Shame on Mississippi! Article: For Two Sisters, the End of an Ordeal

For Two Sisters, the End of an Ordeal
By BOB HERBERT
Published: December 31, 2010
New York Times
I got a call on New Year’s Eve from Gladys Scott, which was a terrific way for 2010 to end.

As insane as it may seem, Gladys and her sister, Jamie, are each serving consecutive life sentences in a state prison in Mississippi for their alleged role in a robbery in 1993 in which no one was hurt and $11 supposedly was taken.

Gladys was on the phone, excited and relieved, because Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi had agreed to suspend the prison terms.

“I’ve waited so long for this day to come,” she said.

I was happy for the Scott sisters and deeply moved as Gladys spoke of how desperately she wanted to “just hold” her two children and her mother, who live in Florida. But I couldn’t help thinking that right up until the present moment she and Jamie have been treated coldly and disrespectfully by the governor and other state officials. It’s as if the authorities have found it impossible to hide their disdain, their contempt, for the two women.

The prison terms were suspended — not commuted — on the condition that Gladys donate a kidney to Jamie, who is seriously ill with diabetes and high blood pressure and receives dialysis at least three times a week. Gladys had long expressed a desire to donate a kidney to her sister, but to make that a condition of her release was unnecessary, mean-spirited, inhumane and potentially coercive. It was a low thing to do.

Governor Barbour did not offer any expression of concern for Jamie’s health in his statement announcing the sentence suspension.

He said of the sisters: “Their incarceration is no longer necessary for public safety or rehabilitation, and Jamie Scott’s medical condition creates a substantial cost to the state of Mississippi.”

By all means, get those medical costs off the books if you can.

I asked Gladys how she had learned that she was to be released. “Oh, I saw it while I was looking at the news on television,” she said.

The authorities hadn’t bothered to even tell the sisters. After all, who are they? As Gladys put it, “Nobody told me a thing.”

I asked if she had seen Jamie, who is in another section of the prison, since the governor’s decision had been announced. She said no one had tried to get the two of them together for even a telephone conversation.

“I haven’t seen her or heard from her,” Gladys said. “I want to see her. I want to see how she’s doing and take care of her.”

I am not surprised at Governor Barbour’s behavior. He’s not the first person who comes to mind when I think of admirable public officials. The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Miss., noted that the governor had been on the radio this week asserting that there was hardly anyone in prison who didn’t deserve to be there. It’s an interesting comment from a governor who has repeatedly demonstrated a willingness to free prisoners convicted of the most heinous crimes.

The Jackson Free Press, an alternative weekly, and Slate magazine have noted that Mr. Barbour has pardoned four killers and suspended the life sentence of a fifth. So cold-blooded murder is no reason, in Mr. Barbour’s view, to keep the prison doors closed.

This is also a governor who said recently, while reminiscing about the civil rights struggle and the treatment of blacks in his hometown of Yazoo City, Miss., in the 1960s: “I just don’t remember it being that bad.” The comment was in an article in The Weekly Standard in which the governor managed to find some complimentary things to say about the rabidly racist White Citizens Councils.

Faced with heavy and widespread criticism, he later pulled back on the comments, describing the era as “difficult and painful” and the councils as “indefensible.”

The only reason the Scott sisters have gotten any relief at all is because of an extraordinary network of supporters who campaigned relentlessly over several years on their behalf. Ben Jealous, the president of the N.A.A.C.P., emerged as one of the leaders of the network. The concerted effort finally paid off.

Gladys Scott said her 16 years in prison have been extremely difficult and that she had gotten depressed from time to time but had not given up hope. “It was a very bad experience, ” she said.

What is likely to get lost in the story of the Scott sisters finally being freed is just how hideous and how outlandish their experience really was. How can it be possible for individuals with no prior criminal record to be sentenced to two consecutive life terms for a crime in which no one was hurt and $11 was taken? Who had it in for them, and why was that allowed to happen?

The Scott sisters may go free, but they will never receive justice.
————————
Many people helped to free the Scott Sisters, first and foremost their mother Mrs. Evelyn Rasco, Nancy Lockhart, Jim Ridgeway, many hundreds of grassroots supporters that  kept this the reality of the injustice done to them alive. 
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/01/opinion/01herbert.html?ref=opinion
A version of this op-ed appeared in print on January 1, 2011, on page A19 of the New York edition.

