Scott Watch: Mother and Child Reunions


An update from Sis Marpessa on the Scott Sisters. There’s something about love across generations that makes Hell hurt a little less. Blessings to Mrs. Rasco from Arizona – it’s going a little nuts in the streets here, but we’re still with you all. For everyone else, let’s get on all this before Monday – there are three concrete things listed that we can do right now to help.

Actually, skip the part below and head on over to the Free The Scott Sisters’ blog instead – there’s an awesome, soulful tune that comes up with the current page (hit the player to the left if it doesn’t start automatically). Listen to it as you read this update there, buy a t-shirt if you can, and put your brain to work again on how we’re going to get the State of Mississippi to free these women (and keep Jamie alive in the process).

Finally, if anyone out there is in or near Chicago in a couple of weeks we could use a hand – and a few good signs. I’m Peggy, and I’m posting this shout out all over the country – please contact us if you might be in a position to do an action there. My email is prisonabolitionist@gmail.com.

Enjoy the reunion…

—————————-

Greetings all,

Mrs. Rasco just returned from visiting with Jamie and Gladys and wanted everyone to have an update right away. Jamie no longer has evidence of infection and the boils that were on her body have cleared up. She is, however, still very weak and exhausted from her dialysis and at times during the visit was speaking while her eyes were closed. She told her mother that she wants and needs a kidney transplant.

Thanks to you supporters, Mrs. Rasco was able to get in to visit Gladys!

Mrs. Rasco said that Gladys was so happy to see her that she picked her up off of the ground and kissed her, to the delight of everyone in the visiting room! It was truly a beautiful moment. Gladys’ daughter, Courtney, was at first denied due to a claim that she was not on the visiting list. Thanks to the efforts of Sondra Humphrey, Director of MS CURE, Courtney was able to finally visit her mother the following day for one hour. Mrs. Rasco is very, very grateful for her
intervention.

The Scott Sisters are still in need of pro bono legal representation and we are asking for an individual, group or class to please help develop ideas for these women’s legal defense. This is incredibly their 16th year on this outrageous charge, the injury just grows each and every day that their lives are hijacked in that place and their children and grandchildren suffer without them.

1. Please purchase t-shirts to help with fund raising efforts!! We need folks to wear them to help raise awareness as we need everyone to begin talking about this case so that no one can say that they have not heard about it.

Visit http://www.radicaljack.com/scsit.html and get yours today!

2. Additionally, both women said that they have practically exhausted their commissary funds and anyone who wishes to donate to the women directly may send donations via http://www.inmatedeposits.com/ , register for Access Corrections and use each of their name and number to make your donation.

Jamie is #19197 and Gladys is #19142.

3. Ask Color of Change to feature the Scott Sisters at http://www.colorofchange.org/, and also copy and paste in an e-mail to: info@colorofchange.org.

Thank you! More updates will come soon!

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

Please continue to advocate on behalf of Jamie and Gladys Scott, their children and families need for them to return home alive, the time is NOW!

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

Christopher Epps
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)

Scott Watch: Mother and Child Reunions


An update from Sis Marpessa on the Scott Sisters. There’s something about love across generations that makes Hell hurt a little less. Blessings to Mrs. Rasco from Arizona – it’s going a little nuts in the streets here, but we’re still with you all. For everyone else, let’s get on all this before Monday – there are three concrete things listed that we can do right now to help.

Actually, skip the part below and head on over to the Free The Scott Sisters’ blog instead – there’s an awesome, soulful tune that comes up with the current page (hit the player to the left if it doesn’t start automatically). Listen to it as you read this update there, buy a t-shirt if you can, and put your brain to work again on how we’re going to get the State of Mississippi to free these women (and keep Jamie alive in the process).

Finally, if anyone out there is in or near Chicago in a couple of weeks we could use a hand – and a few good signs. I’m Peggy, and I’m posting this shout out all over the country – please contact us if you might be in a position to do an action there. My email is prisonabolitionist@gmail.com.

Enjoy the reunion…

—————————-

Greetings all,

Mrs. Rasco just returned from visiting with Jamie and Gladys and wanted everyone to have an update right away. Jamie no longer has evidence of infection and the boils that were on her body have cleared up. She is, however, still very weak and exhausted from her dialysis and at times during the visit was speaking while her eyes were closed. She told her mother that she wants and needs a kidney transplant.

Thanks to you supporters, Mrs. Rasco was able to get in to visit Gladys!

Mrs. Rasco said that Gladys was so happy to see her that she picked her up off of the ground and kissed her, to the delight of everyone in the visiting room! It was truly a beautiful moment. Gladys’ daughter, Courtney, was at first denied due to a claim that she was not on the visiting list. Thanks to the efforts of Sondra Humphrey, Director of MS CURE, Courtney was able to finally visit her mother the following day for one hour. Mrs. Rasco is very, very grateful for her
intervention.

The Scott Sisters are still in need of pro bono legal representation and we are asking for an individual, group or class to please help develop ideas for these women’s legal defense. This is incredibly their 16th year on this outrageous charge, the injury just grows each and every day that their lives are hijacked in that place and their children and grandchildren suffer without them.

