Medical Neglect Covered up with False DR in Kansas
I would like to share a struggle that many Kansas captives are dealing with currently. In the past few years, the synthetic marijuana drug known as K2 has flooded the prison system. Its use is easily hidden from detection because urine analysis tests don't regularly detect for it. One way it's detected is from red eyes. The KDOC is saying "red eyes" is a determining factor in writing a class one Disciplinary Report (DR) for substance abuse.
I recently had a seizure (my medical history includes epilepsy) and was rushed to the clinic. I came to with red eyes from having the seizure and the nurse said to me "you have no history of seizures, did you smoke some K2?" With this comment, I was not treated for my seizures, I was taken straight to segregation, and while still in handcuffs had another seizure in the cell. From hitting my face, I was bruised and bleeding. The nurse came down and said "It's just the drugs coming out of him, keep him in seg. We've already seen him." I was scared I was going to die!!! I hadn't used any drugs, I was having seizures and medical was refusing me care. It was later found in the computer that I had been treated for seizures, had been on anti-seizure medication, and had been hospitalized for seizures. Because of the DR I was placed in segregation for 21 days and had my visits suspended for one year. I filed appeals and even contacted the Kansas Medical Review Board. They concluded "because of this inmate's history of seizures, we believe the DR may need to be re-evaluated."
No one in the Department of Corrections was willing to correct this DR. The nurse that made the comment "this might be from K2" told me word for word "you should be able to beat this on appeal" after she was made aware of my past history of seizures. In her medical report (that was used to find me guilty) she stated "inmate has no history of seizures." That was clearly medical malpractice, my history was in her computer, and I told her I had a history of seizures and she called me a liar.
I have now paid $195 and filed a 60-1501 [habeas corpus petition] downtown. There is no way that simply having red eyes after having a seizure shows proof of K2 drug use. I know of several others who have had red eyes from allergies and have been convicted for this same bullshit writeup. I'm encouraging everyone who gets a substance abuse DR solely on "red eyes" to challenge this write up on the way to the courts. It needs to be done and change needs to be made. This is based on a pure assumption and no solid facts.
MIM(Prisons) responds: This medical neglect in Kansas underscores the prison's use of unscientific criteria to classify people into segregation. Just as so-called gang members are identified based on false evidence, now the Kansas DOC is identifying illicit drug users based on criteria so common they can use it to label anyone they like. Red eyes can come from a summer allergy, lack of sleep, or any number of other causes. Prisoners have to be careful they don't get soap in their eyes when washing their faces, if the prisoncrats are looking for an excuse to punish them. We echo this writer's call to everyone affected to challenge these writeups. And we urge this comrade, or others in Kansas, to draft a grievance that can be used by everyone for this challenge. This would make a good state-wide campaign because it ties together the issues of medical neglect and control units in a battle against a practice that will no doubt target politically active and conscious prisoners for isolation. We should work to build a united front to fight this policy in Kansas.