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.

———————————-freethescottsisters.blogspot.com—————–

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
CMCF/B-Bldg.
P.O. Box 88550
Pearl, MS 39288-8550

Jamie Scott, #19197
CMCF/2A-B-Zone
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
601-359-5600
CEPPS@mdoc.state.ms.us
723 North President Street
Jackson, MS 39202

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

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

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

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

PLEASE CONTACT POLITICIANS AND MEDIA

A complete list of politicians to send Scott Sisters info to is at:
http://www.commoncause.org/siteapps/advocacy/search.aspx?c=dkLNK1MQIwG&b=4860375

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


http://nancylockhart.blogspot.com

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.

———————————-freethescottsisters.blogspot.com—————–

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
CMCF/B-Bldg.
P.O. Box 88550
Pearl, MS 39288-8550

Jamie Scott, #19197
CMCF/2A-B-Zone
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
601-359-5600
CEPPS@mdoc.state.ms.us
723 North President Street
Jackson, MS 39202

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

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

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

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

PLEASE CONTACT POLITICIANS AND MEDIA

A complete list of politicians to send Scott Sisters info to is at:
http://www.commoncause.org/siteapps/advocacy/search.aspx?c=dkLNK1MQIwG&b=4860375

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


http://nancylockhart.blogspot.com

Scott Watch: They’d better stop messing with Mrs. Rasco’s kids…

Celebrate the Commemoration of the Abolition
of the Transatlantic Slave Trade:


ABOLISH THE PRISON INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX!!
—————–


This is pretty extraordinary, what’s going on at MDOC. Kind of makes me feel grateful for Arizona.

Keeping both Jamie and her family ignorant of her condition seems to be medical malpractice, with malicious intent (the intent of compromising a patient’s welfare to protect the welfare of an institution’s image – that being the image Wexford and the MDOC want to project…). I just don’t buy their assessments: why else do all these outside doctors disagree with them?

The Kidney Foundation could make such a difference in the quality of care Jamie’s getting and the access her family has to her and her medical staff, with just a little diplomacy.

——————

Subject: Jamie Scott Rushed Back To Prison So Mother Could Not Visit Hospital

3/25 SCOTT SISTERS UPDATE!

NOTE: If reading this before 10:00 a.m. EST or 9am CST on 3/25, please tune into http://www.facebook.com/l/c3cc4;www.wjzd.com for a Scott Sisters update from Mrs. Rasco on the Rip Daniels “It’s a New Day” (http://www.facebook.com/l/ c3cc4;www.itisanewday.com) show. Rip Daniels is a very dedicated supporter who starts each show off at 10 a.m. daily counting down how long Jamie and Gladys have been wrongfully locked down and tormented in that prison and will even discuss the case during some mornings on his program, so please check in as regularly as you can.

Mrs. Rasco and her entire family are in Mississippi to visit Jamie and Gladys as well as to participate in the 3/26 MWM/BWDL Press Conference scheduled for 12 noon in front of the Jackson, MS Capitol Bldg. at 400 High St. The organization is asking for letters
of support for their campaign by 12 midnight 3/25 to be sent tonationalmwm@aol.com or officialmwm@yahoo.com For more info call: 267-636-3802.

Jamie has been in the hospital since 3/15 with a very serious infection, severe weakness, extreme pain and swelling. Jamie stated that she was “kicked out” of the hospital on Tuesday to prevent Mrs. Rasco from coming in and asking questions, in fact an extra guard was placed there to make certain that Mrs. Rasco didn’t come in there to see her. Jamie told Mrs. Rasco that she couldn’t believe how her 4′ tall momma caused so much worry among those prison officials!

She was abruptly moved to her old cell in the prison to await the visit with her mother and family to take place Wednesday for an hour, after which her family was to visit with Gladys for an hour. However, the Assistant Warden met them at the entrance and stated that some of the children weren’t on the list to come in. After much wrangling and his personally searching the young men he permitted everyone to visit both women together BUT for one hour total, which actually ended up being less than an hour due to all of the wasted time spent being searched and with the Asst Warden on the phone rechecking names in the waiting area. The family watched in tears as Jamie climbed off of a bus and limped slowly and weakly to the visiting area and questioned staff as to why she wasn’t given a wheelchair,to which they had no answer.

Jamie and Gladys grabbed onto each other and their family members for a very emotional reunion, especially for the children. Both women had lost quite a bit of weight, Gladys from extreme stress and depression and Jamie due to her serious illness. Jamie stated that she was told by the doctor that 6 catheter infections was much too much and that she never should have had so many temporary catheters, which blew out all of her veins where they were placed. She currently has a shunt in her groin which is extremely painful and must be surgically removed next week. She is scheduled to stay in her old cell until Friday, at which time she is told that she will be returned to the hospital.

Both Jamie and Gladys want all of their supporters to know that our activities are very greatly appreciated and that they want us to keep on! Mrs. Rasco and family are also very thankful and hopeful that together we can get those women released from this horrific
situation soon! If we keep pushing and use our creativity to call attention to this case, it will happen! If you write, then write about it; if you sing, sing about it; poet about it; creatively perform about it; print out flyers and distribute them at programs and events, however you can do it, please help get the word out about the plight of these women, there’s something that every one can do!