Miss. Gov. Haley Barbour to free sisters sentenced to life in prison for robbery

Washington Post

By Krissah Thompson

Wednesday, December 29, 2010; 10:35 PM

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) announced late Wednesday that he will grant an early release from prison to two sisters serving unusually long sentences for armed robbery.

Gladys and Jamie Scott have each served 16 years of a life sentence. Their case had become a cause celebre among civil rights groups, including the NAACP, which mounted a national campaign to free the women.
The Scotts were convicted in 1994 for an armed robbery in which they led two men into an ambush. The men were robbed of $11, and their supporters contend that the Scotts, who are black, received extraordinary punishment for the crime.

Barbour said he decided to suspend the sentences in light of the poor health of 38-year-old Jamie Scott, who requires regular dialysis. The governor asserted that 36-year-old Gladys Scott’s release is contingent on her giving a kidney to her inmate sibling.

“The Mississippi Department of Corrections believes the sisters no longer pose a threat to society,” Barbour said in a statement. “Their incarceration is no longer necessary for public safety or rehabilitation, and Jamie Scott’s medical condition creates a substantial cost to the State of Mississippi.”
NAACP President Benjamin Jealous will meet with Barbour on Thursday, and the two men have scheduled a joint news conference.

“This is a shining example of how governors should use their commutation powers,” Jealous said in an interview, praising Barbour’s decision.

Read the rest here.

MS: Unconstitutional Living Conditions

Unconstitutional Living Condition ~ Unedited ~By Jamie Scott ~ Please Forward to Media Outlets

April 20, 2010

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

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

Visit the links below for more information on Jamie Scott:
Free The Scott Sisters

Media Campaign Links on Imprisoned Women’s Rights Watch

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: Appeal for Imprisoned Patients

This is the slightly edited version of the letter I sent off to the Mississippi Kidney Foundation today, as well as to some media connections and other possible allies. I’ve been ill for awhile and may not be following up for a few days, and worry that everyone will just think someone else is acting on this – in which case no one will – so everyone needs to, and report what you’ve done to the Scott Sisters campaign. Please use this post and email copies of this letter wherever else you can think of that these concerns need to be raised. Just click on the email icon at the bottom. 

—————————————————————
Margaret Jean Plews
Prison Abolitionist
Arizona Prison Watch
1809 East Willetta St.
Phoenix, AZ 85006
480-580-6807
February 7, 2010
Gail G. Sweat, Executive Director
Lynda Richards, Director of Patient Services
Mississippi Kidney Foundation
3000 Old Canton, Suite 110
Jackson, MS 39216
PO Box 55802
Jackson, MS 39296

Dear Gail and Lynda,

I wasn’t sure who best to address this to, but didn’t want it getting lost in the void, so I’m sending it to you both if I can find your emails, and via snail mail. This is a fairly complicated story, so if it’s new to you, hold on. I’m also passing it on to a few other folks, in hopes they might have some ideas or be able to offer support. I really hope that once we figure out exactly what’s going on with care for kidney patients in the Mississippi Department of Corrections (which is contracting medical services to Wexford) Professor Capron in particular will help facilitate some kind of critical analysis and dialogue about the ethical issues involved in treating kidney patients who are prisoners – this is not an issue unique to Mississippi. That’s just where Mrs. Rasco’s daughter happens to be dying right now.

