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Under Lock & Key

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[Medical Care] [California]
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Flush limits on toilets needs challenge

Salutations and respect to all the progressives working on behalf of the people there.

I'd like to find out of anyone has heard of and/or successfully challenged CDCR's new policy concerning controlled flushes on the toilets this institution (SVSP) is now in the process of installing them here and I've heard they've been placed in other institutions across the state as well.

It goes without saying with the California overpopulation and lockdown crisis as well as the inadequate and broken health care system, this new diabolical scheme by CDCR will surely cause a lot more prisoner suffering, if not properly challenged.

Any and all information on this subject matter will be greatly appreciated.

Faithfully strugglin'

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[Medical Care] [California]
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Overcrowding, poor food and poor medical care common in California

Let me begin this summary stating that this institution is and has been overcrowded. The actual count it is supposed to hold escapes me, but I am very sure it has been exceeded by 2000. The overpopulation is very apparent since we now are stacked on triple bunk beds which were once doubles. The gymnasiums have been converted into housing units which hold up to 200+ people in an area designed for full court basketball. The inmate to correctional guard ratio is around 50 to 1. As a result of the overpopulation, there have been many infections caused by poor sanitation and the close quartering. Infections range from Staph to ringworm and even tetanus. Not to mention the fact that the facility was built in an area that has a high rate of valley fever.

The food is meager, but I really shouldn't complain since there are far worse prisons in other countries. Protein makes few appearances in this diet. Medical has been slightly revived in the last few months since the federal government's threats to come in and clean the place up. A lot of people look forward to them coming in, but we will have to wait and see if they really change anything. Luckily, mail here isn't heavily censored, but things often change quickly around here.

One of the things I have noticed is the fact that this prison houses a lot of lifers. Now, you would wonder why does this prison accept so many lifers, but it is easily observed when you see the work rosters for PIA (Prison Industry Authority). They employ a large number of lifers to work in their factories for small wages. In facility II, where I currently reside, we have the furniture factory where the inmates make furniture for resale to the state. Where these profits go, no one knows. Information is kept and rarely shared with the prison population, causing a lot of frustration and uncertainty.

This is just a brief summary to outline some of the conditions that we live in. A lot of the prison population states that these conditions have been getting worse. We remain vigilant for any improvements.

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[Medical Care] [California]
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Medical Neglect in California

It is with pleasure, plus an urgency now that I have had time to read and sift through the MIM Notes you have sent me. As I began to go over the MIM Notes I noticed a lot of times we are of similar minds in the same thinking mode.

I am in a position to sue this particular institution/prison for what one can call straight out medical negligence. I have already begun with the grievance part being submitted.

I came to this institution in April of 2005. I was diagnosed with cancer in April of 2007. In May or June I had a seizure that busted my lower lip. At that point I began to submit paperwork as well as complain about pain, also bleeding that never was able to be stopped or controlled in any way.

It was as though my complaints of pain, as well as visual bleeding, sometimes even cracked lips, were of no concern, or even taken seriously. It was in early 2007 that a psychiatrist took it upon herself to get involved. I had been telling her about how much pain that I was in constantly, and this institution's yard doctor at that time would not send me out to an outside doctor or hospital for a real consultation. Instead for some reason they kept trying to keep it all in house. I kept telling her that they were trying to hide something, sweep something under the rug, even trying to slip something past me knowing my mental health was not up to par at times.

I was finally diagnosed with a type of cancer that attacked my lower lip mostly on the right side. I have had surgery on the bottom lip, as well as my throat cut. All this in a 9.5 hour surgery. I am doing radiation now 5 days a week, and I will probably have another surgery once radiation is finished.

I have taken it upon myself to get all my medical records Xeroxed in case this ever gets into a he says - she says predicament. Now my problem is I need a lawyer, I want to sue as well as expose the medical mistreatment in this system. It took close to two years to get the actual medical help that I needed and deserved to have. I have all the names of the players as well as their positions, plus their positions when it comes to me and this matter.

MIM adds: We hope that by publishing stories like this one we will both inform our readers about the injustice and outright negligence in the Amerikan prison system, and also inspire our readers to get involved in the fight against the criminal injustice system. It's not just individual cases that need to be tackled, but the entire system that is causing unnecessary deaths and suffering. The health care in California prisons is so bad that U.S. District Court Judge Thelton Henderson placed the prison health care system in receivership in 2005 after finding it responsible for as many as 34 prisoner deaths and far more cases of negligence.

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[Medical Care] [Abuse] [Spanish] [Clinton Correctional Facility] [New York]
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Abuso del Medico en Clinton Correctional Facility

Quiero dejarle saber lo que me hacen aqui los oficiales. El 7/8/07 el oficial J. Cross le puso veneno o algo a los tres unsources que me dan el medico. Porque el mismo me lo dijo. Y ademas pase el dia vomitando y estoy enfermo desde ese dia. La enfermera hizo un reporte de este incidente. Y el 6/22/07 este oficial me boto todos mis medicinas. Y cuando trabaja no me dan comida, y le dice a los otros oficiales que no me den comida y no me dan comida. Y me tiene amenazado de muerte, y no puedo ir a la clinica a ver al medico porque me quieren golpearme los oficiales de la clinica porque el oficial J. Cross le dijo.