The Days of Blogging for the Scott Sisters that happened on 3/18 and is so wonderfully happening again today will really help get the word out on the case in wider and broader areas of the internet and hopefully lead to much more support and national attention! Thanks so much to all of the participants and we will be posting links to all of the blogs that participated at the Scott Sisters site, so please send them in so that you can be acknowledged! Of course everyone is encouraged to continue blogging beyond today and please do!
~~~~~

We still don’t trust that Jamie will receive adequate medical care once these hospitalizations are completed, which was proven by the fact that as soon as she was returned from the hospital yesterday she was put right back in that moldy building where she was originally housed!

JAMIE SCOTT NEEDS TO BE HOUSED IN THE MEDICAL BUILDING.

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

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

Jane Velez-Mitchell should do an entire segment on the Scott Sisters now that she is aware of the case, please contact her and urge her to follow-up her brief mention of the Scott Sisters on her 3/6 “Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell” with a more significant segment that will focus on Jamie’s serious medical condition and the Scott Sisters case period. The contact form is at http://www.facebook.com/l/c3cc4;www.cnn.com/feedback/tips/newstips.html

EDITED FROM SCOTT SISTERS LIST SERVE

Celebrate the International Observation of the Anniversary of

Executing Justice: Mississippi DOC, Wexford, and Jamie Scott.

For Jamie Scott, an $11 Robbery in Mississippi May Carry a Death Sentence

From Solitary Watch
March 5-7, 2010
By JAMES RIDGEWAY and JEAN CASELLA

On February 25, a small crowd gathered outside the state capitol in Jackson, Mississippi, to push for the release of sisters Jamie and Gladys Scott, who are serving two consecutive life sentences apiece for a 1993 armed robbery in which no one was injured and the take, by most accounts, was about $11. Supporters of the Scott sisters have long tried to draw attention to their case, as an extreme example of the distorted justice and Draconian sentencing policies that have overloaded prisons, crippled state budgets, and torn families apart across the United States. But in recent months, their cause has taken on a new urgency, because for Jamie Scott, an unwarranted life sentence may soon become a death sentence.

Jamie Scott, 38, is suffering from kidney failure. At the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility (CMCF) in Pearl, where Jamie and Gladys are incarcerated, medical services are provided by a private contractor called Wexford, which has been the subject of lawsuits and legislative investigations in several states over inadequate treatment of the inmates in its care. According to Jamie Scott’s family, in the six weeks since her condition became life-threatening, she has endured faulty or missed dialysis sessions, infections, and other complications. She has received no indication that a kidney transplant is being considered as an option, though her sister is a willing donor.
Jamie Scott’s family and legal advisors believe the poor health care she is receiving in prison places her life at risk. They have sent pleas for clemency or compassionate release to Governor Haley Barbour, whose tough-on-crime posturing and dubious record on issuing pardons do not bode well for Jamie. The Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) has a provision for what it calls “conditional medical release,” but Scott is not a candidate, department spokesperson Suzanne Garbo Singletary said in an email last week, because “MDOC policy provides that an inmate must have a condition that is ‘incapacitating, totally disabling and/or terminal in nature’ in order to qualify.” So Jamie Scott appears to be caught in a deadly Catch-22: In order to be released from prison, she must convince the MDOC that her illness is terminal or “totally disabling”; but the only sure way for her to prove this is to die in prison.
Cruel and Unusual Health Care
In telephone interviews earlier this week, the Scott sisters’ mother, Evelyn Rasco, described the treatment Jamie has received at Central Mississippi Correctional Facility (CMCF), based on her own observations and information provided by her two daughters. Jamie, who has diabetes and bouts of high blood pressure, said that medical staff at the prison first diagnosed possible kidney problems in 1997–but until recently, she received minimal treatment outside of her regular insulin. Jamie’s physical and mental health suffered last fall when she spent 23 days in solitary confinement (for being found in an “unauthorized area” in the prison gym) and was cut off from her routine of work, classes, church, and occasional visits with her sister. Then, in mid-January, Jamie became seriously ill when both her kidneys began shutting down. She was sent to the prison infirmary and, after a week’s delay, taken to the hospital. There, doctors inserted a shunt in Jamie’s neck to allow her to receive dialysis through a catheter, and she was promptly returned to prison.
Rather than letting Jamie Scott leave the prison regularly for dialysis, prison authorities chose to truck in dialysis machines. About three times a week, Jamie has received hemodialysis in a trailer on the prison grounds—if the machines are working properly, which she reports isn’t always the case. At one session, Jamie told her mother, the blood was flowing out of her through a catheter into the dialysis machine—but it wasn’t flowing back in, so the treatment had to be stopped. At the end of January, another inmate looked in on Jamie, who was locked up alone in her cell, and found her unconscious. She was rushed to the hospital, where doctors told her there were problems with the shunt inserted into her neck. They made adjustments, and she was again taken back to prison.
Evelyn Rasco lives in Pensacola, Florida, where she cares for her daughters’ five children while they are behind bars. Since Jamie and Gladys went to prison, Rasco’s husband of 30 years died of a heart attack; another daughter died of congestive heart failure; and her oldest son was away for several years serving with the Army in Iraq. In a letter to supporters last year, Jamie Scott wrote: “When I think of the word ‘strongest,’ I think of my mother. She is 4 feet 9 inches tall and has the strength of Job in the Bible.”
