women’s health care.

More people need to do that – call the DOJ and ask for a CRIPA investigation, telling them why. CRIPA is the “Civil Rights for Institutionalized Persons Act”, the DOJ HAS to investigate if given good cause to believe that  a pattern of violating civil rights is occurring (cruel and unusual health care is a constitutional violation that they are responsible for), and the pressure of an investigation may help to save Jamie’s life right now- as well as the other women suffering like her behind those walls.

So, call them, fax the DOJ copies of documents we can pull off line about Jamie’s health care crises, etc. – then they have paper copy in hand, with paper trails leading right to them, which no one can deny. All of us are witnesses, from wherever we are in the world. It’s astonishing to think that the DOJ could claim to be so blind to Mississippi in 2010.

Too bad Holder’s up for the new Supreme Court position. That makes it all the less likely, ironically, that he’ll exhibit courage and liberate or protect anyone right now. So, we need to put the pressure on.

In solidarity with the women in Mississippi’s prisons, from your free friends and radicals in Phoenix. Rock on.

Let’s get Jamie through this, and be sure not to leave any of the other women fighting with her behind. 

Peg 

Scott Watch: Mississippi Comes Through.

Subject: 3/30 SCOTT SISTERS UPDATE! ~ From Sister Marpessa
Greetings, all,

Mrs. Rasco and family safely returned from Mississippi on Saturday and Jamie has been returned to the hospital. She’s been told that Jamie is scheduled for surgery this week to remove the painful and dangerous shunt in her groin and implant a permanent fistula into her arm to receive dialysis.

Infection remains a concern, as well, and that is supposedly being dealt with. Jamie is still very weak and needs a great deal of assistance.
~~~~~~~~

The leader of the 3/26 press conference activity in MS was a no-show and the entire event was disorganized. This debacle was partially rescued only because of the people of Mississippi who were there. Mrs. Rasco and 11 family members came in to support this event.

Approximately 50 people were in attendance and several supporters spoke, including Mrs. Evelyn Rasco, Jonette Primm, Chokwe Lumumba, Earnest McBride, Mr. Powell, Jaribu Hill, Bro. Clarence from Gloria’s Kitchen and Gladys Scott’s daughter, Olivia. Thanks to those who stepped in and handled things at the last minute and under great duress, the family is deeply appreciative.

Part of the rally was aired on Mississippi Fox News and pictures will be posted to the website as soon as they become available. Mrs. Rasco wants to especially thank Gloria’s Kitchen for feeding all of the children as well as Rip Daniels and Charles Evers for their continuous support.
~~~~~~~~

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Days of Blogging for the Scott Sisters on 3/18 and 3/25! These blogs will go a long way toward helping spread the word of the desperate and very serious need for help for these courageous women and their embattled family online and around the world.

It’s never too late to join in and blog about the case, please do and encourage all those who link to you to follow suit, we need the support as this is truly an each one, reach one effort! The list of participating bloggers has been posted and each week we would like to feature a supporter’s blog, so if your blog isn’t listed, please send your link to nattyreb@gmail.com so that it can be.
~~~~~~~~~

Free The Scott Sisters Now in Mississippi is collecting 10,000 signatures on the below letter, so please support and pass them on! Please sign and mail one in as instructed.

FREE THE SCOTT SISTERS NOW
Information Line: 1-888-600-5311

Governor Haley Barbour
P. O. Box 139
Jackson, MS 39205

RE: The Scott Sisters

Dear Governor Barbour:

I would like to bring your attention to the case of Jamie and Gladys Scott. These sisters have served more than 15 years of a double life term where no one was murdered or injured. State’s witnesses have testified to their innocence. Jamie Scott’s kidneys have failed and her health is fading fast. We need your help now. Mississippi needs to know that those of us who believe in justice and human rights are prepared to take a stand for the Scott Sisters.

FREE THE SCOTT SISTERS NOW!!!!!

Signed,

___________________________________
Truly Concerned

Name: ______________________________
Address: ____________________________

Please forward this letter of support to:

Free the Scott Sisters
c/o Attorney Chokwe Lumumba
440 N. Mill Street
Jackson, MS 39202
~~~~~~~~~~~~

