Hunger Pains: Hawaii’s prison diet – one size fits all.

Interesting article. Arizona calls our prison food a “sedentary diet” and a “heart healthy diet”, interchangeably – which is an indicator of how little programming they have for prisoners here, too. The poor nutrition is a real problem for prisoners with cancer, Hepatitis C, and other serious illnesses. Many need to supplement their diet with basic vitamins, but then they have to pay for them – even if they’re indigent and dying.

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Inmates lose weight, call prison food inadequate

By Rob Perez

Honolulu Star Advertiser

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, May 22, 2011

Jonathan Namauu and Paul Keck say they each have lost at least 40 pounds over the past year.

George Rowan told his wife he’s lost 100 pounds, nearly a third of his weight, since October.

While the three Oahu men have not been trying to lose weight, they share the same diet: prison food.

All three are inmates at Halawa Community Correctional Facility. They say the meal portions have become so meager that many inmates are suffering unwanted weight loss, in some cases shedding substantial amounts.

An increasing number of inmates and their family members in recent months have complained to outside groups about the adequacy of Hawaii prison meals.

The state Ombudsman’s Office, the Public Defender’s Office, the Community Alliance on Prisons and other organizations say they have received or are hearing about more food-related complaints than usual. The issue of unwanted weight loss — a red flag to watchdog groups — is being mentioned more frequently, according to the community alliance group and the Ombudsman’s Office.

“Even dogs and cats at the Humane Society eat better than us,” said Namauu, serving time for negligent homicide. Namauu, who is 5 feet 10 inches, said in a phone interview that his weight has dropped to 230 pounds since he was transferred to Halawa from an Arizona prison in June. Other inmates, especially those who returned from Arizona, tell similar stories, blaming inadequate, unhealthy food.

FEEDING THE INMATES

The Department of Public Safety, which runs Hawaii’s prisons, say these are typical meals served to inmates. Some prisoners, however, say they frequently get much less.

BREAKFAST
Fruit or fruit juice: 4 oz.
Scrambled eggs: 4 oz.
Rice: 8 oz.
Whole wheat bread: 2 slices, margarine
Cold cereal: 1 cup
Skim milk: half pint
Hot beverage (coffee): 8 oz.

LUNCH
Roast beef: 4 oz.
Brown gravy: 2 oz.
Mashed potatoes: 8 oz.
Green beans: 4 oz.
Whole wheat bread: 2 slices with margarine
Fruit: 4 oz.
Beverage (juice): 8 oz.

DINNER
Grilled fish: 4 oz.
Steamed rice: 8 oz.
Cooked cabbage: 4 oz.
Whole wheat bread: 2 slices with margarine
Tartar sauce: 4 oz.
Fruit: 4 oz.
Beverage: (skim milk or juice): 8 oz.

Source: Department of Public Safety

But the Department of Public Safety, which runs Hawaii prisons and oversees the more than 4,500 inmates incarcerated here, say the prisoners are getting nutritionally balanced meals and sufficient calories.

The meals are designed to provide 2,600 to 2,900 calories daily, according to Larry Hales, acting administrator for the department’s corrections program services.

“The meals are nutritionally balanced as approved by a registered dietitian,” Hales said in written responses to the newspaper. “All statewide correctional facilities follow the same five-week standardized menu cycle.”

Attorney David Fathi, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Prison Project in Washington, D.C., said if prisoners are experiencing weight loss because of insufficient food “that’s a serious red flag. It’s a real danger sign.”

The ACLU successfully sued an Arizona sheriff several years ago for unconstitutional conditions at a jail there. Among the conditions cited by the court was inadequate food.

Vanessa Chong, executive director of the ACLU in Hawaii, said her office started receiving food-related weight-loss complaints this year and is looking into the situation. She encourages more inmates to contact her office.

Given the state’s failure to adopt practical, cost-effective prison policies, she said, more problems are surfacing and she wouldn’t be surprised if the food situation is yet another.

“This could be part of the ongoing cracking of the system,” Chong said.

Hales said in a phone interview that meal portions for the general prison population have not been reduced because of budget cuts.

Hales did note that Halawa recently corrected a practice in which some inmates were getting double portions when they shouldn’t have been. He also said that male and female inmates, regardless of their size, get the same portions unless a doctor orders something different for medical reasons.

