Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Georgia Prisons

Got a keyboard? Help type articles, letters and study group discussions from prisoners. help out is a media institution run by the Maoist Internationalist Ministry of Prisons. Here we collect and publicize reports of conditions behind the bars in U.$. prisons. Information about these incidents rarely makes it out of the prison, and when it does it is extremely rare that the reports are taken seriously and published. This historical record is important for documenting patterns of abuse, and also for informing people on the streets about what goes on behind the bars.

We hope this information will inspire people to take action and join the fight against the criminal injustice system. While we may not be able to immediately impact this particular instance of abuse, we can work to fundamentally change the system that permits and perpetuates it. The criminal injustice system is intimately tied up with imperialism, and serves as a tool of social control on the homeland, particularly targeting oppressed nations.

[Medical Care] [Calhoun State Prison] [Georgia]

Still Fighting Insulin Indifference

The prison's segregation unit at Calhoun State Prison (CSP) has a practical policy of delaying an insulin-dependent diabetic's finger-stick & insulin injection until several hours after meals have already been served and the empty meal trays collected back up. This is even though their medical orders call for them to receive finger-sticks & insulin before meals, not afterward. This is a textbook example (or, in this prison setting, a case-law example) of a prison policy of indifference which exists in violation of both the contemporary standards recognized by the medical profession (medical malpractice), and the federal constitution's 8th Amendment's proscription against cruel & unusual punishments.

A factor contributing to this policy is that at CSP's segregation (seg) unit breakfast is passed out anytime between 4:30 a.m. & 5 a.m. but CSP's administration doesn't have its medical staff clocking in for work until 6 a.m. every morning. By that time (1-1.5 hours after breakfast) the diabetics housed in seg are badly in need of relief from the dangerously high blood glucose/sugar level resulting from their having ate breakfast without any insulin. I know from my own experience as an insulin-dependent diabetic that if I eat without first taking insulin I develop a dangerously high glucose level in the 300s, 400s, 500s, or higher. This is a typical insulin-dependent's reaction to eating without first receiving the prescribed dosage of insulin he requires for the particular meal.

When nurses clock in at 6 a.m. all of the diabetics housed in prison general population have not ate yet. However, instead of first proceeding to seg to promptly attend to those diabetics who are in acute distress, nurses are instead choosing to administer insulin to the diabetics in general population. Next, they are choosing to perform pill call for the entire non-diabetic general population.

Depending on the efficiency of the particular nurses working on a given day, by the time it's all said and done nurses aren't arriving in seg with glucose meters & insulin until anywhere from 7-10 a.m. every morning, sometimes even later. Delays are also occurring at lunchtime & suppertime, even though nurses are already clocked in and on duty, and so there is really no explanation apparent to justify these additional delays. I kept a record of the delays between meals & insulin, and the nurses responsible for the worst delays are Nurse Williams, Nurse Deefe, Nurse Gilbert, Nurse Porter, and Nurse Mills.

To clear the air on how dangerous hours-long delays are, I am going to quote to you from page 54 of Dr. Jorge E. Rodriguez's book Diabetes Solution, where he explains the dangers of high blood sugar, also called hyperglycerin:

"Hyperglycemia, by definition, is a level of sugar in the blood above the accepted normal range... the normal range for a person's fasting blood sugar ("fasting" means after 8 or more hours without eating anything) level is below 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) of blood, and the normal range at any other time should be below 180 mg/dl)... Elevated blood sugar in and of itself causes tissue damage but having a blood sugar that is extremely elevated can cause life-threatening changes in the body in a matter of hours. An extremely high blood sugar level, and I mean at least 300 — remember, normal is under 100 (fasting) or 180 (any other time) — can cause an imbalance in the delicate acid-based structure in the tissues of the body. When the body can no longer use sugar as an energy source it starts breaking down fat and protein, one of the by-products of these two alternative sources of energy is ketones. A high level of circulating ketones not only damages tissues, but can cause confusion, unconsciousness, and coma."

The above medical expert's opinion sufficiently shows how diabetics housed in CSP's segregation unit are in imminent danger of serious physical injury and/or death. Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) will try to remedy a prisoner's medical complaints by transferring him to another prison. In just 3 years my complaints of improper diabetic care has caused my transfers to 8 different prisons (there is also a deficiency in the diabetic care at my present prison, Wheeler Correctional Facility).