1. Please purchase t-shirts to help with fund raising efforts!! We need folks to wear them to help raise awareness as we need everyone to begin talking about this case so that no one can say that they have not heard about it.

Visit http://www.radicaljack.com/scsit.html and get yours today!

2. Additionally, both women said that they have practically exhausted their commissary funds and anyone who wishes to donate to the women directly may send donations via http://www.inmatedeposits.com/ , register for Access Corrections and use each of their name and number to make your donation.

Jamie is #19197 and Gladys is #19142.

3. Ask Color of Change to feature the Scott Sisters at http://www.colorofchange.org/, and also copy and paste in an e-mail to: info@colorofchange.org.

Thank you! More updates will come soon!

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

Please continue to advocate on behalf of Jamie and Gladys Scott, their children and families need for them to return home alive, the time is NOW!

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

Christopher Epps
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)

911 Mississippi State Prisons

I found this article fascinating, albeit troubling as well. You really can’t take the American Correctional Association seriously as an accrediting agency now, seeing him at the helm after getting a great score. They don’t calculate prisoner mortality rates into their evaluations and equations, I guess. How can they have any accreditation at all? Don’t any of those ACA people have a clue about what was happening in Parchman? It ‘s as bad as what’s been going on in the prison Jamie and Gladys Scott have been buried in. Who do they think is responsible for all this if not him? Is the MDOC now the national gold standard for the ACA? That’s pathetic.

I wonder how many of those ACA people even care that this man was fired early in his career, back when he was a corrections officer, for violating the civil rights of an escapee as part of a group of MDOC staff who beat the guy senseless after apprehending him. That’s all according to court records easily enough located on the internet.

They got their jobs back after a fight (no big surprise) – and as we all know he went on to preside over one of the most brutal, negligent departments of corrections in the country. Under his watch, mortality rates among prisoners have skyrocketed to where Mississippi’s is the second highest in the nation. That has also occurred since Wexford took over the health care. I suspect it has something to do with whether or not they’re properly treating – or even bothering to prevent or screen for – illnesses like Hep C, Diabetes, and heart disease and their secondary complications.

I hope a team of investigative journalists or some top notch college students out there in Mississippi pick up on this and run with it – look at all those deaths and try to find out what caused them. Were they from chronic or acute illnesses? Were people getting adequate care or were their pleas for medical attention going unanswered? What’s the mortality rate in the prisons among dialysis patients? Is there a high incidence of Hep C infection among them (much non-IV drug transmission occurs through poorly maintained medical equipment, like dialysis machines. Do you think Wexford would even tell a patient if they ever got infected through dialysis? Do you think the MDOC would?)

What’s the prevalence of diabetes and complicating factors, like kidney disease, among Mississippi prisoners? How about among African American prisoners? I bet you’ll find that a lot of people are dying from illnesses like diabetes related to “lifestyle” (including things the prisons have total control over, like diet) or from secondary complications of disease processes that could have been manged – as in Jamie Scott’s case. I bet it’s pretty high among minority women in prison in particular. I think it’s pretty fair to say that prison life had a lot to do with her developing diabetes and severe kidney disease this early in life.

I have good reason for asking those questions. I was going to embed links that led to some of the answers, but I’ve already covered a lot of that ground – someone else needs to move this from blog to paper. Someone from Mississippi. There’s a whole prison full of women wiling and ready to talk – probably the men are, too. All they need is someone willing to listen and then do something with it.

In the meantime, think on this, America. The man who runs the Mississippi Department of Corrections just became the president of the American Correctional Association, which is supposed to be accrediting all of our jails and prisons. Think any prisoners in Mississippi are going to see justice now? Think any prisoners in ANY state will get what they need in terms of medical care from the directors who now look to him for leadership?

What a reflection of cowardice and self-interest on the part of the membership of the American Correctional Association (dominated and kind of sponsored by the private prison industry, by the way) to put that guy out as their president. Why would they choose him? Certainly not because of his stellar ethical foundation. But I guess every single one of them is knowingly letting people die, too, trying to keep them from making too much noise in the process. That’s what happens here in Arizona. I haven’t heard one prisoner rights activist from any state in the country say that their DoC director is a decent human being who takes full responsibility for the treatment of prisoners in his (her) custody.

I sure hope the Scott Sisters keep making noise, bringing what’s happening there to the world’s attention. We’ll try to keep amplifying your voices – and those of any other prisoners and family members who write to us – as much as possible. We’ve haven’t been posting a lot, but believe me, we’re still out here for you. We haven’t been fooled a bit…

This is from the end of May . The article was in the MS Digital Daily, which I believe is the state of Mississippi’s PR “news” line, not to be confused with a real journalistic venture. If I’m wrong about this being anything other than a press release for the MDOC – or if I’ve erred about facts in my remarks above – then please correct me by leaving a comment at the end of this article, and we’ll look into it. We can execute Troy Davis even if he’s factually innocent, but god forbid we lambaste an abusive man in power.