El 6/22/07 mi madre me mando unos libros y el oficial Bruce no quiere darmelo, aunque tengo los recibos de los libros. Aqui no me dan el baño ni la hora de la recreación que tiene que darme mandatoriamente.

Ademas, apagan las camaras de video, y me acusan de cosas que no hice, y me dan tigues. Ademas, aqui no me procesan los grievances. Los Sargentos W. Bisso y Giambruno son lo primero racistas y abusadores. Y el Superintende no hace nada por mi aunque le enseño las pruebas de los abuses de los oficiales contra mi.

Le escribí al Commissioner en Albany para que me ayude, y me saque de Clinton y no han hecho nada por mi tampoco. Ayudemen si pueden para salir de Clinton porque mi vida esta en peligro con los oficiales y los sargentos.

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[Medical Care] [Prison Labor] [Pennsylvania] [ULK Issue 2]
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Fees keep prisoners from needed medical care

Recently the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, in conjunction with Prison Health Services, the statewide healthcare provider for the PA-DOC based out of Brentwood, Tennessee, made it much more difficult for prisoners to get medical treatment by increasing the co-payment for medical services to $5. A fee of $5 will be assessed each time a medical service at sick call is provided to a prisoner when seen by any physician, physicians assistant, dentist, optometric professional or other person licensed to provide health care under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Also, an additional fee of $5 will be charged for each subscription that is ordered for the prisoner by an on-site health care professional.

No complimentary services will be given to prisoners, with the exception of prisoners with well documented chronic care issues: HIV/Aids, hepatitis, hypertension and diabetes.

With the average wage paid for a prison work assignment here in Pennsylvania of 19 cents an hour, 4 hours max a day, many prisoners are letting their illnesses go untreated. They are unable to pay for medical services and buy bare necessities like toothpaste, deodorant and shampoo from commissary! Frequently prisoners are deliberately given medication subscriptions that do not improve or fully restore them back to good health.

Under DOC policy DC-ADM820, there should be no additional fee when this takes place, however a prisoner still must fill out and sign a DC-138 cash slip for follow up sick call visits, and these signed cash slips are being forwarded to the facility business office for fee deduction from the prisoners account.

The prisoner can use the grievance system to try to recoup these deductions, however the odds are small that fee will ever be credited back to the prisoners account. This is just one of the many ways the executive administration of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections manipulate the prison population into handing back over the slave wages they work all month for.

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[Control Units] [Medical Care] [US Penitentiary MAX] [Colorado] [Federal]
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Medical neglect in Colorado

One of the most alarming constitutional violations of prisoners' rights today is the denial of adequate psychological and medical treatment. In this prison alone, I have met dozens of inmates who have glaring psychological and medical problems. One quintessential case is the guy who literally tried to slice his genetalia off with a razor blade. This guy has also been kept in handcuffs and leg irons for several months, rather than be sent to a mental health facility. Keep in mind, while inmates at ADX are warehoused in the infamous "control unit," the unit where I am writing you from, it is prohibited to be prescribed psychotropic medication. Thus, guys who need psychotherapy in conjunction with psychotropic medication to function are not able to receive it while assigned to this unit. On average, inmates are serving four to eight years in this unit.

As for the inadequate medical treatment, the simplest way to describe this is as follows: for the entire prison complex of Florence, which consists of a camp, FCI, USP and the ADX Max Penitentiary, there is only one doctor and one dentist to service the entire complex. At ADX the doctor visits only one and one half days per week, and the dentist visits only twice per month. Thus, the waiting list to see either of them is astronomical. This comes as no surprise since there is over 2500 inmates living on this complex. I waited one year to receive my chronic care exam for Hep C. I also waited between 8 and 14 months to be seen by the dentist.

As a consequence of these egregious violations, I have filed two lawsuits since 1999. Twice now, media representatives, R. Scott Rappold, from the Gazette in Colorado Springs, and Henry Schuster, from 60 minutes, have contacted me in order to set up interviews with me at this prison. The prison rules clearly permit prisoners to have contact through visits and correspondence. However, the former must be approved by the Warden. So far, the warden has not approved a visit for me or any other inmate in the past nine years. Apparently, prison officials have something to hide. Even though in the prison regulations it states, we encourage inmates to maintain ties to the community, prison officials' actions speak otherwise.

Finally, it is good to read in the "Under Lock and Key" section that some brothers and sisters are still participating in the arduous yet all-important struggle for reform. Although not many are here in my midst, your publications apprise me that I am not alone.

As I sit here waiting for the seventh day to have photocopies made of legal papers with a June 19, 2007 deadline, I understand just how much patience and hard work is required to succeed against the American oligarchy.

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