If an inmate loses weight, he or she can request to see a doctor, and if the doctor orders an enhanced diet for medical reasons, the meals will be adjusted, Hales said. But the department has few cases of medical diets for increased food, he said.

If an overweight inmate claims weight loss and is seen by a doctor, the inmate will not be placed on a medical diet to increase weight, he added.

Hawaii inmates’ dislike of prison food is nothing new. Groups such as Kat Brady’s Community Alliance on Prisons have heard such grumblings for years.

What’s different this time, though, is the repeated complaints from family members who visit their loved ones and reported being shocked to see how much weight the inmates have lost, according to Brady, coordinator for the alliance.

“When families started calling me and saying, ‘Oh, my God, it looks like they’ve been in Auschwitz,’ that tells me something is wrong,” said Brady, referring to one of the concentration camps operated by the Nazis in World War II.

Criminal defense attorney Earle Partington, who represents inmate Paul Kleck, likewise said he was stunned when he recently visited his client at Halawa for the first time in about a year.

“His face was so gaunt, he’s lost so much weight, it’s incredible,” Partington said.

Keck, 63, who is 6 feet tall, told the Star-Advertiser he weighs 205 pounds, down from about 250 a year ago.

“Everybody has lost weight,” said Keck, who is serving time for sexual assault.

Social worker Gemmi Rowan said her 6-foot, 5-inch husband, George, has lost so much weight since returning from Arizona in late October that flaps of skin hang from his torso. He now weighs about 220 pounds.

“He looks terrible to me,” Rowan said, adding that her husband was able to maintain his weight in Arizona.

When Rowan’s daughter spent more than two months this year at Oahu Community Correctional Facility, she also lost weight, shedding about 20 pounds, Rowan said. Her 5-foot, 6-inch daughter weighed 110 when released.

“She looked like a twig,” Rowan said.

Asked why organizations are receiving more food-related complaints, Hales wrote, “The complaints coming from the outside could be due to the public learning of the current economic situation that the state is facing and hearing from inmates who feel they are not fed adequate, nutritious meals.”

But Hales said DPS consistently has spent more than $10 million annually over the past four years to feed Hawaii’s inmate population.

Given conflicting information provided by prisoners and the department, it’s tough for an outsider to get an accurate gauge of what’s happening on the inside. The two sides don’t seem to agree on anything.

Prisoners, for instance, say they’ve complained to prison staff about the meal situation. DPS says no food service unit at any facility statewide has received complaints.

Prisoners say they sometimes get only a slice of cake or a biscuit for breakfast and they hadn’t had fresh fruit in months — until the Star-Advertiser started making inquiries. DPS says that isn’t accurate.

Most of the inmates and family members who spoke to the Star-Advertiser on the record did so reluctantly because they feared retaliation. But they said the situation has become so intolerable that they decided to speak out anyway, hoping the exposure will lead to changes.

Most of the complaints reported to the Star-Advertiser involved Halawa, but a few mentioned Oahu Community Correctional Center, the women’s prison in Kailua and the Maui prison.

“It’s definitely something more recent,” Public Defender Jack Tonaki said of the rise in complaints his office has heard from prisoners.

State Ombudsman Robin Matsunaga estimated that his office has received fewer than 50 food-related complaints from prisoners in recent months. After following up with DPS, Matsunaga’s office did not find an indication of a problem. But he acknowledged that his office has neither the expertise nor the resources to conduct a food audit to independently verify such information as calorie or nutrition levels.

The ACLU’s Fathi said courts have ruled that inmates are entitled to meals that are nutritionally balanced and adequate to sustain health, and instances of significant unwanted weight loss raise questions on whether that standard is being met.

“People should not be losing 40 or 100 pounds because they’re not being fed enough,” he said.

Fathi said he is seeing more cases of states and counties across the country paring prison diets in a short-sighted attempt to cut costs. Those efforts, he said, will lead to greater costs in the long run.

“Hungry prisoners are unhappy prisoners,” Fathi said. “And unhappy prisoners are harder to manage.”

Witness to a Reprehensible and Uncaring Prison System

From the blog of the Disarm Now Plowshares:

May 22, 2011 (from Joe Power-Drutis)
Hello
Twenty four hours ago I visited Sr. Jackie Hudson at the Blount County Correctional Facility in Maryville Tennessee, and the information she conveyed was deeply disturbing. By bravely speaking the truth about a reprehensible and uncaring system, Jackie chose to take a personal risk and I want to honor this by passing her message on to you.

