How to Request a CRIPA Investigation.

Wrote this letter to the section head at the DOJ in their Civil Rights Division in response to concerns about Jamie Scott, a dialysis patient in Mississippi whose health is deteriorating quickly. I have evidence that not only is she not receiving adequate medical care, such as the case with other Mississippi prisoners – which makes it a pattern of possible civil rights violations, not just an incident. That means the DOJ has to investigate. 

Am posting his letter here because we all need to know how to do this when confronted with evidence of a pattern of abuse/medical neglect resulting in the denial of civil rights for institutionalized persons. I also need your back-up: even a post-card to the DOJ echoing the request for a CRIPA investigation of Mississippi’s DOC could help.

Access to health care is a constitutionally guaranteed right for prisoners; the problem is that the health care they end up getting, if any at all, is always on the cheap, “saving” the state money (profiting legislators who invest in private prisons) or profiting private industry directly. So, the standards are what we will really end up fighting for.

Anyway, in response to the SOS from Jamie’s mom, I called the warden’s and governor’s offices in Mississippi this weekend, then yesterday put together a packet of current reports from Jamie’s prison to send off with this to the Department of Justice, requesting a CRIPA (Civil Rights for Institutionalized Persons) investigation complaining about health care, using both Jamie’s and a few other documented examples of neglect/extreme indifference to prisoner health and welfare. It seems I did that once already, but may not have done so quite so officially. 

So, here’s how to request a CRIPA investigation, as far as I know. The more people who do this and the more sources of information we have about conditions, the more likely it is that the DOJ will follow up and clean house at the MDOC.

Send the Free The Scott Sisters campaign emails with copies of letters you write on Jamie’s behalf for their records. Following the CRIPA request letter is the info from Jamie’s mom that went into my packet, regarding prison conditions and retaliation.


Margaret J. Plews
Arizona Prison Watch
1809 East Willetta Street
Phoenix, AZ  850o6
April 20, 2010
Judy Preston, Chief
US Department of Justice
Special Litigation Section
950 Pennsylvania Ave NW  PHB
Washington, DC 20530
Dear Chief Preston;
Enclosed is some documentation regarding health care in Mississippi’s state prison system. The dramatic change in inmate mortality alone should have alerted your office and triggered an investigation – please don’t delay starting one any longer. The conditions are horrendous, people are dying for lack of adequate medical care, and patients seem to be completely left in the dark about their own illnesses, treatment, prognosis, etc. I believe their civil rights are being violated routinely with grave consequence. The enclosed account of retaliatory behavior on the part of the prison for Mrs. Rasco’s activism troubles me, too. We need you folks in there ASAP or her daughter, Jamie, is going to die before she’s exonerated.
A wealth of additional documentation about the medical services in the CMCF can be found at , or . The welfare of Mississippi’s most vulnerable population – their prisoners, including Mrs. Rasco’s girls – is in your hands. Please at least read up on the blogs and see what we’re seeing; I don’t know how you all could not know what’s going on there. I’m getting mail from other women complaining about medical services in that particular facility, too, and expect more within the next couple of weeks. They are resisting their shoddy treatment, and writing and talking about it – there’s no better time than now to go in there…
Please let me know if your office will be following up on this complaint with a CRIPA investigation, or referring it to a more appropriate department for follow-up. Without question, though, we need some kind of federal intervention in Mississippi now. I may be asking for help in Arizona, next, but first things first.
Thank you for your time and attention.
Margaret J. Plews
Prison Abolitionist

The mold on the walls and leaking sewage in Mississippi’s prisons

The warden is responsible for living conditions and health care for the prisoners. Now clean up the mold and leaking in these units! Healthcare now!

Jamie Scott called her mother this morning and informed
her that Warden Holman woke her from sleep, demanding
to know what her mother was posting on the internet
regarding mold on the walls and leaking in her unit.
She got up and showed him the mold all over the walls
as well as sewage that was coming up out of the toilets
and the spiders overrunning the unit.

The warden then told Jamie (who only has the use of one
arm) to scrub down the walls, to which she refused! Jamie
told him that her mother is posting the truth and would
continue to post about the disgusting conditions of the unit
and how it was making her sicker and more prone to
infection, and that all of those years of mold would need
more than scrubbing anyway. She told him if she was
allowed to lay there and die that he hasn’t seen anything
yet and would never hear the last of her mother!

The other women were awakened by the Warden and told
to scrub the mold off of the walls and they also refused!
They told the Warden that they were glad that everybody
is finding out about their horrible living conditions and that
the building needs to be torn down! No matter how the prison
tries to hide it, the truth will continue to be told!

One prison doctor has diagnosed Jamie with an infection
and another has not, but she has the discoloration that
is a hallmark of recurrent infection. She clarified that
it was determined that she was only on Heparin while in
the hospital and that it had been discontinued.

PLEASE PARTICIPATE in e-mailing our press release to at
least three press contacts as often as possible! It’s at:

Many newspapers can be reached by e-mail or contact form
at – please also contact other forms of media that you can easily find info for.
We need a whole lot of help to attract as much attention to this case as
possible to truly make a difference!

Thank you all, don’t let up!!