These repeated failures are evidence which supports a civil complaint, not only against these individual prisons, but against the entire GDC, under the litigation theory that there's no prison in the GDC network it can transfer me to where I won't be in imminent danger of serious physical injury or death, due to a lack of adequate diabetic care. I will keep you informed of all the latest developments.

MIM(Prisons) responds: This is a followup to the articles "Insulin Indifference Endangers Prisoners", and "Fixing Insulin Indifference", which we published in 2017 on this same insulin problem in Georgia. These medical battles are literally life and death for some people. Just a further example of the indifference and negligence of the criminal injustice system.

[Organizing] [United Front] [Macon State Prison] [Georgia] [ULK Issue 61]

The Contagious Disease of Backbiting

I wrote this piece because I was being irked by brothers talking to one another. I made a copy and posted it inside the dormitory as I always do. I also posted "Incarcerated Minds" by a California prisoner (March 2016).

Backbiting is a disease that is tearing the fabric of our brotherly threads of unity. Let's keep it all the way 100. When one possesses commissary, tennis shoes, cigarettes, drugs, cell phones or just a swagger that another desires and has no means to obtain it or lack a hustler's ambition to go and get it, one will begin to spread a venom in the community. This venom begins to seep into the heart and mind of the speaker until he becomes tainted, corrupted and eventually a hater. He hates himself foremost but will try to contaminate thy neighbor as though you are the culprit in his wicked heart.

He will attempt to turn people against you! He will "shake salt" on your name. He will snitch on you, do anything within his will power to aid in the destruction of you. One must be mindful of their thoughts, because they will become your words and eventually your actions! Get up off your punk ass and be your own man! Do for yourself and just maybe that fortunate comrade will aid you in your journey to become successful. A grown man talking about another man is weak! And the one who listens to and condones this trash talk is no better for not operating on the heart of that brother and extracting this cancer out of him.

You are fake if you smile in a man's face and then when he leaves you call him lame or a pussy or whatever terminology used to describe your emotional hatred. This is the William Lynch theory in full effect 300 years later, just as he predicted. Planting dissent within our brotherhood. Our duty is to contradict that theory by uniting amongst one another and doing the total opposite.

I know that it is an extremely arduous task because I'm a proactive man of unity in peace, but when all of us are dead or in jail from this contagious disease that will cause us to rob, kill and destroy one another.

We represent Gangsters, Bloods, Crips, Lords, Pirus, Aryans, Goodfellas, Muslim, Brown pride, even Christians, but everyone of us suffer from the same struggles: incarceration, homelessness, poverty, police brutality, poor education, addiction, etc. Before we can come against each other we need to come together and overcome these struggles of capitalistic imperialism.

Peace to the revolutionary voices of insight. We will combat this capitalist devil through peace and unity. Through camaraderie and communism. The power is vested in the people; We are the people.

MIM(Prisons) responds: This essay really highlights one of the five points of the United Front for Peace in Prisons: Unity. And the writer is not only criticizing those who backbite and gossip, but ey is also doing something about it. Posting articles is a great way to try to get people thinking about something new. It can be less confrontational than attacking these folks directly to their faces. Though sometimes calling out behavior when it happens is also very effective. We want to hear more about the things people are doing like this to build peace and unity behind bars. Follow this comrade's example and send in your reports for the next issue of ULK.

[Abuse] [Hays State Prison] [Georgia]

Oppression in the Mountains of Georgia

I am currently at Hays State Prison in Trion, GA. I for the record am white, am a Muslim by religion, and tired of seeing all these white trash pigz and klansmen that work here on this kkkompound treat all the inmates like modern day slaves.

There is this level style program called Tier II in GA (see Sop 209.08 Tier II/Administrative Segregation) and here at Hays it is beyond the norm of oppression. Unit managers, supervisors, and officers alike threaten and try to antagonize any prisoner they see as weak. There is an area known to all as simply "behind the glass" its supposed to be level 6 security and the wardens have at times said that level 6 status only will last 30 days, but people are kept in there up to 90 days, for no reason at all. The warden has personally told people, myself included, that "you get no legal library behind the glass."