—————————————-

Mississippi Corrections Commissioner Christopher B. Epps Elected American Correctional Association President
posted by Baxter Cannada | 5/25/2010
By KENT CROCKER

Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Christopher B. Epps has been elected as president of the prestigious American Correctional Association. Commissioner Epps will be the 102nd president of the organization. The first ACA president was Rutherford B. Hayes. Hayes later became the nineteenth president of the United States.

The American Correctional Association (ACA), originally founded in 1870 as the National Prison Association, is an international organization of correctional administrators and professionals in various correctional disciplines. At the 1954 Congress of Correction in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the name of the American Prison Association was changed to the American Correctional Association. The organization is composed of more than 20,000 members from 60 countries. Approximately 450 Mississippians are members of the organization.

As ACA president, Commissioner Epps will head a major publishing operation. The ACA magazine Corrections Today is the leading correctional publication. It is accompanied by over 300 other ACA publications, training curricula and videos. The ACA is a primary source of training for correctional professionals. In recognition of the growing correctional health care profession, ACA also publishes Correctional Health Today.

Mississippi is a long term beneficiary of the ACA. Through the American Correctional Association accreditation program, under the leadership of Commissioner Epps, the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) has developed and or enhanced institutional programs, agency operating procedures and overall safety. This improvement is partially responsible for a decrease in recidivism from 34 percent 2003 in to the current 30 percent. Through the accreditation process, Mississippi became the 14th state to receive the ACA Eagle Award. The Eagle Award signifies that every aspect of a correctional agency that can be accredited has been accredited. Since Mississippi received the Eagle Award on August 11, 2008, one other state has received the award. Apart from the agency’s accreditation, several MDOC employees have become accredited through the ACA thus enhancing their value to the taxpayers of Mississippi.

Governor Barbour praised the Mississippi Department of Corrections, under the leadership of Commissioner Christopher Epps, for improvements in agency management and fiscal responsibility. Governor Barbour stated “It is a testimony to the leadership of the MDOC that the agency received full accreditation by an international association that Chris Epps later became president of, even while MDOC reduced its operating costs by more than $100 million during a 5-year period.”

(Interjection: I think this is the magic this man works, folks – cutting costs with lives.
It makes his boss real proud, too. -PA)


James Gondles, Executive Director of the American Correctional Association stated “In our rich and varied 140 year history only 102 women and men have been called to serve in the ACA Presidency. These leaders were the trail-blazers in our industry, the people with ideas to shape new plans for rehabilitation, to enhance public safety, and to turn offender lives around. Commissioner Epps has been called to lead and he certainly fits that pattern. We are excited about our future with President Elect Epps at the helm.”

Commissioner Epps states, “The American Correctional Association has provided me with the professional network to understand the approaches that are working in the other states and various member nations. This has been a valuable component in Mississippi’s endeavor to improve quality while reducing expenditures.” He went on to express his heartfelt appreciation for Governor Barbour’s support, the support of James Gondles, and for the membership of the ACA as a whole. He said, “In my 28 years in the Mississippi Department of Corrections and my 8 years as Commissioner of Corrections, I have always known my fellow employees as a second family and have never questioned their support. Each and every one of them knows that this wasn’t just an election of Chris Epps: It was recognition of the Mississippi Department of Corrections as the best corrections agency in the U.S. and the best state agency in Mississippi. As proud as my other family is of me, I am doubly proud of them.”

Day of Blogging for JAMIE – Make it every day!

I’m late again digging through my email box, folks, but still blogging on the Scott sisters every chance anyway. Thank God for the women keeping up this site when I’m not looking so we don’t get too far off track. Please help us engage other mainstream allies in Mississippi to address health care disparities and get some urgent assistance to both Jamie and her family so they can understand exactly what’s going on with her illness and care.

I hoped the Mississippi Kidney Foundation would play a role in facilitating some patient education, but I don’t think they’re helping us any. Maybe folks know of other organizations we should try. Write them as a concerned citizen; go ahead and use my appeal to the Kidney Foundation as a model if you want – and please send a copy of it to the Scott Sisters and Mississippi Prison Watch so we can post it publicly; it’s more likely to be read that way.

Peg (AZ Prison Watch)

—————–The following was sent out by Sis Marpessa on Wednesday night—————-


DAY OF BLOGGING FOR THE SCOTT SISTERS (THURSDAY March 18, 2010) ~ By Sis. Marpessa

Thanks to Bro. Yobachi of Black Perspective.Net for answering the call put forth by myself and Nancy Lockhart for a Day of Blogging for the Scott Sisters. 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.

Since that original call those closely following the case know that Jamie was recently rushed to the hospital due to severe infection and the need for prolonged medical attention.

Bro. Yobachi’s press release was slightly amended to reflect that Jamie continues to require ongoing close monitoring as once returned to the prison it has been proven on many occasions that are well documented at the website that the medical staff there has provided absymal health care that has put Jamie’s life at risk far too many times to be acceptable.

Below is Bro. Yobachi’s press release. The Chairwoman of theCommittee to Free the Scott Sisters is Mrs. Evelyn Rasco at rqueenbee2222@yahoo.com.