Visit and LINK to:
Subscribe to our group: Send a blank e-mail to and share information!
Facebook Group: Free The Scott Sisters
Facebook Fan Page: Free The Scott Sisters
Free the Scott Sisters Petition:
Press Release:
Case Summary:
Free the Scott Sisters Flyer:
Legal Transcripts:

SCOTT Watch: Cruel and Unusual. Hospitalize Jamie Now.

This is really disturbing. If you land on this page, contact someone below for help for Jamie – don’t just leave it to others. We need everyone on this.


Jamie is still on the regular prison unit, she is not in the infirmary, nor has she been moved to the hospital. She is tired, weak, and ill. She has been vomiting at least twice a day and yesterday she vomited four times and has not been able to keep anything down. A possible cause mentioned involves phosphates, but the prison refuses to carry out the necessary blood test nor provide her with the proper nutrition indicated for dialysis patients as their care is notoriously cut-rate!

Her left arm, where the shunt is placed, is painful with lack of mobility and she has not been followed up by a doctor regarding that surgery as of this time. She received dialysis yesterday via the catheter in her groin and was given Heparin to insure that the catheter would not clog, however no mention has been made of the green pus or prior bleeding. She also is restarting insulin today and is on blood pressure medicine. It has been Jamie’s past experience that mismanagement of her medications has contributed to her illnesses many times.

Jamie needs to be released so that her family can follow-up with proper care for her. We have a vote of NO CONFIDENCE in the prison medical system and believe that she will die in there if she is not released! She’s in end stage kidney failure and is being housed in a unit where there is mold and leaking water whenever it rains and is a breeding ground for infection. Jamie should be in the Medical Bldg. where her sister, Gladys, can care for her or better yet be hospitalized until she is completely stable. In fact, Jamie and Gladys have no business in that prison to begin with!

Many have asked about Gladys, as you can well imagine her prior depression has taken a downturn in her constant distress about her sister’s rapidly declining condition. She has also lost considerable weight in  worrying about Jamie’s issues as well as her own unjust incarceration and all that entails.

She definitely could use a card or a letter, as could Jamie, although Jamie’s address fluctuates:

Gladys Scott, #19142
P.O. Box 88550
Pearl, MS 39288-8550

Jamie Scott, #19197
P.O. Box 88550
Pearl, MS 39288-8550

We need everyone to use your contacts and networks to make something happen for these women. Please stretch out and send the press release, case summary, and flyer links out to everyone you know, post them to websites, blogs, radio stations, newspapers, magazines, everywhere there
is an audience to view it. Please sign, help distribute and mail-in the letter at the website to Chokwe Lumumba’s office in the 10,000 letters campaign. We really you all to do whatever you can do to help us get the word out and to take initiatives on behalf of these women. We need to pump this up like never before. Let’s try our very best to make sure that everyone we can think of is aware of this case.

Thank you all! Keep the pressure on!

More updates will be sent out as soon as they come available.

Christopher Epps, Commissioner of Prisons for the State of Mississippi
723 North President Street
Jackson, MS 39202

Emmitt Sparkman, Deputy Commissioner
(601) 359-5610

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

Dr. Gloria Perry, Medical Department (601) 359-5155

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)

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


A complete list of politicians to send Scott Sisters info to is at:

A complete list of the media that we have listed (feel free to send to any others that
you wish to!) is at

Wexford , Mississippi & Jamie Scott: Cruel and Unusual Health Care.

from the day of Blogging (March 25) for Jamie Scott at Mother Jones.
Thank you both for being in on this one:


Mother     Jones

Cruel and Unusual Health Care

How Mississippi prisoner Jamie Scott’s life sentence could turn into a death sentence.

[15] 2011 Budget Presentation.pdf
[26] Board Parole.htm

BLACK WOMEN’s Defense League: Press Conference Today.


PRESS CONFERENCE: Official “Kick Off” for

“The DIRECT ACTION National Campaign To

FRIDAY MARCH 26, 2010 12 noon

400 High St. JACKSON, MS

For more information e-mail:
Call The Black Women’s Defense League @267-636-3802

Official and National Million Woman March & Universal Movements
Black Women’s Defense League Unit
P.O. Box 53668
Philadelphia, PA 19105

BLACK WOMEN’s Defense League: Press Conference Today.


PRESS CONFERENCE: Official “Kick Off” for

“The DIRECT ACTION National Campaign To

FRIDAY MARCH 26, 2010 12 noon

400 High St. JACKSON, MS

For more information e-mail:
Call The Black Women’s Defense League @267-636-3802

Official and National Million Woman March & Universal Movements
Black Women’s Defense League Unit
P.O. Box 53668
Philadelphia, PA 19105

Scott Watch: International Day for Abolition and Blogging for Freedom.

I’ve been MIA, folks. Actually, I’m still in action – just otherwise occupied with things off-line. Blogging from Conspire today since my internet has been down since Monday morning. The folks here are pretty decent (it’s an anarchist hangout). I may well be here tomorrow, too, blogging for the Scotts, now that I’m back.