I don’t know if anyone has already contacted you about Jamie Scott or issues with dialysis care for Mississippi state prisoners in general yet. I don’t know my way around your state: your politics, charities, media, etc., and have already stepped on a few toes. I’m a prisoner rights activist in Arizona (from Michigan, actually) with a few websites critiquing the prison industrial complex, and I hear from prisoners and families in trouble all the time, including the Scotts, asking for help by amplifying their voices and reaching out to others. The Scott family has been working on getting these women exonerated for awhile, but now there’s a crisis with one of the sisters going into renal failure. They really need your help. 
I’m concerned that the difficulty the family is having getting a response on Jamie’s care is partly because it’s not clear they or Jamie really know what her diagnosis or prognosis is. I think they’re all so terribly traumatized, and now desperately afraid that they’ll lose Jamie after working so hard for long on her freedom. But they need to be able to articulate what’s going on medically in order to know what kind of treatment to ask for, or who to turn to for help. As is so often the fashion when others control our health care, poor women (especially of color) are the last to know about our medical conditions and treatment options, and we pay the highest price for it. I’m worried that Jamie’s criminalized, marginalized status already places her at considerable risk; not many people value the humanity or gifts of a woman doing double-life in a Mississippi state prison. Add to that her race, poverty, family’s limited resources; some would say she’s lucky to get dialysis at all.
We need to get someone in there who can both educate Jamie and her family about kidney disease, what appropriate care is (which for all I know she’s actually receiving, depending on her diagnosis and prognosis), and how she can assert her rights as a patient while still a prisoner, as well as someone who can help get the resources needed into the MDOC to provide the rest of these women with appropriate medical care. I’m an antagonist, an outside instigator, an organizer – this family needs you, not me, fighting for them on the local level. I’ve probably already pissed a few people off. 
Besides, I’m also fairly ill myself right now, and don’t know that I can see this family through.
This also isn’t about crime and punishment or “prisoner rights” so much as it’s about who we decide is deserving and undeserving of resources we’ve decided to ration in this world – resources that could be made more plentiful – and therefore whom is allowed to suffer, and for whom is such suffering “unconstitutional”. I know that’s pretty loaded, but I don’t know how you can possibly avoid addressing that in your business, anyway. It seems like a conversation that the larger community should be having together, with the Scott Sisters and their mom participating. Especially now, with state services for the poor being hit so hard across the country.
If you can somehow manage to lead the community in an outreach to that prison – refusing to take no for an answer when you knock on the door – and help connect the women in there with the same kind of educational, medical and peer support that free women might be able to access, you could make an impact on women’s health care in jails and prisons that I could never equal in all my years of community activism. It will improve their likelihood of survival while in prison, their success transitioning back to the community once released from prison, and their sense of human connection if it turns out that they are going to be dying in prison. At least then, perhaps, their last days will be witnessed, and even if they have no family left to grieve them, someone can speak to their struggle and courage. That matters a great deal to people; most of us take it for granted, though.
You are in a unique position to command the attention and respect of people who will just otherwise ignore this family and let Jamie suffer and die. I’m not suggesting that you charge in with any accusations – just please find out from the Scotts’ what’s up, try to find out what health care access is really like for women there, and step back and assess the situation with the MDOC and Wexford(chronically ill patients who could be maintained for years are a drag on profits, if allowed to linger.) 
 I suspect diabetes is a major issue for many men and women in prison alike. I have a number of links to research and documents about prisoner health care on my websites (prison Abolitionist and Arizona Prison Watch). Whatever you think you can do yourselves, please see who else there might be natural allies for those women fighting for better health care, and speak publicly to the issue of the treatment of prisoners with kidney disease. I don’t know who else will speak for their health care rights; I’m afraid no one even notices them there. Many more may step up if you do, first, however.
 
You would be able to articulate the consequences of Jamie not receiving proper care, in a way unlike prisoner activists – most of whom don’t know what it feels like to be toxic and dying. You could gauge better than I could whether or not withholding certain medical options might constitute cruel and unusual punishment; you don’t have to be an attorney to question that – the Supreme Court says the definition changes as society morally evolves. I hope we’ve all come at least this far by now. If Jamie will authorize the prison/medical services provider to discuss her diagnosis, prognosis, and course of planned treatment with you with her, then you would know whether or not she’s been offered treatment that’s consistent with community standards of care. Most importantly, perhaps, if Jamie and her family are at least well-informed, then perhaps they do not need to be quite so afraid. There is already so much for them to be afraid of.
At the very least these women should be fully informed about their illness, treatment options, and rights – not reminded of how expendable and of little value their lives are. They matter to the people who love them, and to those whose lives they’ve touched in positive ways. We have much to be thankful for, out here, to the good souls in prison for life who help others make it through intact, and not on a track right back there. 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.
There’s more history on this at  Mississippi Prison Watch– the latest post announcing my intent to contact you is in email format below. I received the accompanying note from Jamie Scott’s mother, though, and wanted you to see it – to hear the urgency in her voice as she’s trying to save her daughter’s life. I need to make a personal connection with someone there, to know whether or not you’ll step up on this as an advocate for Jamie and the other women there in terms of their right to access health care. The whole issue of whether or not the state would allow a prisoner to donate a kidney to another prisoner troubles me. Especially while both prisoners still have wrongful conviction cases hanging out there – that seems like taking the chance of executing the innocent.
 