Thanks to all who will participate in this and help to raise the call to FREE THE SCOTT SISTERS throughout the blogosphere tomorrow and beyond!
———————-

From: http://www.facebook.com/l/ac49e;www.blackperspective.net/index.php/upcoming-day-of-blogging-for-scott-sisters/

Sis. Marpessa, who works with Mrs. Rasco, the Scott sister’s mother; has asked Afrosphere bloggers to conduct a day of blogging to help the wrongly convicted sisters specifically at this time of medical need.

Below is a preliminary press release for the Thursday March 18, Day of Blogging. It should provide the info you need if you’re not familiar with the situation or just need more details. You can also visit Mrs Rasco’s site: http://www.facebook.com/l/ac49e;www.freethescottsisters.blogspot.com.

For Immediate Release
Afrosphere Action Coalition – March 18, 2010
Contact: Marpessa Kupendua The of Committee to Free the Scott Sisters at nattyreb@gmail.com

Wrongly Convicted In Dire Health Situation
DAY OF BLOGGING FOR THE SCOTT SISTERS

Jamie Scott, who was convicted with her sister Gladys Scott and given double-life sentences each for an $11.00 robbery of which there was no credible evidence presented at trial, is suffering from complete kidney failure and other life-threatening medical conditions. The prison is aware of Jamie’s current condition yet Jamie remains in the prison infirmary.*

Mrs. Rasco and Afrosphere Bloggers are calling on the public to request that elected and prison officials in Mississippi immediately move Jamie to qualified medical facilities where she can receive proper medical care forthwith. We also ask that the media do investigative inquiry about this tragic situation and the outrageous case of the wrongfully convicted Scott Sisters!

CONTACT GOV. BARBOUR’S OFFICE
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)

CONTACT CHRISTOPHER EPPS
Christopher Epps, Commissioner of Prisons for the State of Mississippi
601-359-5600
CEPPS@mdoc.http://www.facebook.com/l/ac49e;state.ms.us
723 North President Street
Jackson, MS 39202

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

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.

The Scott Sisters are now in their 15th 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.

Their Story has had some success in getting media of late, the most notable being a very brief mention on HLN’s “Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell”, a clip of which is available to view here: http://www.facebook.com/l/ac49e;www.youtube.com/watch?v=yO_p3tbjy5E

*Although Jamie was recently hospitalized due to a life-threatening infection, she continues to require ongoing close monitoring as once returned to the prison it has been proven on many occasions that are well documented at the website that the medical staff there has provided abysmal health care that has put Jamie’s life at risk far too many times to be acceptable.

Scott Sisters still in need of legal representation.

A message from the Scott Sisters’ supporters. If anyone out there can help find an attorney who will or get an innocence program (or aspiring journalism class) in on this, it would alleviate a lot of the strain on the family.

———–
Subject: Attorney Chowke Lumumba Is NOT The Scott Sister’s Attorney

Please be advised that Attorney Lumumba previously represented the Scott Sisters and is not the attorney for Jamie and Gladys Scott presently. I’ve verified this information with Attorney Lumumba. He is currently assisting to acquire professional medical assistance for Jamie Scott in this emergency situation.

Our dear friends, Eady and Associates have listed Chowke Lumumba as The Attorney for The Scott Sisters within their blog talk profile and I’ve requested that Mr. McBride and Mr. Eady make that correction.

The Scott Sisters are currently in need of a criminal law attorney. Please also continue to make phone calls to the governor’s office and the media.

Nancy

————————
Also, sent in earlier today:
Greetings all,

Just received a call from Mrs. Rasco and she has finally made it to Mississippi. She said there are several inches of snow on the ground and she is waiting for some of it to get cleared out before she drives to the prison to see if the officials will let her in to see her daughters.  She is thankful to everyone and wants anyone  who wrote her to know that she is going to be there for the next few days and won’t be able to respond until she returns.

Will post any updates from Mississippi as they come in!

http://www.freethescottsisters.blogspot.com

Jamie Scott Petition for Compassionate Release

Hey folks,

Check out the link to the petition below. Sign it, and please pass it on to others.

——————–
Subject: 2/10/10 Update On Jamie Scott ~ Please Contact The Governor ~ By Sis Marpessa

PLEASE keep on blasting Governor Haley Barbour’s office! Jamie Scott was taken by ambulance to the hospital yesterday and returned to the prison thereafter and  we’ve been told that she is very severely depressed.  We have no official report on what was done to her there but believe that it could at the very least have included her having a dialysis treatment performed.  We have some important organizing updates to share, so please forward and ACT!

The Action Committee for Women in Prison just posted a BRAND NEW petition specific to getting compassionate release for Jamie Scott and we need to get as many people to sign on as quickly as possible, so please go to http://www.facebook.com/l/88ff7;tinyurl.com/yfrj5g6 and SEND IT TO OTHERS.

Peggy Plews of Mississippi Prison Watch did an outstanding appeal to the Mississippi Kidney Foundation at http://www.facebook.com/l/88ff7;mississippiprisonwatch.blogspot.com/2010/02/mississippi-kidney-foundation-appeal.html

 , which includes the following powerful statement:

“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.”  Check it out, she was very thorough!