JAMIE SCOTT NEEDS TO BE HOUSED IN THE MEDICAL BUILDING when she returns to prison following her hospitalization. Someone as seriously ill as Jamie needs to be somewhere that she can get assistance in better living conditions, and that’s not in the infirmary and definitely not in her original cell. The Medical Bldg. would give her access to her sister, Gladys, who would help her with her activities of daily living and monitor her condition, just as other family members incarcerated together there are permitted to do with less life-threatening illnesses than Jamie suffers.

We must keep pushing for media attention to what’s going on and are continually pressing for nationwide press. A complete and in-depth examination of this travesty of justice must be exposed!! Please forward all of the info at the site to anyone, anywhere that can help to make that happen, the Scott Sisters need to go prime-time to apply enough pressure to make this Gov. do the right thing.

Jane Velez-Mitchell should do an entire segment on the Scott Sisters now that she is aware of the case, please contact her and urge her to follow-up her brief mention of the Scott Sisters on her 3/6 “Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell” with a more significant segment that will focus on Jamie’s serious medical condition and the Scott Sisters case period. The contact form is at http://www.facebook.com/l/039b7;www.cnn.com/feedback/tips/newstips.html

—————————-

PLEASE TELL GOVERNOR BARBOUR TO GRANT INMATE JAMIE SCOTT, #19197, CMCF, AND GLADYS SCOTT, #19142, CMCF, PARDON AND RELEASE FROM PRISON. Neither
sister is a threat to anyone and Jamie has a supportive family willing to care for her and obtain the medical care that she has not adequately received while in prison. These women are first-time offenders who have served 16 years in prison and are not a risk
for recidivism, particularly with the gravity of Jamie’s declining health. They must be released AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!

Thanks to everyone, please help to really spread the word as faras you can & ACT!
———————

BE DIRECT BUT PLEASE BE COURTEOUS — NO YELLING OR CURSING!
IT WILL ONLY TAKE A FEW MINUTES, PLEASE PARTICIPATE!

Governor Haley Barbour
P.O. Box 139
Jackson, Mississippi 39205
1-877-405-0733 or 601-359-3150
Fax: 601-359-3741
(If you reach VM leave msgs, faxes, and please send letters)

Dorothy Kuykendall
Personal Assistant to Gov. Barbour
(601) 359-3150
DKuykendall@governor.state.ms.us
P. O Box 3150
Jackson, MS 39205

Christopher Epps, Commissioner of Prisons for the State of Mississippi
601-359-5600
CEPPS@mdoc.state.ms.us
723 North President Street
Jackson, MS 39202

Emmitt Sparkman, Deputy Commissioner
(601) 359-5610
esparkman@mdoc.state.ms.us

Margaret Bingham, Superintendent of Central Mississippi Corrections Facility
(601) 932-2880
mbingham@mdoc.state.ms.us
FAX: (601) 664-0782
P.O. Box 88550
Pearl, Mississippi 39208

Dr. Gloria Perry, Medical Department (601) 359-5155
gperry@mdoc.state.ms.us

Attorney General Eric Holder
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

PLEASE CONTACT POLITICIANS AND MEDIA

Congressman Bennie Thompson
3607 Medgar Evers Blvd.
Jackson, MS 39213
601-946-9003(ph)
601-982-5337 (fx)
Benniethompson@mail.house.gov

Congressman John Conyers
2426 Rayburn H.O.B.
Washington, DC 20515
Ph: 202-225-5126
Fax: 202-225-0072
John.Conyers@mail.house.gov

A complete list of the media that we have listed (feel free to send to any others that
you wish to!) is at http://www.facebook.com/l/039b7;freethescottsisters.blogspot.com/2010/01/119-emergency-update.html
—————-