Rasco lacks the time and financial resources to visit her daughters often, but in mid-February, she managed to make the trip to Mississippi. When she visited the prison on February 18, along with Jamie’s 18-year-old son, Jamie was feeling sick but was able to make it to the visiting room. When Rasco returned two days later, she found Jamie in a cell attached to the infirmary. “She was real weak,” Rasco said. “She couldn’t walk.” An infection appeared to have developed at the site of Jamie’s catheter, which had filled with blood and pus. Nurses reportedly told Rasco that Jamie should be in the hospital, but the paperwork hadn’t been done.
Rasco said that when she entered her daughter’s cell, Jamie was sitting on the edge of a hospital bed with dirty linens, near a toilet and wash bowl that had not been cleaned. Prison staff arrived with a plate of food—a hamburger swimming in grease, some side dishes, and a cookie–but Jamie said it looked so bad she couldn’t eat it. The doctors at the hospital had given her a list of foods she should eat, including meat, fish, and vegetables, but they were not available, and she did not have permission to purchase food at the prison commissary. (That permission has since been granted.) So Jamie sat on her grimy bed eating a Snickers bar. “She sat right there with me,” Rasco said, “and tried to give me a piece.” Knowing it was the only nourishment her daughter was likely to have, her mother declined.
Since Evelyn Rasco’s visit, Jamie was back in the hospital for a day after experiencing chest pains following dialysis, and to a clinic where her dialysis shunt was again adjusted and she was tested for infections. To date, the family does not know the results.
Evelyn Rasco also said that when Gladys Scott, 34, learned of her sister’s kidney failure, she immediately offered to give Jamie a kidney. If Gladys were to prove a viable match, this would be by far the best medical option for Jamie: Studies show that patients in their thirties who receive successful transplants live considerably longer than those who remain on dialysis. Gladys says that CMCF staff told her that state prisoners don’t qualify as donors, and that a transplant would be too expensive, though there is no indication that their statements reflect official MDOC policy. Rasco said that she was hoping the prison would at least let Gladys to care for Jamie—feed her and bathe her—as inmates are sometime allowed to do for ailing relatives. When Rasco last spoke to her, Gladys had not received the necessary permission.
Chokwe Lumumba, a longtime activist and attorney who also serves on the Jackson City Council, is representing the family in the medical matter. In an interview last week, Lumumba said, “Our first idea is to get some medical attention into the jail. Asking for a private doctor to go in there and see her.” But what Jamie Scott really needs, he told me, is “to be in hospital until a kidney transplant.”
Suzanne Garbo Singletary, Director of the MDOC’s Division of Communications, replied to several email inquiries regarding Jamie Scott’s care. In one email, she wrote that “MDOC cannot comment on any specific medical condition or treatment for an inmate.” In another, she referred to patient privacy laws when asked whether a kidney transplant was being considered for Jamie Scott. Regarding transplants for state prisoners in general, Singltary said that “the state would pay for a needed and necessary transplant” and would do so “when evaluated the Dr. as needed [sic].” Singletary added in another message: “Dialysis units are fully operational with no malfunctions documented in the past several years.” She also restated the MDOC’s policy that “chronic, but stable, medical conditions are not eligible for conditional medical release consideration.”
At the Central Mississippi Correctional Center, Jamie Scott’s care is in the hands of Wexford Health Sources, a Pittsburgh-based private company that provides prison medical services. According to information compiled by the Private Corrections Working Group, Wexford’s record includes lawsuits by prisoners and current or former employees in at least four states, as well as allegations involving racial discrimination and improper gifts to public officials. In 2006, the Santa Fe Reporter launched an investigation into Wexford, which supplied health care to New Mexico’s 6,000 prisoners. It discovered widespread complaints about Wexford’s care.

Those who have raised concerns about Wexford include the company’s former regional medical director, the former medical director of Lea County Correctional Facility (LCCF) in Hobbs and numerous former and current Wexford medical employees. Their allegations are all hauntingly similar:

Wexford refuses to fill critical medical positions. Wexford refuses to grant off-site visits for seriously ill inmates. Wexford refuses to renew critical prescription medicine for inmates. And, according to those who worked for the company, and some who still do, the company’s insistence on the bottom line over the care of its charges causes inmates to suffer, sometimes with lasting, even fatal, results.
The investigation prompted hearings on prison health care in the New Mexico state legislature, and in December 2006, after just two years with Wexford, Governor Bill Richardson ordered the New Mexico Corrections Department to find a new health care provider.
Wexford’s reported resistance “to grant off-site visits for seriously ill inmates,” is particularly relevant to the case of Jamie Scott, and the potentially dangerous delays she has experienced before being sent to the hospital. The same issue surfaced in a 2002 case in Pennsylvania, where a 26-year-old prisoner named Erin Finley suffered a fatal asthma attack in prison while under Wexford’s care. According to the Wilkes Barre Times Herald, Finley’s family eventually received a $2.15 million settlement, after their lawyer presented evidence showing that “Finley desperately sought medical care for severe asthma she had had since she was a child, but she was repeatedly rejected based on a prison doctor’s belief that she was ‘faking’ her symptoms.”
On the day of her death, Finley was taken to the prison infirmary several hours after complaining that she was having trouble breathing. A physician’s assistant examined her and told the doctor she needed to go to a hospital, “but he refused to see her and left the prison at 2:40 p.m. Twenty minutes later, Finley lost consciousness and stopped breathing,” according to the Times Herald. Finally she was sent to the hospital—only to be pronounced dead.