The Women Behind the Wall blogtalk radio program hosted by Mary Ellen and Gloria on 2/9 provided a lot of education and insight from those who could personally testify to being sick inside of those hellholes and the lack of caring offered by the corporations which dole out what passes for medical care, some of which has to come directly from the inmates’ own pockets!  This program featured Mrs. Rasco and Shakeerah Abdul al-Sabuur, paralegal, and is archived at http://www.facebook.com/l/88ff7;www.blogtalkradio.com/4justicenow/2010/02/09/women-behind-the-wall?&utm_source=remail&utm_medium=listener

 

The fantastic San Francisco Bay View continues to be our leading print resource and has posted a wonderful new piece today at the site:  http://www.facebook.com/l/88ff7;www.sfbayview.com/2010/compassionate-release-for-jamie-scott/

 

We’ve added in a new link to the Govs’ assistant and ask that folks please CALL into the governor’s office for maximum effect, but additionally follow-up with e-mails, letters, faxes and anything possible.  Please do something rather than nothing at all!

Thank you so much, everyone!

http://www.facebook.com/l/88ff7;www.freethescottsisters.blogspot.com

 

———————

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.http://www.facebook.com/l/88ff7;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.http://www.facebook.com/l/88ff7;state.ms.us

 

723 North President Street
Jackson, MS 39202
——————–

Scott Watch: Mississippi – State of Grace?

This in from the Scott Sisters Campaign today. Consider forwarding a copy of the letter to the Kidney Foundation (below) on to the Governor, along with a letter support the Scotts’ petition.:
——————-
2/8 Addendum — Mrs. Rasco reports that the building Jamie is in has had no heat or hot water all weekend! Still no word of if/when she will be taken to the hospital.
————-
Greetings all,

Please continue to call and write to support the Scott Sisters and particularly Jamie Scott during this period of medical emergency. Specifically this week we are asking that a special focus be placed on COMPASSIONATE RELEASE for Jamie Scott through the governor’s office. As was reported on 2/5/10 the level of medical care that she is receiving in that prison is ATROCIOUS, she missed a dialysis treatment!, has a possibly infected and malfunctioning temporary catheter, and just prior to that went into shock due to malpractice on the part of the prison medical staff!

Jamie was told that she would be going back to the hospital for surgery to have a permanent shunt installed on Monday or Tuesday, but we don’t know that this will occur or if it will even be appropriately used given the circumstances surrounding the failures of the prison to properly care for her to date. The family and legal supporters are pressing to get Jamie released based on her frighteningly declining health ever since her initial imprisonment!

Executive Paralegal with Advocate Associates, Sis. Shakeerah Abdul al-Sabuur, has filed for Compassionate Release for Jamie and we need to request that Gov. Haley Barbour act on that and immediately release JAMIE SCOTT, #19197, from CMCF. He is under a budget crisis, has stated that releasing inmates from the prisons are a possibility, and has released inmates in the past. Jamie Scott must get the medical care that she needs to survive OUTSIDE of those prison walls! The link to the paperwork that was submitted is at http://www.scribd.com/doc/26252282/COMPASSIONATE-RELEASE-FOR-JAMIE-SCOTT.

The other contacts are definitely still very important, particularly mainstream media, but we absolutely must make certain that the governor’s office hears and reads from a whole lot of people to bolster the efforts of our legal advisers. PLEASE PASS THE WORD AND HELP TO LIGHT UP THAT OFFICE THIS WEEK!

Thank you so much, everyone!
———————
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)

Mississippi Kidney Foundation: Jamie Needs Help.

I’m not sure where the Mississippi Kidney Foundation is on all of this, but I bet they would be in there advocating for decent care for Jamie if they knew what was going on. I suspect canceling dialysis because the machine at the prison is broken is less than the constitutionally mandated standard of care afforded to even Mississippi’s prisoners. So, I’m sending copies of this post to them, with cc’s to the media. Here’s their address if anyone else is inspired to do the same. Maybe instead of just hammering the Department of Corrections, we could get them and the Mississippi Kidney Foundation to work together to improve this situation.

Mississippi Kidney Foundation
3000 Old Canton, Suite 110
Jackson, MS 39216

PO Box 55802
Jackson, MS 39296

Phone: 601-981-3611
Toll Free: 1-800-232-1592
Fax: 601-981-3612

——- 


this from the Scott Sisters campaign yesterday: 

—————

2/5 JAMIE SCOTT UPDATE!


Greetings all,

Jamie Scott got word out about 3:00 EST that she was told that her dialysis for today was cancelled because the machine at the prison was broken! As if that isn’t bad enough, she reports that her temporary catheter is full of blood and pus and appears to be infected. Of course she and her family are terrified of any complications happening to her as she is still suffering with extreme weakness and other ill effects from her serious medical condition.