Please drop us a line and let us know if you can do anything to help on this matter (Call me if you need to if I don’t respond to email; I may not make it back to my computer in the next few days.). You don’t need to comment on their convictions or sentences – no one should be made to suffer needlessly or subjected to substandard medical care when subject to the total custody and control of the state. That’s not a medical or legal judgment – it’s a moral one. It takes mainstream Americans to say that for anyone to listen, however – not left-wing radicals like me.
Thanks for your time and consideration,
Sincerely,
Peggy Plews
480-580-6807
cc: Professor Alexander Capron, National Kidney Foundation
     American Association of Kidney Patients
     National Kidney Disease Education program
     Mississippi ACLU
     (and several Mississippi and national media outlets)
    
“The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.”
– Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881)

Prison Abolitionist
http://prisonabolitionist.blogspot.com

 

Arizona Prison Watch
http://arizonaprisonwatch.blogspot.com

 

Free Marcia Powell
http://freemarciapowell.blogspot.com

 

Scott Watch: Lifting as we Climb

This came via the Scott Sisters’ support network today. I’d also encourage people to contact the Kidney Foundation (local and national chapters) and organ donor advocacy groups and let them know that a critically ill Mississippi patient desperately needs their expertise. Refer them to the Free the Scott Sisters blog. Nancy Lockhart is one of the main contacts, though I am not sure who authored the post below.


Jamie’s Life Saved by Fellow Prisoner!
2/1/10
Jamie Scott called home last night to the relief of her mother and family!  Following dialysis treatment at the prison last week Jamie was locked in a cell and was not checked on at all by anyone for a very long while.  When an inmate stopped by Jamie’s cell to speak to her, the inmate was alarmed that she was not moving and was completely unresponsive.  It was because of this inmate yelling out for help that Jamie was found to be in shock and rushed by ambulance to the Central Mississippi Medical Facility, where she had been a patient during the entire time the prison refused to give her mother or legal supporters any information at all.

If not for this inmate’s intervention Jamie may not have survived.  Her heart rate and blood pressure were way off, as well as her magnesium levels.  Her treatment had not been carried out properly and the doctor had to send back written instructions on how to care for her.  The doctor alerted Jamie that there was a problem with the insertion of the temporary catheter in her neck and that it’s placement could lead to infection, stating that the doctor who placed it needed to be contacted.  
As of last night Jamie was in the prison infirmary.
We are more concerned than ever about Jamie’s medical care and are still pushing for mainstream media coverage to shine a bright light on her steady, perilous decline due to CUT-RATE medical care with the prison’s rule of thumb being whatever is quickest, cheapest (whether or not it’s actually the right treatment) or nothing at all!  
Although Mrs. Rasco has a legal advisor, Atty Jaribu Hill, she is still in dire need of a criminal attorney.  There are many issues that need to be addressed and we are actively seeking any information that would help her obtain a lawyer.  We are extremely fortunate to have a fantastic and heavily experienced paralegal recently volunteer to work with us and who  would be of great assistance to any attorney that would help to right the very egregious wrongs the Scott Sisters have suffered these many years.  
 
Jamie Scott nor her sister should even be locked down in that prison  in the first place, this case is galling beyond belief and calls into question  every platitude this nation applies to itself when falsely lauding itself as a  human rights champion!  Please continue to make as many contacts as  possible on the Scott Sisters’ behalf, we are interested in all of your ideas and creativity to get this story out there!
 

–Here are the contacts – including several not on earlier posts – to advocate for Jamie—

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)


Brad Rogers, Mayor (Where Jamie is incarcerated):
City of Pearl
P.O. Box 5948
Pearl, MS 39288-5948

(Street Address for City of Pearl):
2420 Old Brandon Road
Pearl, MS 39208

city@cityofpearl.com

Congressman Gregg Harper

(the women in this prison should be his constituents; cite their address)
 3rd Congressional District
2507-A Old Brandon Road
Pearl, MS 39208
Phone: (601) 932 2410
Fax: (601) 932 4647


U.S. Senator Thad Cochran
United States Senate
Wash., D.C. 20510-2402
JACKSON 601-965-4459
Contact Form: http://cochran.senate.gov/contact.htm