The food service here is supervised by ARAMARK, a major imperialist conglomerate in the food service industry, and per the above SOP all Tier II inmates are to receive the same quality and quantity of food as GP. However we don't receive coffee at breakfast all other state run institutions in the GDC do, our portions are often inadequate and no way possible add up to 2000 calories per day, we only receive lunch Monday-Thursday except on state/federal holidays, meaning on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and any and all holidays we only eat twice, the trays arrive cold more often than not.

When officers are confronted with issues they, in some cases, lie and simply move on. Today, 25 December 2017 I watched a nurse refuse a man his mental health medication, I am unsure of this nurse's name, simply because he wouldn't go to the back of his cell even though he is no "behind the glass." When he asked the C.O. working pill pass why he had to step back the C.O. said "I don't trust you." When the inmate refused to move the nurse said "you have three seconds then you've refused your meds," and ultimately she refused his medication.

There are many other very cruel things I've heard about but until I see the actual use of "the involuntary hunger strike" or an inmate beat to death by staff, I cannot speak on them.

I ask my fellow inmates/convicts no matter your race, religion, gang affiliation, or sexual preference to stand as one at Hays State Prison without using any unwarranted violence so that us on lockdown get what we need. Please y'all come together and fight oppression and racism with me cause I cannot do it alone.

To all my Muslim brothers As-Salam Alaikum and to the Christians God Bless and to the ones I've left out be safe and hold your heads up.

[Abuse] [Smith State Prison] [Georgia]

Fight GA abuse, stop spending money

It's more war against each other but if it comes down to it some camps will ride on those pigz because everyone ain't for it but the trick is we will not stop spending our money with these clowns. If we stop spending on shit they create then we may get the attention we stand for.

Me for example, on November 16, 2017 on breakfast trays there were maggots in the potatoes so I refused all my trays but I get a diet sack 3x7, which means 3 meals 7 times a week. Okay I must admit I did get my diet sack on November 18 but I heard an office say oh you refuse trays but don't refuse packets? So I thought maybe I need to refuse them as well. So I did. I only went to medical once, that was November 20. Said I was normal upon Nov 20 til Nov 30 I went without nothing. So upon December 1 I never spoke with noone and noone came to speak with me but this fake ass mental health counselor. I told her I haven't eaten she then said that's my choice. It's nothing she can do for me.

So on December 1, 2017 I went to the stone because I then notice they will not help me. I didn't intend for a hunger strike but I feel I had to act some way. Deputy Warden took pictures of the whole thing still bringing the same trays. These people have brothas living in strip cells who haven't did shit to be in there. Strip cell you can't flush your own toilet imagine you make the officer mad? Man these people done put these young dudes on strip cell for yelling out the door only to get attention of the warden to speak with him but they was put in a shower for numerous of hours like 10-6pm and then taken to a room and strip with no clothing no paper gown no socks, crazy shit, but this is how we want to live. Free every mentally power brotha and sista who fight for their cause. I stand and fall for you and with you.

[Control Units] [Hays State Prison] [Georgia]

24 Hr Lockdown in Hays

Any help you can offer me to help me educate myself would be awesome. So I'm stuck on a lockdown program here in Georgia. We are locked down 24 hrs a day, with no library, no schooling, and most inmates here don't want to help themselves, much less anyone else. I have no family help. I'm a lil better off than some, i do have my GED. But I still want to better myself any way I can.

[Campaigns] [Wheeler Correctional Facility] [Georgia]

Grievance battle tactics in Georgia

In 2012 at Wheeler Correctional Facility (a "Corrections Corporation of America" facility) the prison was following Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC)'s standard operating procedure (SOP) for it's grievance procedure. Step 1 was an informal grievance (with a 10-day response time). Writing space on the form was limited to just 3 lines. Responses were also limited to 3 lines. Step 2 was a formal grievance (with a 30-day response time). Writing space was a 2.5" by 6" box on the form. If required, the prisoner could attach 1 additional page to the grievance. For my formal grievance, I used the entire box and 1 attachment page. This was approximately 34 more additional lines of pertinent information to investigate than on my informal grievance.

However, the response I received was the same verbatim 3-sentence response I received to my informal. This was the practice at Wheeler Correctional Facility in 2012. At Step 3, the appeal to GDC's Central Office, I complained that merely repeating the same response to the informal grievance was ignoring the information/concerns contained in the 34 more additional lines of information in my formal grievance. I also pointed out this implied the prison wasn't investigating formal grievances and that this would constitute deliberate indifference.