Visit and LINK to: http://www.facebook.com/l/039b7;www.freethescottsisters.blogspot.com
Subscribe to our group: Send a blank e-mail to scottsistersupdates-subscribe@yahoogroups.com and share information!
Facebook Group: Free The Scott Sisters
Facebook Fan Page: Free The Scott Sisters
Free the Scott Sisters Petition: http://www.facebook.com/l/039b7;www.ipetitions.com/petition/Free-Jamie-Gladys/index.html
Free the Scott Sisters Flyer: http://www.facebook.com/l/039b7;www.scribd.com/doc/28847395/Scott-Sisters-Flyer-Black-23-Mar-2010-20
Legal Transcripts: http://www.facebook.com/l/039b7;www.scribd.com/Scott%20Sisters

Oprah Phone Home: Mississippi’s Burning.

I don’t know how else to get through Oprah’s people to her but to keep blogging messages like this and try to snail mail copies through on top of it. I really believe if she knew about Jamie and her family, she’d be looking into it herself. I think she’d be real disappointed in whomever on her staff didn’t at least let her know this was happening out here before it was too late for her to try to help. Then, if she ignores us, it will at least have been an informed decision. She sure wouldn’t want to be Googling herself in the aftermath of all these calls for help from Jamie’s friends and family, only to see that she responded with silence as Jamie died.

I don’t think Oprah would ignore us though. This is too loaded for her to just walk away. We’re trying to appeal to the most difficult place in the country to find mercy, grace, compassionate release – from the heart of a Southern Governor. I still want justice for them, and I don’t see either coming from Barbour. Maybe I’m wrong abut him, but he’s going for the presidential bid in 2012. Why would he be any different from all the other southern Governors in the last 150 years? I just don’t know that he has what it would take to look honestly at the fractures in the system and try to make sure that innocent people aren’t getting hurt. The power of clemency is precisely for situations like this – where an exceptional intervention is needed to assure that the mechanisms of justice don’t corrupt their own ends. 

We can’t do this without more help, though. Oprah can bring the kind of mainstream American help we need. All we’re asking is for her to look into this, and to tell people what she sees. Maybe that’s a big trip to put on someone, but I think each of us – no matter how big or small our splash in the world may be – have a duty to each other when we learn about an injustice that we can play a role in correcting or preventing from happening again… 

Anyone with Oprah’s ear, ask her to please send help. Very soon.

————–
 
Subject: Contact Request For Scott Sisters By Sister Marpessa

Greetings, all,

Mrs. Rasco is still trying to get updated info on Jamie, so i unfortunately can’t confirm whether or not she was taken to thehospital yesterday.  We will definitely give an update on Jamie as soon as we get word and do an official Scott Sisters posting.

This is my personal request that i hope that you’ll participate in. Today, 2/23, i watched a portion of the Oprah Winfrey Show asshe tearfully embraced the family of American student Amanda Knox, sentenced to 26 years for killing her roommate in Italy. She lavished such great empathy and seemingly heartfelt support that all I could do was think about all the ways that the case of the Scott Sisters completely trumped this one and should engender even more concern.  

Unlike Amanda Knox, this is a case where no one was killed or injured; the best years of two women’s lives have been stolen by an extremely draconian double-life sentence each; they’ve already served 15 yrs for a first-time offense; they were wrongfully convicted in a trial where witnesses and two alleged victims stated that they had nothing to do with the robbery; they’re from her home state of Mississippi, and one of them is suffering kidney failure and miserable medical care in deplorable conditions!

i’m not naive by any stretch, i’m hip to the world of ratings, celebrity-worship, salaciousness, etc., and that neither i nor Mrs. Rasco or the Scott Sisters particularly fit into Oprah’s “putting a pot roast in the oven” suburban demographic.  Still, i can’t find fault in at least flooding her website with Scott Sisters information,
particularly since it’s so quick and easy and we are trying everything we can think of to do.

If we all did this activity together, perhaps we could catch the attention of one of her staffers who may at the very least put a bug into her ear.  Surely this case could be a ratings grabber, it has all the mystique and intrigue of anything else she’s got happening!