This is an account of the struggles of four inmates and their attempts to receive basic medical care.

First is the indomitable and quick-witted (soon to be 84), Jean Gump. Like Bix, Jean’s age and physical presence conceal an interior spirit deeply rooted in the power of love that will always be underestimated by the dark forces so prevalent in our world.

She, like the others, would rather be home with family and friends but is not afraid to pay the price of following the dictates of her conscience. She like the others, consented to going to jail; but, expects these places of confinement to follow the law regarding human rights and rules of imprisonment. But, in the Blount County Correctional Facility, expectations and reality part ways.

Jean is a relatively healthy woman who has obviously taken care of herself; however, she is also under the care of a Nurse Practitioner in Portage Michigan. Jean has been diagnosed with hypertension and carotid artery disease; in other words, the high pressure in her arteries is further complicated by the narrowing of the large carotid artery that feeds her brain. Jean must take one anticoagulant and 2 blood pressure medications to thin her blood and lower her pressure. Failure to do so puts her at high risk for a stroke.

For these chronic conditions she has faithfully taken her medications each day – each day that is until she was remanded to the Blount County Correctional Facility. Though she has made numerous requests for help, she has received no medical assistance, not once has her blood pressure been taken, and she received no medication for nearly 2 weeks. She filled out paperwork for the jail to notify her husband, health care provider and pharmacy; they have received no calls from the jail.

Just for the record, Ralph Hutchison, Erik Johnson and I sang one verse of a less than spectacular barber shop quartet Happy Birthday to You. Moved beyond herself by emotion Jean said, “Don’t give up your day job boys.”
The reality is much the same for 63-year-old Sr. Carol Gilbert. Carol has taken an antihypertensive medication for many years. She too has gone without her medication and no one at the jail has taken her blood pressure.

Three months ago, 76-year-old Sr. Jackie Hudson underwent surgery that left her with residual periodic left-sided chest pain. Several days ago she began to experience severe musculoskeletal pain and made repeated requests for medical assistance. Eventually a nurse arrived and said “Your just one of 500 people here and I am way behind in my work.” Jackie received nothing. That night, many hours after the onset of pain, the night nurse provided her with 2 tabs of Tylenol. Well after this acute onset of pain she was able to receive a “one time” packet of 20 tablets of Tylenol and Ibuprofen due to her indigent status; but was informed she would receive no more. Jackie also suffers from asthma. She was able to take one of her inhalers in with her but is without the needed second one. Jackie also filled out paperwork for the jail to notify Sue Ablao, her health care provider and pharmacy; they also have not received any calls from the jail.

75-year-old Sr. Ardeth Platte is also under the care of a doctor. I do not know the extent of her medical needs but, like Jackie and Jean, Ardeth is receiving no medications or health care.

Though serious, the above matters are straight-forward and easily resolved.
The following is not so.

A woman in the jail experienced a Grand Mal Seizure. Apparently in the early stages of the seizure she was able to tell other inmates a seizure was about to occur, and as the seizure commenced and she was falling they were able to catch her and guide her to the concrete floor.

They called for medical help and the nurse and another woman arrived and stood next to the woman. Several minutes later – while the seizure was still in progress – a half-dozen large men entered the cell block. While a younger guard began yelling at all of the inmates “return to your cells” another of the men kicked the woman repeatedly. Later, inmates reported that kicking a person undergoing a seizure was commonplace, “They think someone is faking it.”

The following day the woman began to experience similar symptoms that occur prior to a seizure and she related to the inmates that another seizure may occur. The inmates called for assistance and a voice over the intercom instructed the inmates to put her on the concrete floor. No staff person, medical or otherwise ever responded. Fortunately the woman’s premonitions did not result in a seizure.

Complicating the health picture even more, the inmates know that, if a medical problem or emergency occurs during the weekend, they are out of luck. No nursing staff are available during the weekend. During weekends, either non medical, non licensed jailers perform nursing duties or inmates get no response at all.

As a LPN I have worked in a number of medical venues over the past 35 years and I have seen nothing to compare with this. How did this high risk, cruel “medical response” become commonplace? These standard operational procedures are not only inhumane; they are illegal.