Later the same month GDC's central office issued a statewide memorandum to both it's state facilities and the private facilities who's grievance procedure it oversees (Wheeler Correctional Facility is one of them), announcing statewide policy changes in the following manner: 1. The informal step of the grievance procedure is abolished, and; 2. an optional 10-day extension was added to the 30 day response time for formal grievances.

This is actually a decision in our favor. One reason is because now the facility-level grievance process requires less unnecessary writing. Another reason is because the optional 10-day extension is rarely, if ever, being taken and because of this it is now taking less time to receive responses to grievances which formerly would have initially lingered, unresolved, through the informal step of the process. This is true for the majority of all grievances filed.

I will now share one of the methods I've created for defeating one of the tactics which prison officials use to wrongfully deny grievances. A tactic frequently used by prison officials, to wrongfully reject or deny a prisoner's legitimate grievance, is to intentionally misinterpret pertinent information relevant to the grievance as being "multiple issues" or "more than one issue". This doesn't necessarily mean the grievance is complaining of more than one issue. It's often just information necessary to explain or understand your grievance, or to allow an effective investigation into your grievance, etc. Whatever the scenario in your particular case, you should emphasize this in the appeal of your rejected/denied grievance.

As a pre emptory strike to prevent prison officials from utilizing this "multiple issues" tactic, I will begin the 1st sentence of my formal grievance by writing "this is a grievance of...", then I state the single issue I am grieving. I follow this by writing "all other information contained in this grievance is necessary for explaining or understanding the grievance", etc.

Because I have already clarified this to prison officials in advance, they cannot rely on their supposed confusion, as to what issue you are grieving, to reject or deny your grievance for "multiple issues". If they do, then just point out this error in reasoning in your appeal. For example, "The grievance is not of multiple issues, as I have clearly identified the single issues I am grieving in the 1st sentence of my grievance". Your appeal of such a denial should also explain that prison officials allegation of "multiple issues" (when they already know better, because you'd already clarified this for them in the first sentence of your grievance), can only be construed as a retaliation against you for having utilized the grievance procedure. Be sure to explain your latter allegation, of retaliation, "information necessary for an understanding of the appropriateness for this appeal".

I have seen that when you are consistently being this specific and reasonable it renders prison officials unable to utilize this particular tactic without it becoming obvious that they are retaliating against you in violation of your 1st amendment rights. This makes a prima facie showing of retaliation so plain it would allow a court to side with you against prison officials' motion for dismissal of summary judgement (alleging that you failed to exhaust your administrative remedies), by ruling that you properly complied with the grievance procedure and therefore have exhausted your administrative remedies as required by the Prisoner's Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) §42 U.S.C. 1997(e)(a).

In addition, I encourage anyone who encounters this "multiple issues" tactic to report it by executing the grievance petition available from MIM's "We Demand Our Grievances Be Addressed" grievance campaign. Like the editor's have said, even if this initially fails, such failures can be used to show how the purportedly neutral criminal injustice system contrives against us.

[Organizing] [Macon State Prison] [Georgia] [ULK Issue 59]

September 9 Day of Peace and Solidarity: Lessons and Future Plans

[9 September 2017 marked the sixth annual Day of Peace and Solidarity in prisons across the United $tates. On this day we commemorated the anniversary of the Attica uprising, drawing attention to abuse of prisoners across the country through peaceful protests, unity events, and educational work. This demonstration was initiated in 2012 by an organization participating in United Struggle for Peace in Prisons and has been taken up as an annual UFPP event, with people participating in prisons across the country.

In ULK 58 we printed some reports about September 9 actions. While we were inspired by those who stood up and protested, educated, and organized around this annual commemoration, we saw relatively low participation this year. As a result we have asked the leadership council of United Struggle from Within to consider whether this is the right action to focus our energy on in coming years. There are many ways to organize and we should not get stuck in just one path because it is what we did in the past.

We call on all readers to submit your thoughts on the September 9 commemmoration. Should we continue next year, or if not, do you have an idea for a campaign or action we should take up instead? We will pass your comments on to the USW leadership council.

Below is one more report we received on September 9 organizing from Georgia. - MIM(Prisons)]

This history lesson was posted on the dorm wall for two weeks preceding September 9 in Macon State Prison in Georgia:

[email protected]* Sept 11th, we got Sept 9th!

