I began this blog in May 2009 following the death of Marcia Powell at Perryville State Prison in Goodyear, Arizona. It is not intended to prescribe the path that leads to freedom from the prison industrial complex.

Rather, these are just my observations in arguably the most racist, fascist, militaristic state in the nation at a critical time in history for a number of intersecting liberation movements. From Indigenous resistance to genocidal practices, to the fight over laws like SB1070 and the ban on Ethnic Studies, Arizona is at the center of many battles for human rights, and thus the struggle for prison abolition as well - for none are free until all are. I retired the blog in APRIL 2013.

Visit me now at Arizona Prison Watch or Survivors of Prison Violence-AZ

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Lesson not Learned

Came across an article in the July 2002 Legal Eye Newsletter for the Nursing Profession about a Michigan psychiatric patient who died of heat stroke a few years back. In Terrance v. Northville Regional Psychiatric Hospital, "nursing care was so substandard that it went beyond negligence", meeting the standard for "deliberate indifference to serious medical needs", which violated the patient's 8th and 14th amendment constitutional rights. The head nurse got the blame, but there were systemic, structural things in place (and out of place) that contributed to this man's early demise. I've been to Northville; sadly this is no surprise.

In their ruling on the case the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals said: "Nurses caring for psychiatric patients should know that excessive heat can cause serious medical complications for patients on psychotropic medications like Haldol, Cogentin, and Lithium...close, competent, and vigilant nursing observation of these patients is always essential"(cited in the Legal Eye Newsletter in big, bold print). The above-mentioned meds are often used in the treatment of manic depression, the illness Marcia was diagnosed with and apparently being treated for.

If the Perryville complex doesn't have medical staff responsible for the 24/7 monitoring of people on psychiatric medications, it should be shut down immediately.

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