Summer Heat Kills Inmates in Prisons, and That Needs to Change

From: University of Texas – Austin

June 26, 2014

By Ariel Dulitzky, Director of the Human Rights Clinic; Alex Goeman & Samantha Chen, Students of the Human Rights Clinic

Searing heat and suffocating humidity levels are upon us here in the Southern states. In Texas, residents know that summers are brutal, but while we may be proud of our ability to withstand such extreme conditions, that cold blast of air conditioning when we walk indoors is a welcome respite from the heat outside. In fact, prolonged exposure to temperatures as low as 90 degrees Fahrenheit, when combined with high humidity levels, can put even the healthiest individuals in extreme danger. Despite knowing of these dangers, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) has declined to provide air conditioners in most inmate housing areas, or even to set maximum temperature standards in these areas. This needs to change.

Every summer, the TDCJ subjects its prisoners to deadly temperature and humidity levels, and violates prisoners’ human and constitutional rights and their rights to health, life and dignity. Some note that many law abiding Texans do not have air conditioning in their homes. However, these individuals have the freedom and capability to escape deadly summer heat by entering air-conditioned buildings such as libraries or movie theaters. They can take showers and drink water as many times as they want. TDCJ inmates, on the other hand, spend much of their time locked in enclosed concrete and metal structures, where temperatures often exceed 100 degrees during the summer months.

As we noted in our report “Deadly Heat in Texas Prisons,” at least 14 heat-related deaths have been documented at TDCJ facilities since 2007. Many of these inmates had pre-existing health conditions or were taking medications that rendered them heat-sensitive, yet the TDCJ did not properly provide cooled living areas. While the TDCJ uses ventilation and fans indoors, these measures do not protect against heat illnesses in high temperatures and humidity. To the contrary, fans can accelerate heat-related illnesses in such conditions.

Read more at: http://www.utexas.edu/know/2014/06/26/summer-heat-kills-inmates-in-prisons-and-that-needs-to-change/

Prison Health News: Get It

Dear friends and colleagues,

After a few years break, Prison Health News is back and better than ever — with four extra pages of health care and advocacy information in each issue, and a network of over 2,000 subscribers and contributors in prisons and jails across the country.


In 2001, Prison Health News was launched to meet a critical need for information written by and for people who have been in prison or are currently behind the walls. Our readers are living inside a system that denies them prevention tools and treatment information about HIV, hepatitis, and other health issues. They are dealing with medical neglect, daily humiliations driven by intense stigma, and the destruction of their communities by mass imprisonment. Prison Health News works to build community across the prison walls that divide us.


Now a joint project of the Institute for Community Justice and Reaching Out: A Support Group with Action, each Prison Health News issue is produced by a Philadelphia-based collective of writers and editors, most of whom have been in prison and are living with HIV. Through our collaboration with the Philadelphia FIGHT AIDS Library, we are able to answer the many letters to us from people in prisons and jails asking for resources and health information. We also work in partnership with organizations across the country who assist with distribution, support and advocacy for people incarcerated in their cities and states. Contact one of our Resource Partners to get involved in your local area!


Our relaunch issue features:


  • From the Crack House to the White House – on the inspirational journey of one PHN writing collective member from her incarceration to her involvement in national and international advocacy work

  • Hearts on a Wire – on the work of a Philadelphia-based collective fighting alongside trans folks in the prison system and those coming home for justice, dignity and respect.

  • Staying Safe and Healthy in Prison – on the basics of HIV prevention in correctional settings, based on a Roll Call presentation conducted every June in the Philadelphia Prison System

You can view Issue 8 online. You can also download a printable version of Issue 8, formatted for double-sided photocopying.

Prison Health News: Get It.

Dear friends and colleagues,

After a few years break, Prison Health News is back and better than ever — with four extra pages of health care and advocacy information in each issue, and a network of over 2,000 subscribers and contributors in prisons and jails across the country.


In 2001, Prison Health News was launched to meet a critical need for information written by and for people who have been in prison or are currently behind the walls. Our readers are living inside a system that denies them prevention tools and treatment information about HIV, hepatitis, and other health issues. They are dealing with medical neglect, daily humiliations driven by intense stigma, and the destruction of their communities by mass imprisonment. Prison Health News works to build community across the prison walls that divide us.


Now a joint project of the Institute for Community Justice and Reaching Out: A Support Group with Action, each Prison Health News issue is produced by a Philadelphia-based collective of writers and editors, most of whom have been in prison and are living with HIV. Through our collaboration with the Philadelphia FIGHT AIDS Library, we are able to answer the many letters to us from people in prisons and jails asking for resources and health information. We also work in partnership with organizations across the country who assist with distribution, support and advocacy for people incarcerated in their cities and states. Contact one of our Resource Partners to get involved in your local area!


Our relaunch issue features:


  • From the Crack House to the White House – on the inspirational journey of one PHN writing collective member from her incarceration to her involvement in national and international advocacy work

  • Hearts on a Wire – on the work of a Philadelphia-based collective fighting alongside trans folks in the prison system and those coming home for justice, dignity and respect.

  • Staying Safe and Healthy in Prison – on the basics of HIV prevention in correctional settings, based on a Roll Call presentation conducted every June in the Philadelphia Prison System

You can view Issue 8 online. You can also download a printable version of Issue 8, formatted for double-sided photocopying.

Dying inside: The elderly in prison


Plan to spend about 20 minutes weeping, if you tune into this documentary on aging in US prisons. Thank you, Jeremy Young and Al Jazeera.

———————-from Al Jazeera—————————-

Our program has aired and is finally up online—it is titled “Dying Inside: Elderly in Prison”. Here is the link to the show, please let me know your thoughts and feedback:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xvqj8hgxRfg


If you toggle the settings on you tube from 360 to 720 and you have a strong internet connection the quality of the video is very vivid. Please feel free to share the video with whomever.

Many thanks to all of those people that helped us out along the way….your contributions are greatly appreciated!

Jeremy Young

Al Jazeera English- The Americas

1627 K Street, 11th Floor

Washington, D.C. 20006

Work- 202.496.4543

Cell- 202.651.1632

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.

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.

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!

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