Sept 9th marks an important date in the history of mistreated prisoners across the U.S. It is the date of what is referred to as 'The Attica Rebellion.' Here's a synopsis of the event and I pray to the revolution gods that my recollection serves me correct. Unity in Peace.

Sept 9, 1971 prisoners at Attica Correctional Institution in the state of New York got tired of prison guards harassing them and abusing them mentally and physically, so they decided to take a stand. The prisoners negotiated with the prison commissioner and when he refused to meet requests, the prisoners, for the betterment, health care and food, then turned to a full scale riot and eventual takeover of the prison and staff. The men spoke over a land line to then-governor Nelson Rockefeller about the conditions of confinement and he too refused to meet demands. On Sept 13th after a four-day standoff governor Nelson Rockefeller ordered local law enforcement and the National Guard to take back the prison with deadly force. About 50 deaths in all from around 30 prisoners and 10 guards with hundreds more injured and disabled and disfigured to this date.

This is a tremendous day in our fight for justice and courage and a loss of many lives. Always remember Sept 9th as a sad but heroic sacrifice made for the betterment of you and me.

MIM(Prisons) adds: A beautiful aspect of the Attica Uprising was how the prisoners interacted with each other. They ran the facility themselves, and there was peace on the yard. They were able to feed themselves, deliver meds, and even did count, all without the overseers breathing down their necks. For more of the history on the Attica Uprising, send in $2 of work-trade for the September 9 study pack.

[Legal] [Abuse] [Control Units] [Georgia]

Fighting Georgia in court leads to Tier II lockdown

Recently I was scheduled a court date on October, 2017 to appear in court at 9am in Hancock County courthouse in front of Judge E. Trenton Brown III. A week before the hearing the Judge dismissed the Writ of Mandamus for no apparent reason with the law mention to support its justified claims. My allegations were against defendants Governor Nathan Deal and his underlings whose occupation is Georgia Department of Corrections officials in the capacity as Wardens, Commissioner, Lt, Sgt, Ofcs, for the violation of my 14th amendment United States constitutional rights, due process of law.

The institution I am confined in doesn't even want to issue any prisoner an Administrative of Courts (AOC) Writ of Mandamus, which is part of their ploy to stop us access to the courts. The Attorney General of Georgia who represents these defendants uses that ploy as their advantage to have prisoners' claims thrown out in court under Donald V Prices that's stating a claim is void when not done on proper AOC Writ of Mandamus form. All Georgia Department of Correction officials and government officials are in a clandestine conspiracy to cover up each others malfeasance.

I've been held captive in a 24 hour lockdown called Tier II program and have been falsely validated a Goodfella, a group of Black human beings who the GDC have placed in solitary confinement indefinitely. This group of individuals are in involuntary protective custody and are supposed to be treated as Administrative Segregation prisoners and have equal access as the general population. But we don't, we are under the same authority rules and regulations and same policy as the disciplinary prisoners and some of us have gradually progressed to 3+ phase which is the "honor" phase. We are not allowed our property (5th amendment violation). We are not allowed compound store only restricted housing food, we are not allowed proper time in the shower nor proper exercise or yard hours. Our 8th, 5th, 14th amendments are being maliciously violated and we are being discriminated upon. Our equal rights of protection is also violated. Me being a prison solicitor I am constantly having vindictive retaliatory retaliation implemented on my well being from filing grievance et al. But I will prevail and keep fighting the machine until it is destroyed and this Tier II program is eradicated.

[Control Units] [Abuse] [Valdosta Correctional Institution] [Georgia]

Georgia using validation status to justify permanent lockdown

I'm currently one of hundreds of prisoners placed on tier because of my alleged validation. Please allow me to explain.

Since 2011 Georgia Department of Corrections has declared war against all prisoners validated "MOB" (Goodfellas, young mafia family) by prison officials.

All prisoners validated "MOB" have been on a never-ending lockdown because of incidents that happened amongst prisoners in 2011. Prisoners validated "MOB" have been the only ones locked down as a whole since then. Regardless of participation or if they just coming in the prison system if they validated "MOB" they automatically get locked down and placed into Tier Phase 1.

In 2013 GA DOC implemented what they call "Tier". Which at the time they told us “this is not a disciplinary program". All prisoners validated "MOB" was automatically placed on tier even prisoners just coming in the system go straight to tier because of their validation to the "MOB".