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

(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.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.wapt.com/contact/index.html

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

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

National MEDIA:

NBC TODAY SHOW: Today@NBCUNI.com
NBC NIGHTLY NEWS: Nightly@NBC.com
Listing of NBC/MSNBC Show e-mails at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10285339

NBC News
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, N.Y. 10112
Phone: (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
Phone: 212-975-4321
Fax: 212-975-1893

ABC NEWS CONTACT FORM: http://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.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

Oprah Contact Form: https://www.oprah.com/plugform.jsp?plugId=220

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, Director

MDOC Medical Department
(601) 359-5155
gperry@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

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 MDOC
(601) 359-5610
esparkman@mdoc.state.ms.us

Congressman Bennie Thompsom
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


http://www.freethescottsisters.blogspot.com

Scott Watch: Jamie back in Hospital

I’m not sure how the prison can withhold her hospital location from Mrs. Rasco, or what action the campaign would like us to take on it. If anyone out there has a connection with the kidney foundation, an organ donation group, a politically active women’s health clinic or rights organization, a disabity rights group – anything like that in Mississippi (we need the locals) – we need some community organizations with an appropriate stake in these issues to begin making concerned inquiries of their state legislators, requesting some immediate relief for Jamie that includes her family in the treatment planning process and allows Gladys to donate a kidney, if that’s necessary. I think right now we may still just be the usual suspects. 

The men’s medical care is bad too, but if we focus most closely on women’s health care in the Mississippi prisons – including getting documentation about rights’ violations and grievances from other prisoners – we may be able to help get more voices lobbying for Jamie’s health care from different places in the Mississippi community  by expanding our characterization of her identity. 

That is, while Jamie is a wrongfully-convicted victim of the state at risk of dying in prison before her innocence can be proven, she is also a mother (we could use help from groups that advocate for moms in prison, even though her son is an adult now),  a black woman (whose health care is notoriously substandard), a poor woman needing medical care (is it her poverty, her sentence, her specific illness, or standard MDOC policy that is preventing her from getting the proper treatment?), as a critically ill adult child (parents’ groups of disabled children may be helpful), as a woman with a major mood disorder (Alliance for the Mentally Ill may help advocate), as a woman with a disability (disabled rights activists in Mississippi would be able to see quickly that the value of Jamie’s life to society has been diminished not just by her criminalization, but also by virtue of her disabilities – they don’t like it when disabled people are cut out of the health care rations, and get left to die when life-saving measures are still available). 

That Jamie appears to have advanced kidney disease is significant – the Kidney Foundation should be interested to hear that she can’t get her special diet, and that her sister offered her a kidney and that the prison won’t allow the transplant…so many people suffer and die waiting for transplants, I don’t see how the prison could make that a blanket policy. It should at least be seriously explored. Would they prohibit Gladys from making a donation to a non-prisoner? Would they permit the transplant if costs could be mitigated in some way? 

Someone who knows more about these details needs to contact the kidney foundation and organ transplant groups in Mississippi and ask them to make a formal inquiry into prison policies and what treatment options kidney patients and people needing transplants in prison do and don’t have available to them. They can probably make a legal and moral case which may be more compelling than what we can come up with. help the DOC figure out other resources for treating these patients.


Nancy Lockhart (January 30 at 5:18pm)

Mrs. Evelyn Rasco has confirmed through a sergeant and nurse at the prison that Jamie was rushed to the hospital due to a decline in her condition earlier today. The prison will not confirm anything further, whatsoever, not even whether Jamie is still alive or where specifically she has been taken (the hospitals will not confirm whether Jamie is a patient at any of them either).

We had received a report a few days ago that Jamie should have been  returned to the Medical Bldg. at the prison due to severe weakness and difficulty carrying out her activities of daily living, however this did NOT happen.

Jamie Scott should have remained hospitalized long ago due to her kidney failure and other health issues that are impacted by such a serious development!! The prison has played games with Jamie’s life long enough and should have never moved her back from the hospital to begin with!

We need to know Jamie Scott’s condition and what is happening to her. She must not, once again, be returned to the prison to continue to deteriorate, her medical care must be taken out of the prison’s hands!

Updates will follow as soon as they are available! Please keep checking in as much as you are able!

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