The Ninth Circuit looked at the inmate’s facts (lost teeth and pain when no dentist helped) and concluded that the inmate cannot sue the employees when the state itself is responsible for funding the dental office. “Chief Judge Alex Kozinski said in the majority opinion. He noted that prisoners seeking damages must prove, under federal law, that government employees intentionally violated their rights or were “deliberately indifferent” to their needs.” So what’s an inmate to do when denied basic health and dental care? He had already sued the state and lost because the state didn’t have adequate resources to pay a reward. Talk about Catch-22 for Inmates!
According to the accompanying report below, officials at Central California Women’s Facility gave out improper and unneeded medicines because they had a contract with a pharmaceutical company that sold them the medicines. Can you imagine taking anti-HIV medicine for 10 years, transferring to another prison–and learning you don’t even have the disease? Happened
Solitary confinement began as a means of segregating violent prisoners. Today, however, it is overused and used illogically, according to both prison advocates and the president of Texas’ local guard union, Lance Lowry. The average stay in Texas solitary is just under two years. YEARS! Yet the new head of Colorado Corrections spent one 23-hour stint in a solitary cell last month and almost cracked; Colorado is revising its policy. Texas’ executive director of Criminal Justice Brad Livingston expects Texas to follow with its own re-examination. Let’s hope he doesn’t just appoint another committee. We know there’s a problem. Texas is holding more than 7,200 inmates in solitary, some for reputed gang affiliation.