While on this program we've been stripped of all rights, liberty, privileges and some have even lost their life trying to get away from this oppression being administered by GA DOC. Tier was originally a three-phase program each phase 90 days and upon completion of the last phase prisoners will return to population!

On Phase 1 prisoners are not allowed to have no personal property at all: clothing, food, books, magazines, newspapers, radios, and hygiene are all restricted. On phase 2 you can have up to $15 in hygiene but all other items are restricted. On phase 3 you can get a limited commissary but all other items are restricted.

GA DOC implemented a phase 3 plus to hold all prisoners validated "MOB" on this never-ending lockdown. For the past 4 years we're the only group held on tier as a whole, we're the only group not allowed to complete the tier and return to population. And while we're held on tier we still have no rights or privileges. Our visitation is limited to two hours and at some prisons our loved ones have to drive four and a half hours to only see us for 2 hours, no contact. Our visitors are limited to two visitors so if you have more than one child only one can visit with one adult.

Our phone is limited to 3 15-minute calls a month (one call a week). Then miss a week. Our commissary is limited and at some prisons you can only buy sweets and other non healthy items that cause diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Food on trays have been cut back which have caused all prisoners on tier to lose large amounts of weight.

At the prison I'm currently at we only allowed recreation two days a week (Monday and Wednesday) leaving us locked in 2-prisoner cells 24 hours a day 5 days a week in extreme temperatures.

Cells have no sockets therefore we are not allowed to have fans and temperatures often reach high 90s, & every time you move you sweat. Even if you lay still you sweat and in cold months cells are freezing. It gets so cold we don't be wanting to get out the bed to grab the tray out the slot.

Sanitation only get ran when they have visitors coming. Trays we eat off be 1/2 clean and often have food from previous meals stuck in corners. Cells are full of insects, bugs and spiders and some prisons rodents & many other type bugs.

The prison I just left prisoners in a 2-prisoner cell can't flush their own toilets and sometimes have to go hours smelling feces or urine because the officer too lazy and don't want to flush the toilet or he get mad at another prisoner and won't flush no one toilet. (Georgia State Prison)

Prison officials have had us writing statements say we don't fear for our lives and we have no enemies on a compound and they still don't let us out. All they do is rotate us from prison to prison with false promises to let us out. The only ones they let out is dudes who not "MOB" but get validated for talking or walking with someone validated "MOB". Some prisoners have been validated "MOB" by prison officials because of where they from (Atlanta Georgia). Prison officials automatically make you "MOB" or blood if you from Atlanta and Young or have a lot of tattoos. You've had prisoners write statements renouncing their validation and prison officials still refuse to let them out.

Many attempts have been made to grieve these issues that's on camera but all our grievances are denied or never responded to. We are in desperate need of any help or advice needed to take these oppressors to court and challenge this "Tier" this cruel unusual punishment and discrimination being administered by prison officials.

Law library is inadequate and prison officials don't have no one trained in law to assist us. They don't have books in law library and it's only one computer and no one show us how to operate it. I can be reached at this address.

[Medical Care] [Riverbend Correctional Facility] [Georgia] [ULK Issue 57]

Insulin Indifference Disables Prisoners

For diabetic prisoners, prisons can perform up to 5 fingersticks and insulin administrations per day. A problem is some prisons have blanket policies of only 2 fingersticks and insulin administrations per day, and diabetics are frequently and indiscriminately transferred out to these prisons even though more than 2 fingersticks/insulin administrations per day are necessary to adequatly control their diabetes.

I think the medical treatises, and the other sources cited in the enclosed hand copy of the grievance I have recently filed at my prison will enable diabetic prisoners, as well as prison administrators who are not medical professionals (i.e. the warden, etc.), to recognize when a 2-fingerstick policy is an inadequate regime of treatment.

I also think the illustration of how diabetes and extremely elevated glucose levels harms the body (as evidenced by levels over 300 points, and the accompanying signs and symptoms of elevated glucose) is enough of a showing of physical injury to satisfy the Prisoners' Litigation Reform Act's (PLRA's) "physical injury" requirement necessary to allow a prisoner afflicted by this type of policy to recover additional damages for mental and emotional injury (42 U.S.C.A. Section 1997e(e)).

I am requesting you publish this information so that other prisoners throughout the country will know when their care is lacking and how to pursue proper treatment, through litigation if necessary.

