02 June 2015

It's More than Just the Baltimore Police That Are Dusfunctional

It appears that a the Baltimore jails are systematically denying appropriate healthcare to its inmates:
Weeks after Baltimore announced plans to construct a new, $30 million youth jail, a motion filed by the ACLU, Public Justice Center, and Law Offices of Elizabeth Alexander claims detainees are routinely denied life-saving medications, due to systemic failures in the Baltimore City Detention Center (BCDC). In addition to gross medical neglect, the motion alleges that inmates are also housed in moldy, vermin-infested units that exacerbate existing health problems.

The organizations behind the motion conducted a comprehensive review of 13 death cases and 24 randomly-selected medical records from 2013 to 2015, concluding that inmates with chronic diseases had their medications interrupted. For instance, an HIV-positive detainee alleges his antiretrovirals were taken away upon entry, but nurse notes indicate that some of his medication wasn’t available, which is why he didn’t receive it for five days. BCDC allegedly failed to give another inmate with a significantly low white blood cell count his prescribed retrovirals until shortly before his death. The review says hypertensive cardiovascular disease claimed the life of another detainee who was prescribed medication for his blood pressure and heart but was never given the proper drugs. Due in part to a failure to complete ordered laboratory tests, another person allegedly died of because of blood in the sac close to her heart. And people with diabetes allegedly did not receive prescribed insulin for extended periods of time, and had their dietary restrictions ignored.

The motion also claims that inmates with physical disabilities are denied proper medical attention. On multiple occasions, BCDC allegedly failed to give an inmate with urinary problems clean catheters, and the one bathroom he can access is flooded. The motion also mentions a detainee relegated to a defective wheelchair who had back pain for five months, but wasn’t given his muscle relaxant. Additionally, the motion claimed an amputee with severe pain hasn’t had a thorough exam to evaluate his pain or prescribe the most effective medication.
I understand that locking people up is expensive, but if you are  going to lock people up, you have to provide at least minimally competent medical care.


Post a Comment