Atty. Chokwe Lumumba visited Gladys and Jamie yesterday to collect data on Jamie’s physical treatment at the prison. He is presently exploring options on how to legally proceed with getting Jamie the medical care that she desperately needs.
~~~~~

Jamie also recently wrote a letter to her supporters, excerpts of which follow:

“First let me thank you for the prayers, strength and consideration you have displayed for me and my sister. This ordeal with my kidneys has truly broke me down. I am tired, but I know I cannot give up, because of my family and many supporters.

It was first determined that I had protein in my urine in 1997. Throughout the years it went uncured and untreated and I wasn’t hurting so I thought nothing of it. They would take tests and never receive results. I had a kidney biopsy done around 1997, but once again never received any results. My uterus fell and was removed in 2005. Once again, I never received results of tests on my kidneys.

Now what we must not do is lose our temper and make things worse. Please, you cannot call up here and use abusive language. That will not solve anything. About my dialysis treatments, I go Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The set up is inside a trailer.

It is hard and I want my life. The only thing as a whole we can do is try to get the Governor to do something right and release me and Gladys.

I want to thank each one of you for everything you have done.

— Jamie.”
~~~~

Mrs. Rasco did a wonderful Interview with Bro. JR of Block Report Radio/POCC on 1/22 when Jamie was first taken to the hospital, his interview is about 3/4 of the way thru the program at http://aud1.kpfa.org/data/20100128-Thu1700.mp3 . This was before we knew that Jamie had already been returned back to the prison that same day.

Mrs. Rasco is scheduled to be a guest on the Empowerment Hour Radio Show tomorrow 2/6 at 6pm EST, which is accessible at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/eadyassociates and anyone can call (646) 716-7472 to join in the conversation or just listen.