In Mississippi, where Wexford took over health care for the majority of the state’s prisoners in 2006 under a three-year, $95 million contract, the Jackson Clarion Ledger reported in November 2008 that “a search of the federal court system found more than a dozen open lawsuits filed by inmates against MDOC on medical issues.At Central Mississippi Correctional Facility–the prison where the Scott sisters are housed—the sister of a dead inmate said she watched her brother waste away for months from inadequately treated Crohn’s Disease, an inflammation of the digestive tract. “He literally starved,” Charlotte Byrd said of her brother William Byrd, who died in November 2008. “We watched him turn into a skeleton.” Byrd told the Clarion Ledger that people might lack sympathy for prisoners like her brother, a convicted rapist, but “Even a dog needs medical attention.” She said she believes that “If they are doing him that way, they are going to let somebody else die, too.”
In fact, Mississippi has one of the highest prisoner death rates in the nation, according to a review of prison statistics carried out by the Jackson Clarion Ledger’s Chris Joyner, and the death rate in 2007 was 34 percent higher than in 2006—the year Wexford took over the MDOC’s medical care. A December 2007 report conducted by the Mississippi Legislature’s Joint Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review (PEER) concluded that inmates were not receiving timely and adequate medical treatment from Wexford. Among other things, the PEER report found that Wexford “did not meet medical care standards set forth under its contract with the state,” and that the company “did not adhere to its own standards in following up on inmates with chronic health problems.” When questioned about the report and the high prisoner death rates, the Clarion Ledger reported, Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps “said he is satisfied with the contractor’s performance.The budget presented by Epps for the coming fiscal year, which begins on July 1, 2010, shows a request of $37.4 million to Wexford for medical services.
In response to questions about care provided by Wexford, MDOC spokesperson Suzanne Garbo Singletary wrote: “Jamie Scott is receiving quality medical care for her condition. Wexford provides basic medical care for all inmates at MDOC prisons. Inmates are sent to hospitals if the need for hospital care arises.” Singletary stated that such decisions are made by the attending doctor at the prison, who is a Wexford employee. Wexford did not respond to requests for comment.
Unpardonable Offenses
Nancy Lockhart, a legal investigator and analyst based in South Carolina, has been working with Evelyn Rasco for several years, organizing a grassroots campaign to secure decent treatment for the Scotts and either a review of their case or some provision for their early release. In interviews last week, Lockhart said that she had helped Rasco appeal to the Obama Justice Department, which informed her that the statute of limitations was up for civil rights claims. They plan to try again, offering proof of earlier letters to the DOJ. They have also organized letter writing and email campaigns to numerous state and MDOC officials, and set up a web site. The Scott sisters’ group of supporters is growing, but they have received no meaningful responses to their pleas.
During her recent visit to Mississippi, Evelyn Rasco had the opportunity to confront Corrections Commissioner Christopher Epps in person when she attended a meeting at the state capitol on prison budget cuts. She spotted the Epps, whom she recognized from his photograph, walked up to him, and told him about her daughter’s poor health and the problems with her medical treatment. According to Rasco, Epps said that he was getting a lot of messages about Jamie Scott, and that he would do what he could obtain a pardon or clemency for the Scott sisters. He told her that he was “giving his word on this,” although he had no power to actually make it happen himself.
The person who could make it happen is Governor Haley Barbour, whose past record on pardons does not bode well for Jamie and Gladys Scott. Barbour, who took office in 2004, was initially known for refusing to grant any pardons. In his second term he changed course–but only for a particular set of offenders. A 2008 investigation by the Jackson Free Press found that Barbour had pardoned or suspended the sentences of five murderers, four of whom had killed their former or current wives or girlfriends. All five men were part of a prison trusty program under which they did odd jobs at the governor’s mansion.

Writing in Slate, Radley Balko summarized Haley Barbour’s policy on pardons as “show[ing] mercy only to murderers who work on his house.”

Jamie Scott’s health crisis has also coincided with a protracted struggle between the governor and state legislators over how to handle budget shortfalls. Throughout, the ambitious Barbour, who is talked about as a possible 2012 presidential candidate, has appeared determined to polish his reputation for being both fiscally conservative and tough on crime. With revenue down due to the recession, Barbour implemented a series of deep, across-the-board cuts to state spending in the current fiscal year. Last week the he vetoed a bill that would have restored some of that funding, primarily to education. At the same time, he asked the legislature to put $16 million back into the Department of Corrections budget. “We have the resources to restore funding to our priorities this year,” the governor said in a statement, “including law enforcement and corrections.”
Against opponents who argued that Mississippi already spends more on prisoners than it does on schoolchildren, Barbour held up the specter of what could happen if prison spending was cut: 3,000 to 4,000 inmates would have to be released early. “The threat of convicted criminals on the streets,” the Jackson Free Press wrote earlier this month, “has provided Barbour a rhetorical trump card in budget negotiations.”
Jamie and Gladys Scott
Even amidst this kind of rhetoric, it would be difficult to see the Scott sisters as dangerous or violent offenders, although the state of Mississippi went to great lengths to depict them as such. On Christmas Eve of 1993, Jamie and Gladys, then 22 and 19, were both young mothers with no criminal records. They were at the local mini-mart buying heating fuel when they ran into two young men they knew, who offered to give them a ride. Sometime later that evening, the two young men were robbed by a group of three boys, ages 14 to 18, who arrived in another car, armed with a shotgun.
