A Texas jail may be a model for the newly proposed bill in California to ban the practice of dumping people out of county jails in the dark of night! Texas Jail Project feels some ownership of the idea: in 2011 we supported SB 1014 bill by bringing stories and people to the legislative committees, demonstrating cases of trauma and even death where Texans were released at rural and urban county jails. Senator Whitmire’s support and the grim accounts resulted in Harris County Jail stopping its policy of mass releases at night. This excellent article describes how California Senator Liu’s bill will try to ban their late night releases–a worthy goal in light of the tragic and needless death of Mitrice Richardson, a beautiful young woman released from the Malibu jail in the wee hours and later found dead.
Posts Tagged ‘ Inmate death ’
Betty Madewell speaks fondly of her son, Bobby. 51-year-old Bobby Madewell, Jr died last March in the Gregg county jail. His family filed a lawsuit against the jail just a few weeks ago. The days are a little longer now for Betty Madewell of Longview, who says she is still mourning the loss of her son, Bobby.”It’s very hard, we miss him dearly. We miss him every day,” she says.
Bosque County Sheriff Anthony Mallot rejected a legitimate request for information about the death of April Troyn, by dragging out a response for almost four months. The AG’s office told Bosque County that the sheriff could not refuse to answer questions by using the old HIPPA/privacy excuse that is used SO OFTEN by Texas county jails. Especially since the four-page Death in Custody report has no medical information that would come under the federal privacy law.
““The Office of the Attorney General has determined the four-page report and summary must be released to the public…” said Kenneth Leland Conyer, an Assistant Attorney General with the office’s Open Records Division. Read this story from the exciting Watchdog Wire.
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Do jailers in Ector County view the inmates as human beings? It wouldn’t seem so, by the way they treat them. Texas Jail Project wonders if they have any sense that they are responsible for the lives of people loved and cherished by family members. Like Guadulpe Dominguez Leyva, who died in Ector County Jail in 2011. The lawsuit has been filed and it reveals that her husband and family knew that the 45 year old woman needed help for her serious mental disorders and agonizing physical pain. Her daughter contacted the Ector County Detention Center some 20 times to complain about her mother’s health, and was ignored, like many other family members in Texas–in Brazoria and Gregg and Nueces and Montgomery counties. In that same year, 32-year-old Juan Carrasco suffered a seizure while being booked into the Ector County Detention Center hitting his head on the concrete floor, and they took him to the hospital but his family was not notified until almost 12 hours after he arrived at the hospital. Did officers ever think how important Carrasco was to his family? Carrasco died after being taken off life-support on his 33rd birthday.
Now another inmate has died. John Douglas Turner died in his cell this month. His friend said he has been begging for relief from an infected tooth for months. Just another complaining inmate, right? Complaining until he died at 36 years of age.
Our sympathies to the family of Debra Ingram Duffie. I thought I had brought up an old email by mistake when I saw the words Inmate Dies at Gregg County Jail. Surely this was a story about one of others who’ve died there since 2010, like Amy Lynn and Aaron, and previously, Misty Beene. This year, Bobby Madewell died there, no doubt also under the tender mercies and neglectful care of Gregg County’s medical staff and notorious Dr. Lewis Browne. Now, a new person has died, but they managed to get her off site so technically she wasn’t a jail death. Still the same because we suspect if she’d gotten decent care, if she’d been on the outside, she might have lived. Our sympathies to Ms. Duffie’s family. Please tell them to email or call Texas Jail Project.
We must remember Craig Morris. He was the human being who was allowed to die on a cold concrete floor at the Dallas County Jail because jailers didn’t think he needed medical care. They said they saw him but thought the floor “must have felt good to him.” But others saw this: a man who was at various times “confused, shaking and seemingly in pain. He was wheezing, hacking, breathing with difficulty, coughing up yellow-green phlegm, soiling himself and slumped over the shower floor.” God help you if you need medical help in the Dallas County Jail because the jailers won’t.
San Antonio Current writer Michael Barajas is leaving the paper and pursuing other goals, and we will miss his throrough coverage of issues related to inmates in the jails of San Antonio. This last story reveals so much about the inner workings of an understaffed and dysfunctional jail that it reads like a book, but Barajas also does a smpathetic and intelligent analysis of a young man’s life and tragic death. We can hope that Tommy Taylor’s seven hours in the jail will lead to a better jail, but we also have to hope the Current finds a reporter/writer who can cover stories with the passion Barajas brought to these cases.
April was 36 years old and 22 weeks along in her pregnancy when she was arrested and taken to the Bosque County Jail, on May 2nd. She died there May 4th. Even though her death has been ruled a suicide, her sister and other family and friendshave questions about how this could happen. As in all similar jail deaths, the Texas Rangers are investigating, but Texas Jail Project has concerns about that investigation. Please email email@example.com if you have any information.
Texas Jail Project and others protested in San Antonio last fall, to call attention to the death of Tommy Taylor who died in the Bexar County Jail just six hours after turning himself in, August 21, 2012. Now comes a San Antonio Current story that a jailer did not do the mandatory cell check–jailers are required to check on “isolated inmates” in solitary cells every 30 minutes–and that might well have saved Taylor’s life. Jailer Ernesto Flores is accused of hiding that fact by falsifying the records so that it would appear he did check on Taylor. Another black mark on the Bexar County Jail–and this one resulted in an unnecessary death of a young man who, whatever his problems, was a father to his little girl and beloved of his whole family.
Maurice Chammah’s story tells how the family has gone to the courts for justice after the death of a greatly beloved 29-year-old son in Corpus Christi. This lawsuit will, we hope, shine a light on the horrible neglect that Greg Cheek suffered while in the Nueces County Jail. Despite training and safeguards, jailers there failed to see past mental illness and blue paint covering Greg, and they ignored his symptoms for days and days.
Click on “Continue Reading” to see the Texas Tribune story. Go to the Inmate Stories section of our website to see tributes to Greg that we posted when we found out about his death back in 2011: http://www.texasjailproject.org/category/inmate_stories/