I wish to share this with you, as I seek guidance and support from leaders in the local community here in East Tennessee about where to go from here.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Epilogue: As I was being given this information yesterday, prison eyes (cameras) and ears (phone surveillance) were upon us; as we spoke between a wall of glass, I wrote down each detail.

It is important to remember that the playground bully is one filled with fear, and the need to control; but, knowing he/she must be careful to protect themselves from the truth.

I just received phone calls from Joe Gump and Sue Ablao; someone from the Blount County Correctional Facility phoned them today inquiring as to what medications Jean and Jackie were on. They were told that Jean and Jackie’s prescriptions will be filled by day’s end and they will be receiving all of their prescribed medications no later than tomorrow, May 23rd.

NJ Prisons Exposed: HBO’s "An Omar Broadway Film"

Here is a synopsis of the movie.

Here is what Solitarywatch wrote about the film.

This comes from Garden State CURE, New Jersey’s chapter of the national “Citizens United For Restoration of Errants” – they do awesome criminal justice reform work (but need a lot of help with their website, apparently).

If you miss this broadcast, contact HBO and ask how to get a copy of the show. For more information about Garden State CUre, I’m sure Donna would be happy to have you contact her.

In the meantime, check out the resources that CURE National has.

—————————

From: donntay@aol.com

Sent: Sat, Jul 10, 2010 12:54 am

Hello everyone:

As the Executive Director of Garden State CURE, CURE Leaders should recall I produced a CD at our last 2 conventions in an attempt to expose abuse in NJ Prisons. The Footage was taken by an inmate in Northern State Prison who was successful in sneaking a camera in to document the abuses we would otherwise never see. His mother was diligent in her plight to expose the abuse in NJ Prisons and I am very pleased to announce the documentary called “An Omar Broadway Film” will broadcast on HBO, Wednesday at 8 pm EST. Please watch this documentary. Im sure it will be an eye opening experience even for those of us who already know the deal. God bless.

Ambassador Donna Brewer
Executive Director
Garden State CURE, Inc.
215.892.8796
Radio Talk Show Host
Restorative Justice

More on this subject from the Boston Globe:

REVIEW
A view of prison life — from the inside
By Sam Allis, Globe Staff | July 14, 2010

We’ve seen sanitized glimpses of prison life before, in print and on television magazines. There is a distance to all of them from the inner reality of those institutions. Such efforts are almost always approved by corrections officials, and we see very little of the life those officials don’t want us to see. And then comes Omar Broadway.

Broadway, a member of the notorious Bloods gang, with a hair-raising criminal record, had served seven years in solitary confinement at New Jersey’s infamous Northern State Prison in Newark, on multiple felony convictions. Someone, presumably a sympathetic guard, smuggled him a digital video camera in 2004 to document conditions there. For six months, he recorded the life around him.

Despite limited camera range because of the small opening in his cell door, bad lighting, and jumpy camera work, he presents hallucinogenic sights and sounds of prison life — the remote echoes of voices, blurry frames of cell bars, indistinct figures of guards, inmates in their cells engaged in furious shadowboxing.

What he ends up with is “An Omar Broadway Film,’’ codirected by Broadway and Douglas Tirola, which was well received at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival. HBO bought it during the festival, he says, following its penchant for airing documentaries you can’t imagine seeing anywhere else.

This one chronicles the appalling prisoner abuse by guards as well as the terror of the officers working there. The guards are a gang in their own right, formed to protect themselves from very dangerous men who are behind bars 23 hours a day. There exists a vicious intimacy between the two camps.

Most shocking are the protests by prisoners who refuse to return to their cells. They cover themselves in plastic to minimize the effects of pepper spray from the guards in riot gear, who charge in force. The guards quickly overwhelm the prisoners and beat them on the floor. Broadway chronicles a number of these ghastly rituals. The prisoners know what to expect, yet wait for the onslaught anyway, out of bravery or nihilistic resignation.

The documentary presents the prisoners as victims of the brutal environment. They are, but missing is what brought them there in the first place. These are bad actors, the most difficult gang leaders and members. They were sent to a special place — the Security Threat Group Management Unit, devised to isolate them from the general prison population — yet mention of their crimes in any specificity is lacking.