Jamie and Gladys say that they had already left the scene to walk home when the robbery took place, and had nothing to do with it. The state insisted they were an integral part of the crime, and in fact had set up the victims to be robbed. Wherever the truth lies, trial transcripts clearly reveal a the case based on the highly questionable testimony of two of the teenaged co-defendants–who had turned state’s evidence against the Scott sisters in return for eight-year sentences—and a prosecutor who appears determined to demonize the two young women.
Jamie and Gladys Scott were not initially arrested for the crime. But ten months later, the 14-year-old co-defendant–who had been in jail on remand during that time–signed a statement implicating them. When questioned by the Scotts’ attorney, the boy confirmed that he had been “told that before you would be allowed to plead guilty” to a lesser charge, “you would have to testify against Jamie Scott and Gladys Scott.”
The boy also testified that he had neither written nor read the statement before signing it. It had been written for him by someone at the county sheriff’s office, he said, and he “didn’t know what it was.” But he had been told that if he signed it “they would let me out of jail the next morning, and that if I didn’t participate with them, that they would send me to Parchman [state penitentiary] and make me out a female”—which he took to mean he would be raped. The 18-year-old co-defendant who testified against the Scott sisters also said he was testifying against the Scotts as a condition of his guilty plea to a lesser charge.
But the prosecutor succeeded in depicting Jamie and Gladys Scott not only as participants in the crime robbery, but as its masterminds—two older women who had lured three impressionable boys into the robbing the victims at gunpoint. (This despite the fact that the oldest of the co-defendants was just a year younger than Gladys, and was driving around with a shotgun in his car.) In his summation, he told the jury:

“They thought it up. They came up with the plan. They duped three young teenage boys into going along and doing something stupid that is going to cost them the next eight years of their lives in the penitentiary.

That probably makes me, at least, as mad about this case, simply at least as much, as the fact that two people got robbed. That three young boys were duped into doing the dirty work.”

The prosecutor also reminded jurors that while Jamie and Gladys Scott admittedly did not have a weapon, the judge’s instructions “tell you that if they encourage someone else or counsel them or aid them in any way in committing this robbery they are equally guilty.”
It took the jury just 36 minutes to convict the Scott sisters. And while there was a range of possible sentences for the crime of armed robbery, the state asked for—and received—two consecutive life sentences for the Scott sisters. In contrast, Edgar Ray Killen, the man convicted in 2005 of manslaughter in the 1964 deaths of civil rights workers Schwerner, Cheney, and Goodman, received a sentence of 60 years–meted out by the same judge who presided over the trial of Jamie and Gladys Scott. A direct appeal, carried out by the same lawyers who defended them at trial, failed to overturn the Scotts’ conviction.
Because they were tried for a crime committed before October 1994, when even harsher sentencing rules were put in place in Mississippi, the Scott sisters will be eligible for parole in 2014, after they have served 20 years—though there is no guarantee they will receive it. In the meantime, Evelyn Rasco is praying for mercy, for a good lawyer—and for her daughter Jamie to live that long.
James Ridgeway and Jean Casella can be reached at Solitary Watch, where this article originally appeared.

Rally at state capitol to free Scott sisters

Greetings all,

Mrs. Rasco has not received any updated information from either of her daughters to report, but as soon as we learn something that we can share we will most definitely make everyone aware of Jamie’s condition. Your phone calls, e-mails and support continue to be very much needed as not knowing what’s happening day to day is extremely hard on the family.

(via Sister Marpessa)

There has been a lot of activity going on in Mississippi in support of the Scott Sisters, which is fantastic! There was a little mainstream ink achieved last week after the rally:

Rally at state capitol to free Scott sisters

Posted: Feb 26, 2010 11:59 AM

By Julie Straw

http://www.wlbt.com/Global/story.asp?S=12047900

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) – For nearly 16 years the Scott sisters have been behind bars serving double life sentences. Their crime? Two counts of armed robbery. Thursday dozens rallied at the state capitol and voiced that in this case the punishment does not fit the crime. They wanted both sisters released.

34 year old Gladys Scott and 38 year old Jamie Scott have been behind bars for more than 15 years. The women were convicted of two counts of armed robbery from an incident back in December 1993. Three males were also involved in the robbery. Two of them were teenagers that testified against the Scotts.

Only $11 was stolen and no one was hurt, but a jury decided the sisters should serve two life sentences each. “The crime that these allegedly young ladies does not merit the double life sentences that they were given,” said District 28 State Senator Alice Harden.

Read more http://www.wlbt.com/Global/story.asp?S=12047900“>here…

Scott Watch: Prisoners are Patients, too.

st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } Here’s the latest on Jamie, folks. In addition to getting her into a more appropriate medical setting where Gladys can also help care for her, I’d like to see someone from Wexford take responsibility for educating their patients about their diagnoses, test results, medications, and treatment options. If Wexford doesn’t incorporate patient education into their health care service package for Mississippi prisons, then they are either being irresponsible or negligent – and they aren’t helping keep costs down – well informed patients can mitigate and manage medical crises much better than those kept in the dark by their health care providers.

Failing to fully inform Jamie about her medical conditions or health care options perpetuates the damage already done to women of color in particular by generations of others “possessing” their bodies and the legal right to do whatever they wanted to do to them – including 20th Century medical experimentation and forced sterilization on prisoners who were poor, mentally impaired, and/or people of color. They didn’t tell those prisoners anything about their medical treatments either.