In light of this most recent emergency, we need to start ASAP on trying to get someone to assess and treat Jamie Scott. We need to contact the prison, governor’s office and as much mainstream media as we can! We have to put pressure on Mississippi to get Jamie the medical attention she needs and to get she and Gladys released from their unjust imprisonment! Thank you very much!
~~~~~~~~

BE DIRECT BUT PLEASE BE COURTEOUS

CLICK FOR PRISON/MEDIA/POLITICAL CONTACT LIST

Mississippi: Medical Neglect is a Violent Crime.

Original post from Free Marcia Powell. Sunday, January 24, 2010 (re-posted Mississippi Prison Watch February 6, 2010)

For anyone who’s just dropped in: Whoever you are, wherever you’re from, please stop for a moment. We’re asking you for maybe five minutes of your time a few days a week for the next little while to help change a family’s life. We aren’t even asking for money – maybe a few stamps or long distance phone calls. Just be a fellow human being who cares about what happens to them, and about justice. There’s evidence that these women were wrongly convicted, but regardless, I don’t see how anyone can read anything other than racism into a double-life sentence for an $11 robbery in which no one was hurt. That’s the penalty for claiming your innocence in America. The guys who really pulled it off got the deal.

As for the State of Mississippi: you should consider yourselves on notice that medical neglect has already been found to constitute cruel and unusual punishment in the case of prisoners in America. The suffering and neglect that Jamie Scott is experiencing now should really be litigated not only as a civil rights matter, but as a criminal assault on her as well. I frankly think her family has standing to sue the state for their prolonged agony, too. How do you compensate a child for taking their mother away from them for so many years? Or a mother for taking her daughters? How will you compensate them if you let her die, and then she’s exonerated?

Who, exactly, is Mississippi contending that it needs to protect from these women, anyway? You’re essentially threatening to execute a young woman who has a fairly convincing innocence claim out in the American public now. Her life is in your hands, and you say she’s not even worth enough to feed a medically-recommended diet to. That sounds to me like a violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act. You don’t want those people mad at you, too. They don’t like being discounted and left to die invisibly in any kind of institutions.

We say Jamie’s life is worth the special diet and more: her humanity is not what’s in question here: yours is. Medical neglect of this magnitude should constitute violent crime of the torture variety, and we doubt that Jamie is the only victim in your prisons. You are positioned kind of like an EMT standing over a woman whose life could be saved by the medicine you have in your hand, but you won’t administer it because it’s not on the formulary for the poor. One twisted rationale holds that it’s cheaper to let them die in medical crisis than to treat them properly for chronic, expensive conditions.  Besides, what value is a life that’s going to be spent in prison, anyway?

The relationships people have with each other in prison should never be underestimated; they will likely either help facilitate healing or cause more damage. There’s been much documentation about the harm done people in prison when they have little human contact. There’s also a whole lot on how prisoners have helped eachother. We are in no position to denigrate the relevance of one woman’s existence, even if she is buried for life – double life – under a mountain of State secrets and hidden behind concrete walls.

Prisoners often have only each other to turn to to help them survive what is an extraordinarily traumatic ordeal. Even if one isn’t among the many who end up being physically or sexually assaulted in the care of the state, there is the constant dehumanization, humiliation, stress, and threat of state and interpersonal violence in prison. It is like surviving a war zone; people there are the casualties and collateral damage of our economy, and we put many who have already been victimized in with serious predators. We put them into prison instead of hospitals or safe housing, where many might otherwise be.

Anyway, the contributions of lifers to others passing though their world can be of great value – I can think of a few people serving long sentences who have probably helped more than a handful of other prisoners leave prison more intact than they would be otherwise – which is a service to all of society.  Charisse Schumate is an example of just one woman who died in  prison saving the lives of fellow prisoners.

Of course, it would be much cheaper all the way around to send the Scott sisters home and let Jamie get community-based health care. Anyone who argues that they pose some kind of threat to society that justifies tens of thousands more dollars a year being spent on imprisoning them needs to take another look at who really endangers the American public: the real criminals all got bailouts last year, while the rest of us got laid off, driven into bankruptcy, and foreclosed on.

We all know that Jamie would not be seeking what should be lifesaving treatment in a prison trailer clinic if her family was wealthy. Socioeconomic class is not supposed to be the measure of the value of a person’s life, however – not by most religious or ethical standards; certainly not by Christian standards. Yet the State of Mississippi is able to imprison, bury and execute her (in that order) only because she is poor, and despite the lack of due process observed – due only upon receipt of payment, apparently – you consider her case to be closed and the sisters to be long since disposed of. 

This kind of punishment and execution was not part of Jamie’s sentence, though. Those of you who are prison bureaucrats and medical professionals involved in the process of denying prisoners health care: be prepared to defend your actions against the people you’ve hurt, or stand with us and help us change the way your system routinely chews up poor people of every color (and no color at all) and calls it justice.

Arizona does that too, of course. They all do. That’s why we’re rising everywhere in resistance when we see this kind of thing happening anywhere. We may not have a lot of say in states where we aren’t residents, but we’re citizens of the US, and each of us has a core group of activists and two US senators (as well as a handful of congress members) we can lobby, and Mississippi may well become an example of what’s wrong with “corrections” in America today, not what’s being done right.

If that’s not a fair characterization, we encourage you to correct us with a reply. Perhaps we’ll end up lobbying for federal funds to help your state implement reforms you’ve been dying to make – as long as they’re the kind of reforms which lead us away from this madness instead of reinforcing the very foundations of the prison industrial complex. We will not be collaborators with you, but we will invite you to collaborate with us.

But first you must do something about the Scott Sisters. Have you ever even faced their family? Have the Scott sisters left anyone’s family grieving for them like Mississippi has?