Tirola, president of 4th Row Films, directs those segments filmed outside of prison that focus on the mean streets of East Orange, N.J., where Broadway grew up. Drugs, violence, the neighborhood has it all. Broadway’s mother, Lynne, gives us a tour of the area. She is a strong-willed woman, defending her son and minimizing his criminal life.

Eventually, sympathetic guards, who all identify themselves as “Walter,’’ contact Broadway on his cellphone and help smuggle out the tapes. Broadway expects outrage from the public when it sees the footage. Not a chance. A local network affiliate airs some of it without result. Oprah Winfrey never responds to a request to air it. Broadway’s mother tries to sell DVDs of the footage on the streets. She sells 32.

She need worry no longer. HBO2 presents the film tonight to a national audience. Omar couldn’t ask for more.

Sam Allis can be reached at allis@globe.com.
Boston Globe

Conditions of confinement: Why we call and write.

SCOTT WATCH
July 4, 2010

Dear Supporters:

Jamie and Gladys would like to thank all supporters for everything that is being done to assist in securing their freedom. They would especially like to thank The Gray Haired Witnesses for the most recent Washington, DC event.

Jamie sends a special thank you to everyone for contacting the Health Department regarding conditions at MDOC’s- Quickbed Unit which is where she and many other inmates are housed. She has said that the prison made noticeable improvements and are continuing to do so. Many other inmates have also expressed their thanks to everyone who called and wrote the Mississippi Health Department. The Health Department did visit the prison and it has made a great difference in the lives of inmates.

Mrs. Rasco said that Jamie has broken out in boils again. The medical clinic has given her antibiotics and hopefully this will clear her condition. Although Jamie is sick; she is in very high spirits because of the improved living conditions. I would personally like to thank Ms. Gloretha Darlene Pinckney-Gray for sharing the idea of contacting OSHA and the Health Department. Ms. Gray – you have made a difference in many lives there at MDOC – Quick Bed. We thank you!

Jamie’s Birthday is on July 16th and she would very much appreciate receiving cards and letters from supporters. Please write to Jamie Scott at the following address:

Jamie Scott # 19197
CMCF/2A-B-Zone
P.O. Box 88550
Pearl, MS 39288-8850

Anyone who wishes to send funds directly to Jamie for her commissary privileges may do so by following instructions provided via this link.

http://www.mdoc.state.ms.us/Sending%20Money.htm

Free The Scott Sisters T-Shirts are available and may be purchased via the link below. Thank you to Paul Lefrak for organizing this and to Jack and Mike for picking up the torch! Please order your shirts, wear them and assist us in spreading the word.

http://www.radicaljack.com/scsit.html

Last but not least, a documentary is now being produced of The Scott Sisters, their family and this tragic case. The producer and his team are working around the clock to meet deadlines and ensure that all bases are covered. This documentary should be released in a few months!

In Solidarity,

Nancy R. Lockhart, M.J.

Conditions of confinement: Why we call and write.

July 4, 2010

Dear Supporters:

Jamie and Gladys would like to thank all supporters for everything that is being done to assist in securing their freedom. They would especially like to thank The Gray Haired Witnesses for the most recent Washington, DC event.

Jamie sends a special thank you to everyone for contacting the Health Department regarding conditions at MDOC’s- Quickbed Unit which is where she and many other inmates are housed. She has said that the prison made noticeable improvements and are continuing to do so. Many other inmates have also expressed their thanks to everyone who called and wrote the Mississippi Health Department. The Health Department did visit the prison and it has made a great difference in the lives of inmates.

Mrs. Rasco said that Jamie has broken out in boils again. The medical clinic has given her antibiotics and hopefully this will clear her condition. Although Jamie is sick; she is in very high spirits because of the improved living conditions. I would personally like to thank Ms. Gloretha Darlene Pinckney-Gray for sharing the idea of contacting OSHA and the Health Department. Ms. Gray – you have made a difference in many lives there at MDOC – Quick Bed. We thank you!

