Texas Jail Project About Newsletters Stories Reports In The News Jail Commission Peer Voices Campaigns & Actions Contact Donate

Posts Tagged ‘ Lack of medical care ’

New York Times Story on Henderson County Jail

Jan 18th, 2014

In this new story picked up by the New York Times, a Henderson county lawyer complains about a judge who has the nerve to speak out about jail operations. “He has absolutely no business trying to be a doctor from the bench,” says Robert Davis. Of course, Judge Tarrance has all the business in the world doing that, since people have reported ongoing neglect and mistreatment –numerous cases! Texas Jail Project heard from a woman last week who was forced to stay in a cell totally naked and denied her right to call a lawyer or bailbondsman. And like most of the inmates, she was not yet convicted, but was being held pretrial.
So the county is outraged by a judge who took the unusual steps of ordering medical care and going public? We say it’s about time.



Another death in Gregg County jail

Oct 16th, 2013

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.



Stopping Prison—and Jail—Privatization

Sep 24th, 2013

Texas Jail Project supports all efforts to reduce the number of privatized county jails and prisons in Texas. We work with Grassroots Leadership to supply information and to educate lawmakers and county officials about the detrimental effects of this commercialization of our justice system, but it’s an uphill battle in Texas, which leads the nation in the number of detention facilities that are privatized. Now, GEO and CCA and the other money-hungry private companies are pulling in millions off the backs of immigrants. This excellent article from the American Friends Service Committee tells what it’s like for the people held in those places and follows the money as well: “”Immigrant detention is a growth opportunity for for-profit prison companies, expanding their business model from state and federal prisons.”



Guadalupe Leyva, one of three jailed to death in Ector County

Aug 22nd, 2013

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.



Craig Morris: Why didn’t Dallas jailers get him help?

Aug 2nd, 2013

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.



Harris County Jail: lack of meds

Jul 23rd, 2013

A wife reports serious neglect: “My husband is in the Harris County jail right now and they lowered the dosage of a psych med for PTSD, if they give it to him at all. He also has a severe calcium deficiency and no one bothers to give him the calcium packets anymore after he was moved



Bad Medical Care in the Wichita Jail

May 14th, 2013

How many county sheriff’s offices cut corners and put somebody in charge of inmates’ medical care who isn’t even close to being qualified? It takes a lawsuit, as usual, to expose the wrongdoers and hold those in charge accountable. The Wichita County jail has a record–of neglect and bad medical care. For example, look at the federal case filed after the tragic death of Jason Brown in 2004. His estate sued the previous Sheriff, Thomas Callahan, for failure to train and supervise the jail’s medical employees and for maintaining an unconstitutional policy of deliberate indifference to detainees’ serious medical needs. Are there others?



Family Sues Nueces County Jail for Son’s Death

Feb 12th, 2013

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 Voices section of our website to see tributes to Greg that we posted when we found out about his death back in 2011.



Will Amy Lynn’s Death Change the Way Jails Operate?

Jan 28th, 2013

This Longview News Journal article examines some of the many complications that occur when jails hold people with mental conditions and medications that are not on “their list,” but Amy Lynn’s mother puts forth a straightforward idea: couldn’t jail staff act with common sense “when inmates exhibit seizures, become incoherent, and howl,” like her daughter did?
The lawsuit again the Gregg County Jail has ended with a settlement, but the pain and questioning continues. Texas Jail Project, the Cowling family and many other families want to see officials work together, to find ways to prevent suffering and deaths in the future.



Gregg County Jail Faces Day in Court

Sep 30th, 2012

It’s about time. We the people and Amy Lynn Cowling’s family will see her tragic death scrutinized in a court of law.
The wrongful-death lawsuit against Gregg County Jail is set for trial in January, two years after 33-year-old Amy Lynn was jailed for a traffic ticket on Christmas eve and not given necessary medication or assistance during the next four days, until she died December 29th, 2010. Once more, we offer our sympathies to the family. Her mother Vicki Bankhead and the father of her three minor children filed the suit. Families suffer when they have to go through a lawsuit on top of losing their loved one, but they achieve so much in terms of raising awareness and changing our jails. A round of applause for Vicki and for Amy’s aunt Lisa and all the others who have never stopped speaking out about Amy Lynn! We await the trial–and hope for justice.