You can expect a furious new Prison Watch to emerge from the heart of Mississippi out of this, where even more volunteers will amplify the Scott family’s voice, and those of other men and women who have been forgotten, neglected and abused in your prisons. They will work to protect and liberate prisoners of the state, and organize around not only the conditions they are subject to, but also around these larger issues of racism, classism, and misogyny as they are expressed in your own piece of our massive prison industrial complex. Lawmakers and law enforcement in Mississippi cannot claim ignorance or suggest that this kind of abuse of women prisoners when it comes to their health care is an aberration – or exaggeration – any further.

The truth will pour out of there in story after story like this as prisoners and their families, and ex-prisoners and honest public servants begin to amplify their voices. All the political tools of mass manipulation about prisons, criminals, and justice will be dragged out for critical analysis by the people who know how the system really works, what really goes on inside, how it got to be this way, and what needs to be done to change things. That’s what happens in state after state, once the websites go up. I suspect more people realize they don’t have to be ashamed for being or loving a prisoner and standing up for their rights, and they finally begin to talk about things they’ve had to hide. it’s very healing, I think. You can be the enemy they’re being hurt by, or you can join our side.

Unless it becomes part of the solution – whereas now it is apparently an obstruction – this administration at the Mississippi Department of Corrections may end up being retired before the current governor. As far as we’re concerned (that would be the collective “we” of the “America the beautiful” that Mississippi is a part of), the citizens you have the most immediate and pressing duty to protect are the ones who are vulnerable precisely because they are in your custody. If you can’t protect them from your own staff, prisoners, and machinery, you sure can’t be trusted with the rest of the public’s safety.

Jamie needs to get the best care possible so she can live long enough for both her and Gladys to be exonerated or pardoned. Bad enough that the state is responsible for wrongful imprisonment; it may be best not make it wrongful death, too.

We will continue to report and respond to updates from the Scott family. This post goes to Mississippi’s elected officials and the DOJ, as well as media, to make sure they are all on notice. And, of course, it’s going out to all of our sister prison watches as well.

Let’s fire up Mississippi.

Margaret J. Plews
Arizona Prison Watch


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

Subject: SICKENING ROLLER-COASTER RIDE FOR JAMIE SCOTT!! ~ From Sis. Marpessa

SICKENING ROLLER-COASTER RIDE FOR JAMIE SCOTT!!

Mrs. Rasco was informed at 6:00 a.m. that Jamie Scott was returned to the prison infirmary after having been told that her body was full of toxins and that the medication she had been receiving at the prison contributed to the condition she is in today! In typical sadistic fashion, the prison told Jamie that they are not paying for her to have a special diet and that they will be moving her back to the horrible, leaky and moldy building where she was living.  As if all of that wasn’t bad enough, she was further informed that she will be taken to a trailer to receive dialysis instead of the hospital!

While Atty Jaribu Hill is working on legal support for Jamie, we MUST continue to advocate for her.  Mrs. Rasco wants us to flood the governor’s office as he has released inmates in the past who have been convicted of far worse crimes than which Jamie and Gladys are accused.  Mississippi is also making
deep budget cuts which have included discussions around the release of inmates, and there is no reason on this earth why Jamie Scott should continue to be locked down in her serious medical condition, it is cruel, inhumane, and DEADLY, she has many aggravating conditions, is severely depressed, and there must be COMPASSION!

If you work in the medical field please make that known when calling/writing so that it can be made plain that there are medical professionals aware of this prison’s culpability in this previously healthy young woman’s deterioration into such a serious condition, which they continue to downplay to this very moment!

We also continue to feel strongly that if we could put the light of mainstream media on this case that it would make a huge difference. PLEASE include calls and e-mails to the media.  If you’re from overseas, please make sure that they know that fact.

Thanks again to you all, we have an enormous fight on our hands and we need all of the help we can get!  We know that they expect us to give up, but we must push even harder!


JAMIE SCOTT, #19197, IS SUFFERING CRUEL AND INHUMAN PUNISHMENT!

BE DIRECT BUT PLEASE BE COURTEOUS

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)

(FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ANY AND ALL MAJOR MEDIA YOU HAVE INFORMATION FOR, DON’T BE LIMITED BY THESE LISTINGS AT ALL!)

MISSISSIPPI MEDIA:

WLBT
(601) 960-4426 newsroom
(601) 355-7830 newsroom fax
http://www.facebook.com/l/c6f0f;www.wlbt.com/Global/story.asp?S=241208&nav=menu119_8_8
“Stribling, Wilson” <wstribling@wlbt.com>, ( Asst News Director )

WAPT TV
calling 601-922-1607. To report news tips, call 601-922-1652.
to submit news to the MGR, news anchor or anyone use this link
http://www.facebook.com/l/c6f0f;www.wapt.com/contact/index.html

WJTV
Phone: (601) 372-6311
Fax: (601) 372-8798
http://www.facebook.com/l/c6f0f;www2.wjtv.com/jtv/online/site_information/contacts/

FOX40
601-922-1234
http://www.facebook.com/l/c6f0f;www.my601.com/content/contactus/default.aspx

GENERAL MEDIA:

NBC News
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, N.Y. 10112
Phone: (212) 664-4444
Fax: (212) 664-4426

CBS FEEDBACK FORM: http://www.facebook.com/l/c6f0f;www.cbs.com/info/user_services/fb_global_form.php
CBS NEWS
524 W. 57 St., New York, NY 10019
Phone: 212-975-4321
Fax: 212-975-1893

ABC NEWS CONTACT FORM: http://www.facebook.com/l/c6f0f;abcnews.go.com/Site/page?id=3271346&cat=Good%20Morning%20America
ABC NEWS
77 W. 66 St., New York, NY 10023
Phone: 212-456-7777

CNN NEWS TIP FORM: http://www.facebook.com/l/c6f0f;www.cnn.com/feedback/tips/newstips.html
CNN
One CNN Center, Box 105366, Atlanta, GA 30303-5366
Phone: 404-827-1500
Fax: 404-827-1784

Joe Madison: Joe.Madison@xmradio.com

Geraldo Rivera:  atlarge@foxnews.com

USA Today
7950 Jones Branch Dr., McLean, VA 22108
Phone: 703-854-3400
Fax: 703-854-2078

Associated Press
450 West 33rd St., New York, NY 10001
Phone: 212-621-1500
Fax: 212-621-7523
General Questions and Comments: info@ap.org

Dr. Gloria Perry, Medical Department (601) 359-5155
gperry@mdoc.http://www.facebook.com/l/c6f0f;state.ms.us

Margaret Bingham, Superintendent of Central Mississippi Corrections Facility
(601) 932-2880
mbingham@mdoc.http://www.facebook.com/l/c6f0f;state.ms.us
FAX: (601) 664-0782
P.O. Box 88550
Pearl, Mississippi 39208

Christopher Epps, Commissioner of Prisons for the State of Mississippi
601-359-5600
CEPPS@mdoc.http://www.facebook.com/l/c6f0f;state.ms.us
723 North President Street
Jackson, MS 39202

Emmitt Sparkman, Deputy Commissioner
(601) 359-5610
esparkman@mdoc.http://www.facebook.com/l/c6f0f;state.ms.us

Congressman Bennie Thompson
Washington, D.C. Office
2432 Rayburn HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515
(202) 225-5876
(202) 225-5898 (Fax)


Jackson, Mississippi Office
3607 Medgar Evers Blvd
Jackson, MS 39213
(601) 946-9003
(601)-982-5337 (Fax)
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings
Washington Office
2353 Rayburn Office Building
Washington D.C. 20515
Tel: (202) 225-1313
Fax: (202) 225-1171

Congressman Jeff Miller
Washington D.C.
2439 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-4136
Fax: (202) 225-3414
Toll Free Phone Number to District Office
Pensacola, Florida
Phone: 866-367-1614