Jamie’s Birthday is on July 16th and she would very much appreciate receiving cards and letters from supporters. Please write to Jamie Scott at the following address:

Jamie Scott # 19197
CMCF/2A-B-Zone
P.O. Box 88550
Pearl, MS 39288-8850

Anyone who wishes to send funds directly to Jamie for her commissary privileges may do so by following instructions provided via this link.

http://www.mdoc.state.ms.us/Sending%20Money.htm

Free The Scott Sisters T-Shirts are available and may be purchased via the link below. Thank you to Paul Lefrak for organizing this and to Jack and Mike for picking up the torch! Please order your shirts, wear them and assist us in spreading the word.

http://www.radicaljack.com/scsit.html

Last but not least, a documentary is now being produced of The Scott Sisters, their family and this tragic case. The producer and his team are working around the clock to meet deadlines and ensure that all bases are covered. This documentary should be released in a few months!

In Solidarity,

Nancy R. Lockhart, M.J.

Prisoners are patients too: June 2010 MDOC agreement on standards of care.

This is the actual text of the agreement MDOC made regarding mental health and health care services for prisoners earlier this month. While some things clearly apply specifically to the litigants only, I read much of this as applying to the whole prison population of Mississippi…someone correct me if I’m wrong.

The suit can be resumed within a year by any of the plaintiffs if the MDOC doesn’t hold up their end of the bargain. I think we should reference this case in every complaint we make about health or mental health care to the MDOC from now on – and be sure to forward our documentation of neglect and abuse at the other prisons to the court and/or the plaintiffs’ attorney with the ACLU…

—————————-

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI
GREENVILLE DIVISION
JEFFERY PRESLEY, et al.
Plaintiffs,
v. No. 4:05-cv-00148
CHRISTOPHER EPPS, et al.,

Defendants

AGREEMENT OF THE PARTIES TO SEEK
ORDER OF DISMISSAL WITHOUT PREJUDICE

The Parties, by their undersigned counsel, hereby agree to seek an Order of Dismissal without Prejudice, on the following terms:

1. The above-captioned case is dismissed without prejudice by stipulation of the parties on the terms set forth herein. Defendants represent that it is their intention to relocate the entire current population of Unit 32 to appropriate housing within the MDOC or a facility contracted with the MDOC to provide for care of MDOC prisoners. Plaintiffs have entered into this Agreement in reliance on Defendants’ representations.

2. Defendants agree that within one year from the entry of this Order, they will correct alleged deficiencies in the system of delivery of medical and mental health treatment to class members by undertaking certain improvements in the delivery of care, as set forth below in paragraph 3 of this Agreement.

3. The improvements in the delivery of care which Defendants agree to implement are as follows:

With respect to mental health care, Defendants agree:

A. They will no longer house any persons with serious mental illness at Unit 32 and they will transfer all persons with serious mental illness to East Mississippi Correctional Facility or, in the rare and extraordinary case where a seriously mentally ill prisoner cannot safely be housed at EMCF, then another appropriate facility. For purposes of this Agreement, the term “serious mental illness” refers to the definition of severe mental illness set forth in paragraph 1 of the Supplemental Consent Decree entered by the Court in this action on November 15, 2007.

B. They will ensure that services to address the mental health needs of all prisoners meet generally accepted professional standards.

C. They will maintain sufficient staffing levels of qualified health care professionals to provide care for prisoners’ mental health needs that meets generally accepted professional standards.

D. They will provide timely access to psychiatrists and other mental health care providers and they will provide a face-to-face encounter when a request for care reports a clinical symptom or a desire for a change in treatment.

E. They will ensure that encounters with mental health care providers occur in a clinical setting that ensures audio privacy and confidentiality.

F. They will ensure that all encounters with patients are timely and adequately documented in the medical record progress notes and other documentation of care will be kept in accordance with accepted professional standards.

G. They will ensure monitoring of patients on psychotropic medications in accordance with the community standard of care. Medications and pharmacy services will comply with community standards.

H. They will develop appropriate treatment protocols to address the needs of Unit 32 patients suffering acute psychiatric crises including, when indicated, constant observation in a room designed to facilitate such observation. Unit 32 inmates that are patients housed in Unit 42 or another unit for crisis management will have reasonable out-of-cell time daily and access to a variety of treatment modalities as clinically indicated. Unit 42 or any other unit designated for crisis management will not be used to house patients requiring an inpatient level of care longer than necessary to stabilize and transfer.

I. They will provide timely access to an inpatient level of care for patients for whom such care is clinically indicated.