Below is what I’ve plugged in there & i hope you’ll take just a few moments to try to see if we can get this case on her radar, using part of this and putting your own flavor in there, or completely using something totally different, please just be sure to include the link to Mrs. Rasco’s website, thanks so much!  The link to Oprah’s contact form is at http://www.facebook.com/l/a00ac;www.oprah.com/ownshow/plug_form.html?plug_id=220

“i watched your interview with the family of Amanda Knox today and am writing to ask that you give the same consideration to the Mississippi Scott Sisters, Jamie and Gladys, who have been incarcerated for 15 years of an astonishing double-life sentence (each) for an alleged robbery which was said to have netted approximately 11 dollars!  No one was killed or injured during this alleged robbery and this was the first offense for both of these young women, who have maintained their innocence. Witnesses and the two alleged victims testified that Jamie and Gladys had absolutely nothing to do with this robbery and that the sheriff coerced and threatened them to lie on them at the original trial.  

After 15 hard years of prison life both women suffer from chronic depression and at just 38 years of age, Jamie Scott has a myriad of health issues and most recently suffered complete renal failure!  Her thrice weekly dialysis is complicated by machine breakdowns, infections and lack of adequate nutrition resulting from miserable medical care and deplorable living conditions. NATIONAL ATTENTION TO THIS CASE COULD LITERALLY SAVE HER LIFE. 

These young women’s children and grandchildren are all being cared for by their long-struggling mother, Evelyn Rasco, who single-handedly has cared for as many as 10 children at once, all while worrying about her son serving in Iraq and her daughters subsisting in the prison.   All of the necessary  information is online at http://www.facebook.com/l/a00ac;www.freethescottsisters.blogspot.com. Please take the time to review it and you will agree that this shocking and horrific injustice absolutely must be exposed! We need to hear from you.”

Thanks to everyone and please pass this on!

Sis. Marpessa Kupendua

Scott Watch: Keep Calling Epps and Barbour.

Nancy Lockhart sent a message to the members of Free The Scott Sisters.

——————–

Subject: Please Call And E-mail Christopher Epps (Prison Commissioner) & Haley Barbour (Governor of MS)

Samples of the e-malis that I’ve sent are below. While calling, I’ve used basically the same format. Many people have asked for a sample but, please feel free to write your own. Contact information for both Haley Barbour’s Assistant and Christopher Epps are within this e-mail as well as, in the discussion section of the FB group. In addition, FB has taken about 9 hours to send messages and several persons have indicated that they are receiving 4 or 5 of the same messages, this is beyond our control and thank you for understanding.
____________________

Commissioner Epps:

I am respectfully writing to request that you allow Jamie Scott to receive the medical care that she is deserving of and entitled to.  A specialist is willing to volunteer his time behind the walls to examine Jamie and I am asking that this is permitted.

Please don’t allow this young otherwise healthy daughter, sister, mother and friend to die unnecessarily.  I am sure you know that time is of the essence so please do not wait; her life is at stake.

________________________

Governor Barbour:

Jamie Scott # 19197 and Gladys Scott #19142 have been incarcerated over 15 years for a crime in which $11 dollars was netted. Witnesses stated that they were coerced and threatened to implicate the sisters. Please commute the sentences of both Jamie and Gladys Scott. Presently, Jamie is fighting for her life with kidney failure and is receiving inadequate medical care.

___________________________

Christopher Epps Commissioner
Mississippi Department of Corrections
723 North President Street
Jackson, Mississippi 39202
601-359-5621 (Phone)
601-359-5680 (FAX)
CEPPS@mdoc.state.ms.us

Haley Barbour –
Personal Assistant
Dorothy Kuykendall
P.O. Box 139
Jackson, Mississippi 39205
1-877-405-0733
(601) 359-3150
(601) 359-3741-FAX
DKuykendall@governor.state.ms.us
——————–

To reply to this message, follow the link below:
http://www.facebook.com/n/?inbox%2Freadmessage.php&t=1204368681911&mid=1e32dd4G6a72c8faG7782c8G0

Mississippi Kidney Foundation: Appeal for Imprisoned Patients

This is the slightly edited version of the letter I sent off to the Mississippi Kidney Foundation today, as well as to some media connections and other possible allies. I’ve been ill for awhile and may not be following up for a few days, and worry that everyone will just think someone else is acting on this – in which case no one will – so everyone needs to, and report what you’ve done to the Scott Sisters campaign. Please use this post and email copies of this letter wherever else you can think of that these concerns need to be raised. Just click on the email icon at the bottom. 

