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 ‘ women inmates ’
HOUSTON (AP) — Tricia Chambers began her life heavily dependent on heroin and methadone. From there, she was peddled into child pornography, and by 9 she had a full-fledged career in prostitution, alongside her mother. Now 42, Chambers is getting what she believes to be her first real chance — in a downtown Houston cellblock.
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.
Attention: Nacogdoches County
When jailers and sheriffs disapprove of an inmate, does that give them the right to deny that person fair treatment? Humane conditions? A trained jailer should surely know that the answer is “no,” and that verbal abuse and judgmental attitudes can be disastrous for inmates with serious problems. Like Cathryn Windham, 7 months pregnant and currently incarcerated in your county jail. Pre-trial, convicted of nothing but accused of many things. All of which may not even be true. This college graduate has a long-documented history of mental illness and yes, she has used drugs. And so it would appear that you have found her guilty of being an imperfect mother-to-be. I suggest the jail, sheriff, and this county are failing her by not recognizing mental disorders in a pregnant woman are a complicated business, and not necessarily deserving of hostility and punishment.
I remember a female warden of a Texas county jail telling me how much more difficult–”moody and emotional” –women were and that she’d rather deal with male inmates any day. She might consider this study by the Center for Gender and Justice that shows a huge percentage–75%–of the women in county jails having mental disorders.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any information.
The young nurse working at the Montague County jail was recently charged with fraternizing with an inmate and smuggling tobacco to him. She works for a private contractor named Southern Health Partners: it’s a good bet that the pay from the contractor is low and the hours long. She isn’t working in ideal conditions and her patients aren’t always easy to deal with.
Now let’s look at the company: Southern Health Partners was contracted to provide medical care for the people held here. Since January 1, 2012 to last week, I counted 77 lawsuits filed against them, in states across the south. While nurses have to be held accountable, let’s hope that the county and the people of the county also keep a very close watch on how well this medical provider does their job in Montague County.
About 500 pregnant women are incarcerated in Texas county jails each month. Some are only held there a few days, but others may be incarcerated for weeks and months and a number will deliver their babies in local hospitals while in custody.
Chelsi Moy published a wonderful story in the Missoulian about a beautiful woman who killed herself in the Uvalde jail. Read all of it here.
Patulla Williams had been dead for several hours before anyone thought to check on her. The 29-year-old was found d dead in a Texas jail cell, a television cord wrapped around her neck. Her death in December placed a tragic period at the end of a life plagued by trouble, a life that began in a foster home in western Montana.
Williams had struggled for decades with abuse from her early life, but she disguised it well, the hurt hidden behind a smile radiant enough to stop strangers in their tracks wherever she went. And Williams went a lot of places.