With respect to medical care, Defendants agree:

J. They will provide timely and adequate access to care to meet prisoners’ serious medical needs, and ensure that services meet generally accepted professional standards.

K. Sick call services and acute care will include adequate patient assessments, physical examinations, and treatment plans. Referrals to mid-level or advanced level providers will be made timely as clinically indicated.

L. All care provided will be properly documented in the medical record in accordance with community standards.

M. They will develop policies and procedures to provide sufficient operational guidance to staff providing health care services, including a written set of physician-approved nursing protocols;

N. They will maintain sufficient numbers of qualified health care professionals to meet prisoners’ medical needs and sufficient security staffing to ensure timely patient escorts to clinics. They will ensure that all persons providing medical treatment possess licensure and/or certification that permit them to practice within the State of Mississippi and that such persons practice only within the scope of their training and licensure.

O. Patients with chronic conditions will be seen in chronic care clinics at a frequency determined by their level of disease control. Treatment will be in accordance with nationally accepted clinical guidelines.

P. Patients will receive ordered medications timely and without interruption. Medications will be administered and documented in accordance with accepted nursing standards.

Q. Defendants will conduct quality improvement activities and adequate clinical performance reviews. All clinical staff will be properly supervised.

4. Defendants agree that on reasonable notice Plaintiffs and their experts will have unimpeded access to facilities, staff, inmates, and medical records at Mississippi State Penitentiary and any other MDOC facility to which Defendants transfer Presley class members for purposes of monitoring Defendants’ progress in correcting the alleged deficiencies in the delivery of medical and mental health care identified in paragraph 3 of this Agreement.

5. Within one year from the date of this Order, Plaintiffs may file a motion requesting that this case be restored to the Court’s active docket, based on the findings of Plaintiffs’ experts that Defendants have not substantially remedied the alleged deficiencies in medical and mental health care described in paragraph 3 of this Settlement Agreement. If the Plaintiffs file such a motion supported by the experts’ findings, the case will be restored to the Court’s active docket and the case will be set down for an evidentiary hearing on whether there exist current and ongoing violations with respect the Plaintiffs’ right to constitutionally adequate medical and mental health care.

6. If Plaintiffs do not file the motion described in paragraph 5 within the prescribed time period, or if the motion is filed but the Court finds after evidentiary hearing that there is no current and ongoing violation of Plaintiffs’ right to constitutionally adequate medical and mental health care, the case will be finally dismissed with prejudice.

7. The Court will retain jurisdiction of the case until it is finally dismissed pursuant to the terms of this Order, and to determine the reasonable amount of plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees, expert fees and costs, pursuant to Paragraph 18 of the original Consent Decree entered in this case on April 28, 2006.

CONSENTED TO:

/s/ Margaret Winter
Gabriel B. Eber
THE NATIONAL PRISON PROJECT OF THE ACLU FOUNDATION, INC.
915 15th Street, N.W., Seventh Floor
Washington, D.C. 20005
Tel. (202) 393-4930; fax (202) 393-4931
mwinter@npp-aclu.org

Stephen F. Hanlon
Laura Fernandez
HOLLAND & KNIGHT LLP
2099 Pennsylvania Avenue, N. W.
Washington, D.C. 20006
(202) 955-3000; fax (202) 955-5564

Robert B. McDuff
MS Bar No. 2532
767 N. Congress Street
Jackson, MS 39202
Tel. (601) 969-0802; fax (601) 969-0804
rbmcduff@mcdufflaw.com

MDOC COMMISSIONER:
_s/ Christopher B. Epps_______________
Christopher B. Epps

APPROVED AS TO FORM:
s/ Leonard C. Vincent________________
LEONARD C. VINCENT
MDOC GENERAL COUNSEL
MS BAR NO. 6615
Post Office Box 38
Parchman, Mississippi 38738
(662) 745-66ll, Ext. 2307
Fax: (662) 745-2959
lvincent@mdoc.state.ms.us

s/James M. Norris__________________
JAMES M. NORRIS
SPECIAL ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL
MS BAR NO. 3882
Post Office Box 36
Parchman, Mississippi 38738
(662) 745-66ll, Ext. 4159
Fax: (662) 745-2959
jnorris@mdoc.state.ms.us