I would hope this is the kind of issue that Dr. Perry would recognize as interfering significantly with women prisoners getting appropriate medical care, and assure that patient education becomes a central part of the work Wexford employees do with prisoners. If it is MDOC policy to keep prisoners ignorant about their health care, then the department needs to study up on the extraordinary public health implications of failing to provide adequate medical treatment to prisoners, who then return to the community in worse health than they were in when they left, quite likely infected with Hepatitis C. Keeping the people clueless about infectious diseases, chronic illness, long term symptom management, etc. guarantees an unhealthy population.

No wonder Mississippi prisoner death rates have skyrocketed to almost the highest in the country. Dr. Perry might want to take a look at whether or not there’s a connection between patient education/ empowerment programs and health care outcomes and costs. If the MDOC and Wexford were following best practice guidelines for correctional health care, Jamie would be in a setting more conducive to recovery, she would be able to explain her diagnosis, prognosis and treatment to others, she would be a more active and confident participant in her medical decision-making, and her family would be less traumatized, more informed, and more able to advocate for appropriate resources for her.

This was why I tried to encourage the Mississippi Kidney Foundation to offer some assistance. Education is what they do. Given the rate of diabetes and kidney disease in Southern prisons in particular, I would have thought they’d be right on this. Maybe the MDOC needs to make the invitation. Between them, they need to decide soon who will help educate Jamie’s family about what’s going on because lacking that information could have very negative consequences for her. She was sentenced to life, not death. The quality of her health care should reflect an investment in life – particularly if Mississippi aspires to foster a “culture of life”. Here’s a real good time and place to show the world they can do that.

st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) }


So, either the MDOC lacks some sensitivity to these issues, in which case I hope someone there will enlighten them so that they take corrective action, or they have deliberately created a health care system that excludes patients from education or decision-making and ultimately – if they survive prison – sends them on their way with no idea what’s wrong with them or if they need follow up care or tests. This appears to be not for lack of having access to the information for them, but out of an explicit policy to keep prisoners uninformed and therefore powerless over their bodies – which affects their survival long beyond most state sentence terms.



Why would a health care provider not want their patients’ informed? Including patients as partners in their medical treatment is the best way to assure long term compliance with dietary and prescription and other medical requirements, which reduces long-term costs.

This is really basic stuff, folks. Jamie’s being totally disrespected as a human being, not just a woman, by her medical team withholding information from her. That kind of paternalism/ maternalism should have gone out of fashion with Jim Crow. Medical professionals in the south dealing with prisoners have an even higher duty to make sure the medical consent they get from patients for their care is INFORMED. That’s a legal standard that applies to prisoners, too.

Jamie should probably ask for every medical report in writing, and file a timely grievance when she doesn’t receive it – otherwise, she won’t have any legal recourse if their negligence results in her injury (avoidable progression of disease) – no matter how criminal the neglect, the courts will say she didn’t exhaust all her “administrative remedies” as provided for by the MDOC and Wexford’s agreement, and therefore the question of whether or not the MDOC assured access to appropriate care would never be heard in court.

I’m no lawyer, but that’s how I understand the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PRLA) has worked to erode conditions in US jails and prisons over the past 15 years or so. It established unreasonably high standards for prisoners to meet in order to bring prisons to federal court, so their cases of abuse and civil rights violations are seldom even heard because of technicalities – not because they have no merit.

That legislation needs to be fixed ASAP (Google “Prison Abuse Remedies Act” for how to fix it).
———————
2/28 SCOTT SISTERS UPDATE ~ By Sis. Marpessa

Greetings all,

Thanks so much to all of the supporters of Jamie & Gladys Scott! Jamie reported that she was taken to a vascular clinic last Monday and an attempt was made to correct the displaced catheter in her neck, but the doctor had a problem getting into her vein. Tests were also run to determine whether she had remaining infection in her body. She is being told that she will return there next week to see her regular doctor, who was not present at the time of this visit. She was not given any information regarding any of the findings by staff.

On Wednesday she began having chest pains following her dialysis and was taken to the hospital. No blockage was detected following ultrasound and catheterization of her heart. She was returned to the prison on Thursday before she was told of any results.

Jamie sounded a bit stronger and her family and your activism have helped her to regain some of her fighting spirit! She was told by staff that she will be allowed to purchase some food on Monday and she is grateful for the donations she has received to be able to do so! Also, she has been told that the chaplain will be coming by a couple of days a week to do her laundry.

Jamie should not be in the prison infirmary, locked in a cell on a hospital bed on the mens’ side of the prison, where the care is absymal and frighteningly inadequate, she has had more than enough medical emergencies! There is a medical building on the prison grounds where the environment is greatly improved and where Gladys can help her tend to her activities of daily living, as other incarcerated family members are permitted to do with their ailing relatives. We need the prison officials to know that we want Jamie to be in the environment most conducive to her health and well-being as she struggles with her many life-threatening medical conditions.
~~~~~~~~~~

