|To give you a better idea of how poorly the system of
medical care is in our prison system, my husband whom we have scientifically
proved to be innocent, wrote an article on prison conditions in 1998 http://www.patrickcrusade.org/debate.htm
and was severely punished for this. In fact, had it not been for
the help of all of you, we would have lost him: he would have been killed
for stating the truth in writing. I realize the public has the notion
not to be concerned about medical care for criminals, but what the public
does not realize is that diseases inside prisons go outside to you, Mr.
and Mrs. Public. That was the warning in my husband's message and
he came close to giving his life to let all of you know this truth.
Read on... Blessings to
Please sign the Petition on Prisoner Abuse & Pass
it on to others...
Director, P.A.T.R.I.C.K. Crusade
"People Aligned To Replace Injustice & Cruelty with
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Subject: NYTimes.com: Death Behind Bars
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More sickening crap!
OPINION | March 10, 2005
Editorial: Death Behind Bars http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/10/opinion/10thu2.html?ex=1111122000&en=c3be4e128778b07f&ei=5070
The country has tacitly decided to starve the prison system
of medical care, even though AIDS, tuberculosis and hepatitis are rampant
March 10, 2005
Death Behind Bars
The United States has about 2.1 million people behind
bars - a larger proportion of its population than any other nation in the
world. The correctional system's price tag is more than $60 billion - up
from just $9 billion two decades ago - and states are understandably eager
to shave costs. Some are attempting to do it by cutting back on already
dismal prison medical care.
Prison inmates are literally the sickest people in our
society. States and municipalities frequently try to dodge the bill for
treating them by ordering up bids from private providers and signing up
with the cheapest, most bare-bones plan. Paul von Zielbauer of The Times
recently opened a window onto this aspect of the problem with a harrowing
series of articles about Prison Health Services, the nation's largest private
provider of jail and prison medical care, handling about one in every 10
people who live behind bars in this country.
Among the horrific deaths described in the series is
that of Brian Tetrault, a 44-year-old man with Parkinson's disease who
died after an upstate New York jail's medical director drastically cut
his medicine. Officials then falsified records to make it appear that Mr.
Tetrault had been released before he died. Another upstate inmate, 35-year-old
Victoria Williams Smith, died of a heart attack after being mocked by a
prison nurse and denied treatment for days. Equally as troubling were accounts
of how Prison Health Services failed to keep a close eye on inmates who
later committed suicide, and its habit of sometimes employing doctors with
criminal records and doctors who lacked state certification.
Shoddy care and the denial of care are unfortunately
not unique to private companies, which do not provide the majority of the
health care that is supplied to inmates. Many publicly run systems, which
provide most of the care for the nation's inmates, are equally bad. The
root problem is that the country has tacitly decided to starve the prison
system of medical care, even though AIDS, tuberculosis and hepatitis are
rampant behind bars, and roughly one in six inmates suffers from a serious
The corrections system is largely cut off from the public
health system, in part because of federal rules that deny Medicaid assistance
to inmates. The denial of benefits is based on the notion that people who
break the law don't deserve public help, a theory that has helped spread
tuberculosis, AIDS and hepatitis from prisons to the world outside. Privatization
of services is no magic cure for this growing threat to public health.
The common-sense response would be a coherent, publicly subsidized program
of testing, counseling and treatment that would slow the spread of disease,
both behind bars and after inmates were released.