—————————————————————
Margaret Jean Plews
Prison Abolitionist
Arizona Prison Watch
1809 East Willetta St.
Phoenix, AZ 85006
480-580-6807
February 7, 2010
Gail G. Sweat, Executive Director
Lynda Richards, Director of Patient Services
Mississippi Kidney Foundation
3000 Old Canton, Suite 110
Jackson, MS 39216
PO Box 55802
Jackson, MS 39296

Dear Gail and Lynda,

I wasn’t sure who best to address this to, but didn’t want it getting lost in the void, so I’m sending it to you both if I can find your emails, and via snail mail. This is a fairly complicated story, so if it’s new to you, hold on. I’m also passing it on to a few other folks, in hopes they might have some ideas or be able to offer support. I really hope that once we figure out exactly what’s going on with care for kidney patients in the Mississippi Department of Corrections (which is contracting medical services to Wexford) Professor Capron in particular will help facilitate some kind of critical analysis and dialogue about the ethical issues involved in treating kidney patients who are prisoners – this is not an issue unique to Mississippi. That’s just where Mrs. Rasco’s daughter happens to be dying right now.

I don’t know if anyone has already contacted you about Jamie Scott or issues with dialysis care for Mississippi state prisoners in general yet. I don’t know my way around your state: your politics, charities, media, etc., and have already stepped on a few toes. I’m a prisoner rights activist in Arizona (from Michigan, actually) with a few websites critiquing the prison industrial complex, and I hear from prisoners and families in trouble all the time, including the Scotts, asking for help by amplifying their voices and reaching out to others. The Scott family has been working on getting these women exonerated for awhile, but now there’s a crisis with one of the sisters going into renal failure. They really need your help. 
I’m concerned that the difficulty the family is having getting a response on Jamie’s care is partly because it’s not clear they or Jamie really know what her diagnosis or prognosis is. I think they’re all so terribly traumatized, and now desperately afraid that they’ll lose Jamie after working so hard for long on her freedom. But they need to be able to articulate what’s going on medically in order to know what kind of treatment to ask for, or who to turn to for help. As is so often the fashion when others control our health care, poor women (especially of color) are the last to know about our medical conditions and treatment options, and we pay the highest price for it. I’m worried that Jamie’s criminalized, marginalized status already places her at considerable risk; not many people value the humanity or gifts of a woman doing double-life in a Mississippi state prison. Add to that her race, poverty, family’s limited resources; some would say she’s lucky to get dialysis at all.
We need to get someone in there who can both educate Jamie and her family about kidney disease, what appropriate care is (which for all I know she’s actually receiving, depending on her diagnosis and prognosis), and how she can assert her rights as a patient while still a prisoner, as well as someone who can help get the resources needed into the MDOC to provide the rest of these women with appropriate medical care. I’m an antagonist, an outside instigator, an organizer – this family needs you, not me, fighting for them on the local level. I’ve probably already pissed a few people off. 
Besides, I’m also fairly ill myself right now, and don’t know that I can see this family through.
This also isn’t about crime and punishment or “prisoner rights” so much as it’s about who we decide is deserving and undeserving of resources we’ve decided to ration in this world – resources that could be made more plentiful – and therefore whom is allowed to suffer, and for whom is such suffering “unconstitutional”. I know that’s pretty loaded, but I don’t know how you can possibly avoid addressing that in your business, anyway. It seems like a conversation that the larger community should be having together, with the Scott Sisters and their mom participating. Especially now, with state services for the poor being hit so hard across the country.
If you can somehow manage to lead the community in an outreach to that prison – refusing to take no for an answer when you knock on the door – and help connect the women in there with the same kind of educational, medical and peer support that free women might be able to access, you could make an impact on women’s health care in jails and prisons that I could never equal in all my years of community activism. It will improve their likelihood of survival while in prison, their success transitioning back to the community once released from prison, and their sense of human connection if it turns out that they are going to be dying in prison. At least then, perhaps, their last days will be witnessed, and even if they have no family left to grieve them, someone can speak to their struggle and courage. That matters a great deal to people; most of us take it for granted, though.
You are in a unique position to command the attention and respect of people who will just otherwise ignore this family and let Jamie suffer and die. I’m not suggesting that you charge in with any accusations – just please find out from the Scotts’ what’s up, try to find out what health care access is really like for women there, and step back and assess the situation with the MDOC and Wexford(chronically ill patients who could be maintained for years are a drag on profits, if allowed to linger.) 
 I suspect diabetes is a major issue for many men and women in prison alike. I have a number of links to research and documents about prisoner health care on my websites (prison Abolitionist and Arizona Prison Watch). Whatever you think you can do yourselves, please see who else there might be natural allies for those women fighting for better health care, and speak publicly to the issue of the treatment of prisoners with kidney disease. I don’t know who else will speak for their health care rights; I’m afraid no one even notices them there. Many more may step up if you do, first, however.
 