FYI (more on this later) – tomorrow is also the “International Day for the Commemoration of the Abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade” (that’s just a little history). Since there are direct links between plantations and prisons, the end of slavery and the enslavement of prisoners in America , Jim Crow and felon dis-enfranchisement laws, and the institution of slavery and persistent racial and economic inequalities, it seems appropriate to blog that day for the Scott Sisters – as well as for the awesome women who have been anchoring this campaign, including their Mom, Mrs. Rasco.

So, remember the day, tomorrow, in honor of those who have passed in the streets, in shelters, and in prison while fighting for human liberation, and out of respect and gratitude for those who fight on with everything to lose – including those who end up in our prisons on this journey…disproportionately the poor and people of color, ironically.

That’s got be something like being drafted into the Vietnam War. You go or they take you, and you don’t get back home until they’re done with your body; no guarantees you’ll still be alive. We need to be watching prisoners’ backs more closely, now, addressing their and their families’ trauma, and getting them out as soon as we can.




Sis. Terry Howcott answers this call as only she can, please check out “SCOTT SISTERS ARE US” right now at;
and be inspired!!

Please send your blog URL’s to so that they can be acknowledged,
help to make the Scott Sisters case one that no one can say they’ve not heard of, together we can save the life of Jamie Scott and free she and Gladys from their 16 years in that prison hellhole!!


Thanks to the many excellent bloggers who participated in our initial Day of Blogging for the Scott Sisters on 3/18!! The notices didn’t reach everyone in a timely manner and so we are happy to announce a new date for bloggers to unite around this case of Mississippi injustice and particularly to intervene in the prison’s medical malpractice being suffered by Jamie Scott!

In early January both of Jamie Scott’s kidneys shut down and she has been swiftly declining due to unprofessional medical care that is inadequate, cut-rate and frighteningly inept. Jamie was rushed to the hospital last week due to severe infection
and the need for prolonged medical attention. However, Jamie continues to require ongoing close monitoring as when she is returned to the prison it is well documented that the medical staff there has provided abysmal health care in filthy conditions that have put Jamie’s life at risk far too many times to be acceptable. Jamie needs to be released from prison, period!

We ask that bloggers put out calls for students, clubs, churches/temples/mosques, organizations, creative artists, media, politicians, community leaders, journalists, etc. to
become aware of the case of the Scott Sisters and to make certain that all of their contacts are informed, as well. There is something that each person can do and we need to get Jamie home while she still has time to be with her family!

Thanks to all who will participate in this and help to raise the call to FREE THE SCOTT SISTERS throughout the blogosphere 3/25 and beyond! In the spirit of International Women’s Month, please support our women! Please send notification of any blog postings to!

In conjunction with:;

For Immediate Release Afrosphere Action Coalition – March 22, 2010

Contact: Marpessa Kupendua of the Committee to Free the Scott Sisters at

Wrongly Convicted In Dire Health Situation

On 12/24/93, the Scott County Sheriff’s Department arrested Jamie and Gladys Scott for armed robbery even though three young males, ranging from ages 14 to 18, confessed to committing the crime and the women have unwaveringly maintained their complete innocence. Despite this, the corrupt Mississippi sheriff used coercion, threats, and harassment to compel the young men to turn state’s evidence against the Scott Sisters due to a long-standing vendetta against a family member. In 10/94 the Scott Sisters were sentenced to extraordinary double-life terms each, despite the facts that no one was harmed, neither sister had prior convictions, no weapon was ever recovered, and the amount alleged to have been taken was approximately $11.00. Even if they were guilty as charged, this sentence is completely outrageous and cruel.

Jamie Scott, who entered the prison system as a healthy young woman, is now suffering from complete kidney failure and other life-threatening medical conditions. Since January, 2010 Jamie has endured almost weekly severe health setbacks that the state has either outright refused to address or handled in a slipshod manner. Jamie has had weeks of serious infections that could have taken her life, has gone into shock, been given sporadic dialysis treatments, and suffered the state’s refusal to provide her with adequate nutrition as required for her serious medical condition.

The Scott Sisters are now in their 16th year of incarceration and their five children and grandchildren are being raised by their now ailing mother. The defendants and their family are wholly dependent on support from the press, organizations, and all those dedicated to justice in making this debacle as public as possible. The lengthy incarceration of these women to date and their draconian sentences are completely shocking and must be challenged, enough is enough!

Mrs. Rasco and Afrosphere Bloggers are calling on the public to press the governor’s office to pardon the Scott Sisters and release them, particularly Jamie who needs to be at home with her family during her very serious illness. Please ask that the media and politicians do an investigative inquiry about this tragic situation and the outrageous case of the wrongfully convicted Scott Sisters!

Jamie’s Mom Denied Visitation.


Dr. Gloria Perry at CMCF where Jamie Scott is an inmate just denied her mother, Mrs. Rasco, her three children and her two grandchildren from coming to visit Jamie this weekend. All six were denied by this doctor even though she knows they’re highly upset at what’s happening to Jamie and are extremely anxious to see her, and now with this surprise are even more worried than before!

Mrs. Rasco asks that everyone contact her office and ask why she is denying Jamie visitation with her family during such a critical time:

(601) 359-5155

Thank you!