Please continue to sign-on to the http://www.facebook.com/l/02e7b;Change.org

petition for the compassionate release of Jamie Scott at http://www.facebook.com/l/02e7b;tinyurl.com/yfrj5g6and pass the word!

~~~~~~~~~~

The 2/27 Empowerment Hour Online University radio show hosted by Bros. Kermit Eady and Earnest McBride featured Mrs. Evelyn Rasco, Marpessa Kupendua (nattyreb), Nancy Lockhart, and Shakeerah Abdul al-Sabuur. There was a whole lot of good info put out and the archive is available to all at
http://www.facebook.com/l/02e7b;www.blogtalkradio.com/eadyassociates/2010/02/27/the-empowerment-hour-online-university


~~~~~~~~~~

Empress Chi, coordinator of the MWM/Black Women’s Defense League, is organizing a Free the Scott Sisters Demo and Rally in Mississippi on March 26, 2010. To get involved in planning this and for more information call 267-636-3802 or e-mail:mailto:nationalmwm@aol.com or BWDL7@aol.com.
~~~~~~~~~~

SF Bay View: Compassionate Release for Jamie Scott

Photos and excerpts from the SF Bay View article yesterday (summarizing the situation well). SF Bay View is the best paper in the country for giving prisoners and their families a voice.

——————-

Compassionate Release For Jamie Scott

SF Bay View February 9, 2010
by Marpessa Kupendua

Jamie Scott cuddles her grandbabies on a brief visit home to bury another sister. Jamie’s sister Gladys was not allowed to leave prison for the funeral.
 

Jamie and Gladys Scott are sisters who have been wrongfully convicted of armed robbery. They each incredibly received draconian double-life sentences – life for each of the alleged two victims – although no one was murdered or injured during this robbery of approximately $11! Witnesses and the two alleged victims testified that the sisters had absolutely nothing to do with this robbery and also testified that the sheriff coerced and threatened them to lie on the Scott Sisters. Jamie and Gladys Scott have been in prison since October of 1994, victims of Mississippi injustice with the best years of their lives snatched away.

Jamie Scott suffered kidney failure in early January 2010 as the culmination of many medical ailments that have manifested during her incarceration and which were never properly diagnosed nor correctly treated due to the state’s refusal to provide her with proper medical care. Even after Jamie’s kidneys shut down, the prison medical doctor stubbornly refused to send Jamie to the hospital and toxins continued to accumulate in her body.

One morning last month she was taken to the hospital where a temporary catheter was inserted into her neck and she was returned directly to the prison a few hours later and soon thereafter removed from the prison medical building when she was very weak and barely able to take care of her activities of daily living. Jamie was recently rescued by an inmate who found her lying in her cell unresponsive and in shock and yelled out for her to be rushed back to the hospital.

The doctor there informed Jamie that her dialysis had not been administered correctly and that her temporary catheter was malfunctioning, yet she was again returned right back to the prison!

The prison’s cut-rate medical practices are life-threatening for Jamie! The longer she remains in that prison the more her health will continue to deteriorate. This is a proven fact which is documented by her steady decline during her 15 years of unjust incarceration.

Jamie needs compassionate release RIGHT NOW before she suffers any further. Large numbers of people must raise this demand before the authorities will take any action on her behalf!

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 Feb. 5, the level of medical care that she is receiving in that prison is ATROCIOUS. She missed a dialysis treatment, has a possible infection from a malfunctioning temporary catheter – Jamie says it is full of blood and pus – 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!

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

Jamie and Gladys Scott
 

“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 setup 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. Evelyn Rasco, Jamie and Gladys’ mother, writes:

“My girls are dying in that prison cell daily and they have five kids that have been asked all of their lives, ‘Why does your grandmother have you?’ When they tell people, they can’t believe that their mothers received double life sentences each and never touched anyone or even held a weapon. My whole world revolves around these kids and their children, and we are crying out for help! It is this justice system that should be made to free Jamie and Gladys and to stop trying to destroy our entire family.”