Description of Incident

I am an insulin-dependent diabetic. Lunch is served for diabetics at 12:45 - 13:15 hrs. This is according to the Building Schedule. Like most other diabetics who require 70/30 type insulin, this schedule is too far outside the time frame my pre-breakfast injection of insulin works to lower my lunchtime glucose (by fingerstick at 17:00-18:30 hrs Diabetic Clinic). This is evidenced by the extremely elevated pre-supper glucose level in the 300s, 400s, and 500s. To prevent this, at all the other prisons I've been served lunch from 10:45-11:50 hrs. This is closer to the window period 70/30 insulin is effective to lower lunchtime glucose within. This was evidenced by a lowered pre-supper-time glucose level in the 200s, 100s, and below 100 points. (70/30 insulin is 70% intermediate-acting insulin and 30% short-acting insulin.)

I wrote a grievance on this problem, using information from the Prisoners Diabetes Handbook distributed by Southern Poverty Law Center, and Diabetes Solution by Jorge E. Rodriguez, M.D. On 28 December 2016 Counselor Johnson proofread my grievance for technical compliance before accepting it for processing. I will keep your staff at MIM(Prisons) informed of further developments regarding this.

Diabetes Summary

I also included in my grievance the following information so prison staff can understand the time frames insulin works within. There are 3 characteristics of insulin: onset (when the insulin starts to work), peaks (when the insulin is working the hardest), and duration (how long the insulin works for). The 70/30-type insulin I require is a mixture of 70% intermediate-acting insulin and 30% short-acting insulin. If you take short-acting (regular) insulin, and intermediate-acting (NPH) insulin, you need to eat on time by matching your meals to your insulin injections, so your insulin is peaking at the same time your glucose from your meals is peaking. Here are the time frames of 70/30 insulin:

Type insulinOnset after injectionPeak Duration
Short-acting (Regular)about 30 minutes 2-3 hours later3-6 hours
Intermediate-acting (NPH)about 2-4 hours4-10 hours later10-16 hours
*Note: Actual time frames for performance can vary based on each person's own individual response to insulin.

For me, as for many of the other diabetics who require 70/30 insulin, regular peaks about 3 hours after injection. (This is also the same time my glucose from meals is also peaking.) The NPH component peaks about 5-6 hours after injection. This was about the same time all the other prisons I've been to serve lunch. This was an adequate enough time frame to allow the insulin to lower my lunchtime glucose, measured by fingerstick at suppertime. But here at Riverbed Correctional Facility (RCF) lunch is served too far outside the peak performance cycle to lower my glucose at supper time.

The following information is from Diabetes Solution by Jorge E. Rodriguez, M.D., and my past conversations with diabetes specialists and educators, including this prison's own diabetes education facilitator, Registered Nurse Colin.

When you eat, food is broken down to the blood sugar, called glucose, which then enters the bloodstream where cells use it as food for energy. This process is called glucose-cell metabolism, and it can not occur without the hormone insulin. Insulin is made in the pancreas. Diabetes occurs when the pancreas either doesn't make any insulin, doesn't make enough insulin, or for other reasons the body cannot use its own insulin properly. When this happens glucose starts building up in the blood instead. Diabetes is defined as a fasting glucose level over 125 points, or a random glucose level over 200 points.

Diabetes harms the body in the following way: A glucose molecule looks like a ball made of many sharp points. In high levels the points become abrasive which damages the insides of the veins of the cardiovascular system, kidneys, eyes, etc., causing heart disease, kidney disease, blindness, etc. When glucose becomes this dangerously elevated, the body will attempt to pass it off in the urinary tract. A sign of this is frequent urination. Other symptoms of glucose having become this high are blurry vision, extreme hunger right after eating, dry mouth, thirst, etc. This is happening to me right after lunch at this prison. These symptoms persist until my next shot of insulin begins peaking, 3 hours after supper time insulin administration. A sign I am suffering kidney damage is I can feel my kidneys since I've come to this prison.

MIM(Prisons) responds: This writer is setting a good example for others of sharing knowledge and work ey is doing to help others. Individual medical battles like this one are important for the survival of the individual, and we can make the impact much broader by writing up our successes and failures, documenting information needed by others, and building a movement capable of saving lives while organizing to ultimately dismantle this system of dangerous oppressive criminal injustice.

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