You would be able to articulate the consequences of Jamie not receiving proper care, in a way unlike prisoner activists – most of whom don’t know what it feels like to be toxic and dying. You could gauge better than I could whether or not withholding certain medical options might constitute cruel and unusual punishment; you don’t have to be an attorney to question that – the Supreme Court says the definition changes as society morally evolves. I hope we’ve all come at least this far by now. If Jamie will authorize the prison/medical services provider to discuss her diagnosis, prognosis, and course of planned treatment with you with her, then you would know whether or not she’s been offered treatment that’s consistent with community standards of care. Most importantly, perhaps, if Jamie and her family are at least well-informed, then perhaps they do not need to be quite so afraid. There is already so much for them to be afraid of.
At the very least these women should be fully informed about their illness, treatment options, and rights – not reminded of how expendable and of little value their lives are. They matter to the people who love them, and to those whose lives they’ve touched in positive ways. We have much to be thankful for, out here, to the good souls in prison for life who help others make it through intact, and not on a track right back there. It may well be that Jamie’s crisis is the catalyst that gets so much needed focus on the critically and terminally ill in prison; without her voice, countless others may suffer in invisibility. And her example of survival and resistance is an inspiration to other women living and dying there, too.
There’s more history on this at  Mississippi Prison Watch– the latest post announcing my intent to contact you is in email format below. I received the accompanying note from Jamie Scott’s mother, though, and wanted you to see it – to hear the urgency in her voice as she’s trying to save her daughter’s life. I need to make a personal connection with someone there, to know whether or not you’ll step up on this as an advocate for Jamie and the other women there in terms of their right to access health care. The whole issue of whether or not the state would allow a prisoner to donate a kidney to another prisoner troubles me. Especially while both prisoners still have wrongful conviction cases hanging out there – that seems like taking the chance of executing the innocent.
 
Please drop us a line and let us know if you can do anything to help on this matter (Call me if you need to if I don’t respond to email; I may not make it back to my computer in the next few days.). You don’t need to comment on their convictions or sentences – no one should be made to suffer needlessly or subjected to substandard medical care when subject to the total custody and control of the state. That’s not a medical or legal judgment – it’s a moral one. It takes mainstream Americans to say that for anyone to listen, however – not left-wing radicals like me.
Thanks for your time and consideration,
Sincerely,
Peggy Plews
480-580-6807
cc: Professor Alexander Capron, National Kidney Foundation
     American Association of Kidney Patients
     National Kidney Disease Education program
     Mississippi ACLU
     (and several Mississippi and national media outlets)
    
“The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.”
– Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881)

Prison Abolitionist
http://prisonabolitionist.blogspot.com

 

Arizona Prison Watch
http://arizonaprisonwatch.blogspot.com

 

Free Marcia Powell
http://freemarciapowell.blogspot.com