Call on Gov. Barber to grant compassionate release to Jamie

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, No. 19197, from Central Mississippi Corrections Facility (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 paperwork that was submitted is at http://www.scribd.com/doc/26252282/COMPASSIONATE-RELEASE-FOR-JAMIE-SCOTT.

Contacting the others on the list below is still very important, particularly the mainstream media, but we absolutely must make certain that the governor’s office hears and reads messages from a whole lot of people to bolster the efforts of our legal advisers.

PLEASE PASS THE WORD AND HELP TO LIGHT UP THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE THIS WEEK! Be direct but please be courteous; don’t lose your temper no matter what you hear. It will only take a few minutes. Please participate!

To contact Gov. Haley Barbour, write P.O. Box 139, Jackson, MS 39205, call 1 (877) 405-0733 or (601) 359-3150, or fax (601) 359-3741. If you reach voice mail, leave a message, and also send faxes and letters.

ACTION ALERTS as of Feb. 10 (also posted below)

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 as possible to sign on quickly, so please go to http://tinyurl.com/yfrj5g6 and SEND IT TO OTHERS.

Jamie hugs her mother, Evelyn Rasco, as her son Terrance looks on – a sad return to unjust imprisonment.
 

Contact these government officials – in addition to the governor

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

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

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

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

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

Mayor Brad Rogers of Pearl, MS, where Jamie is incarcerated, (601) 932-3575, fax (601) 932-3568

Congressman Gregg Harper, 2507-A Old Brandon Road, Pearl, MS 39208, (601) 932-2410, fax (601) 932-4647

U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, United States Senate, Washington, DC 20510-2402, Jackson (601) 965-4459, contact form http://cochran.senate.gov/contact.htm

Contact the media

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 newsroom (601) 960-4426, newsroom fax (601) 355-7830, http://www.wlbt.com/Global/story.asp?S=241208&nav=menu119_8_8, Assistant News Director Wilson Stribling, wstribling@wlbt.com

WAPT TV (601) 922-1607, news tips (601) 922-1652 or http://www.wapt.com/contact/index.html

WJTV (601) 372-6311, fax (601) 372-8798, http://www2.wjtv.com/jtv/online/site_information/contacts/

FOX 40 (601) 922-1234, http://www.my601.com/content/contactus/default.aspx

General media

NBC Today Show Today@NBCUNI.com

NBC Nightly News Nightly@NBC.com; listing of NBC/MSNBC show email addresses at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10285339/

NBC News, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112, (212) 664-4444, fax (212) 664-4426

CBS feedback form http://www.cbs.com/info/user_services/fb_global_form.php; CBS News, 524 W. 57 St., New York, NY 10019, (212) 975-4321, fax (212) 975-1893

ABC News contact form http://abcnews.go.com/Site/page?id=3271346cat=Good%20Morning%20America; ABC News, 77 W. 66 St., New York, NY 10023, (212) 456-7777

CNN News tip form http://www.cnn.com/feedback/tips/newstips.html; CNN, One CNN Center, Box 105366, Atlanta, GA 30303-5366, (404) 827-1500, fax (404) 827-1784

Joe Madison Joe.Madison@xmradio.com

Geraldo Rivera atlarge@foxnews.com

Oprah contact form https://www.oprah.com/plugform.jsp?plugId=220

USA Today, 7950 Jones Branch Dr., McLean, VA 22108, (703) 854-3400, fax (703) 854-2078

Associated Press, 450 West 33rd St., New York, NY 10001, (212) 621-1500, fax (212) 621-7523, info@ap.org

Elected Officials

Congressman Bennie Thompson, 2432 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515, (202) 225-5876, fax (202) 225-5898; Jackson, Mississippi, Office, 3607 Medgar Evers Blvd, Jackson, MS 39213, (601) 946-9003, fax (601) 982-5337

Congressman Alcee L. Hastings, 2353 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515, (202) 225-1313, fax (202) 225-1171

Congressman Jeff Miller, 2439 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515, (202) 225-4136, fax (202) 225-3414, toll free number to district office in Pensacola, Florida, (866) 367-1614
Marpessa Kupendua is a political and human rights activist and writer. She can be reached at nattyreb@gmail.com.