Scott Watch: Unconstitutional Living Conditions

 Unconstitutional Living Condition ~ Unedited ~By Jamie Scott ~ Please Forward to Media Outlets
 
April 20, 2010
Jamie Scott # 19197
CMCF/2A-B-Zone
P.O. Box 88550
Pearl, MS 39288-8850

The living condition in quickbed area is not fit for any human to live in. I have been incarcerated for 15 years 6 months now and this is the worst I have ever experience. When it rain out side it rain inside. The zone flood like a river. The rain comes down on our heads and we have to try to get sheets and blankets to try to stop it from wetting our beds and personnel property. Because the floors are concrete and it have paint on it, it makes it very slippery when it rain and there have been numerous of inmates that have broke their arms and hurt there self do to this. Above our heads there are rows and rows of spiders as if we live in the jungle. There are inmates that have holds in there bodies left from spider bites, because once they are bitten it take forever to get to the clinic for any help. There are mold in the bathroom ceiling and around the walls and toilets. The toilets leak sewage from under them and they have the inmate men to come in and patch them up occasionally. The smell is awful. The showers are two circular poles with five shower heads on each pole. The floor in the shower is also concrete and slippery. There is nothing to hold on to when you exit the shower so there have been many inmates that have hurt there self in the process. Outside the building there is debirs where the unit is falling apart. Each day we are force to live in these conditions. The staph infection is so high and we are force to wave in toilet and sewage water when we have to go to the bathroom. I have witness to many inmates die at the hands of this second rate medical care. I do not want to be one of them. When this is brought to the health department or anyone attention. The MDOC tries to get the inmate to try to pamper it up so if someone comes in it want look as bad as the inmates said it did. I am fully aware that we are in prison, but no one should have to live in such harsh condition. I am paranoid of catching anything because of what I have been going throw with my medical condition. We are living in these harsh conditions, but if you go to the administration offices, they are nice and clean and smell nice because they make sure the inmates clean their offices each day. They tell us to clean the walls. Cleaning the walls will not help anything. Cleaning the walls will not stop the rain from pouring in. it will not stop the mold from growing inside the walls and around us. It will not stop the spiders from mating. They have 116 inmates on each wing, and we live not five feet from each other in order to pack us in. We have the blowers on the ceiling and if the inmates are acting crazy or the staff come in mad they use the blowers as a form of punishment. The taxes payers really are lead to believe we are been rehabilitated. That is a joke. All we do is sit in this infected unit and build up more hate. Rehabilitated starts within you. If you want to change you will change. One thing about MDOC, they know how to fix the paper work up to make it seen as if they are doing their job. You can get more drugs and anything else right here. I have witness a lot in my time here. Do I sound angry, I am not I am hurt and sick. Because they have allowed my kidney to progress to stage five which been the highest. They told me years ago I had protein in my urine, but I went years without any help. Now, it seen the eyes are on me because my family are on their case. Every inmate is not without family. Yes, you do have many inmates that family have giving up on, but my sister and I are not them. I do not want special attention; I want to treat, and to live how the state says on paper we are living. The same way when it is time for the big inspection we are promised certain food if we please clean up to pass this inspection. So I beg of anyone to please understand Mississippi Department of Correction is a joke. They will let you die or even kill yourself. We are told when visitors come into the prison do not talk to them. Well I have the right to talk to anyone and if the health department or anyone comes I will talk to him or her, because this is my life and I should or anyone else should be force to live like this. They use unlawful punishments to try to shut us up. I need help. I need a inmate to help me, but for some reason they will not allow me to move with my sister, so she can help me. There are mother and daughter, aunties, and nieces housed together and also there are a total of 12 inmates acting as orally for others inmates. I have all the names of the inmates acting as a orally if need to be giving. However, the subject of my sister is been danced around. A form of discrimination. My sister (Gladys Scott) and I were housed together for over ten years and not once have we ever caused any problem. We were spit up because in 2003 the Commissioner came with the order to separate all family members. Because its payback because my family is holding them accountable to do what they are paid to do. Also, do to the fact Mr. Daniels on it’s a New Day & Grassroots are keeping the supports inform that is been pointed out to me in a negative way. Now that I am sitting everyday because of my sickness I have time to use my typewriter. MDOC have gotten away with to much. In addition, some of the things that go on here I truly believe that Mr. Epps do not know.