United for No Injustice, Oppression or Neglect

Medical Mail - Letters to 60 Minutes

December 5, 2002 

Dear Producers of 60 Minutes

The unique case of a man receiving a heart transplant in California left the impression that inmates were receiving the best medical care available. This is so far from the truth that it seems not much research was done to find out just how barbaric conditions are in the prisons. 

California was forced into some care by a lawsuit that showed the total lack of care. The fact remains that since the media are excluded by law in California from examining these hell holes the real story is hidden. 

Recently a man died of a bladder infection because the guards, on overtime, refused to let him see a doctor during one of the many lock-downs that occur constantly. He had a history of this problem that was known to everyone. This is one of many such needless deaths. 

HIV is rampant, Hepatitis C is pandemic. Decent care is non-existant.  Women prisons are worse than mens'. California doesn't even give a physical to know what the new inmate's condition is. 
Then if they get out they are sicker than when they went in and spread it to the civilian population. 

Getting to treatment isn't the only problem. How does one stay healthy on a diet of $2.45 per day? Without the families sending whatever they can in to keep their loved ones alive, death from starvation and diseases caused by malnutrition would be more rampant. 

The story does set up the prisons for massive budget cuts that the public will think justified because of your distorted piece. 

Bob Driscoll 

December 7, 2002 

Inmate Dennis Jenkins, D-60934 was murdered by the State by  medical neglect on Nov. 27, 2002 at Mule Creek Prison.  He was only 45 years old and had been to the clinic three times for the five days preceding his death begging for his prescribed medicine. 

His father loved him and visited him every week-end.  His cellmate's name is Wysocki T-30343 who not only witnessed this nightmare but whisked off to the hole to keep the press from getting this story.  I do not know whether or not he is still in the hole but no doubt his life is miserable right now. 

The parents of Mule Creek inmates are fearful that this could have been their son.  Medical complaints of impending disasters at this prison and ALL the rest fill our files. 

Who will carry a picket for Dennis Jenkins at our protest in January.  Let his death be the straw that broke the camel's back. 

Remember the press is banned and some 50 inmates die every month.  Others only wish they were dead. Crowds in protest can turn it all around.  6500 workers can change any law. 

You are the key.  There are many witnesses to the Jenkins death and his begging at the clinic and we need to stand tall to protect them so that the public sees their tax dollars at work. 

So far, I haven't been able to locate his father or any other family members  but I would like to do so.  This is an outrage that we shouldn't allow to  be covered up.  UNION eyes and ears are everywhere and we do not operate from a position of fear. 

We fight back. 

B. Cayenne Bird 

Cayenne,  here's the letter I dashed off to 60 Minutes: 

Dear Producers of 60 Minutes: 

You blew it with the piece about the wild-card heart transplant!  What happened to your "tell-it-like-it-is" methodology?  Didn't you interview any inmates? or former inmates? or inmates' families? 

Don't you know that to get sick in a California prison very likely means a death sentence?  The 
difficulty for journalists is that you are not allowed in to interview prisoners; even if you go through the weeks-long process of getting on a specific prisoner's visiting list, you can't go in with paper, pen, recorder, or camera. 

If you could, you would not only unearth riveting stories for your show but also do untold good for 
California.  After all, most prisoners are not in for life; they'll be back amongst us.  Self interest alone should make us try to educate and treat them, but instead ignorance, which your piece helped 
perpetuate!, allows serious neglect to be the norm. 

Deborah D. J. 

You state the prisoner's in California are getting good health care including transplants. You need to find the truth.  March 13,2003 we will have our picket to let the people of California know the truth of the medical neglect and other issues behind the Bar's of California Prison's. We invite you to learn the truth. 

My own son has been medically neglected and abused and tortured in the California  Prison's. He now will too need a liver transplant one day. He did not go in with a bad liver! 

Prisoner's are sentenced to do their time not to die! 

Margie Jump 


Dear Producers of 60 Minutes: 

UPDATE:  The massive picketing for DECENT HEALTHCARE FOR PRISONERS as well as other abuse issues will be held on MARCH 13, 2003 from 8 am to 1 pm. 
This is the place to be to gather information for a true airing of what really goes on in the name of healthcare in our California prisons. 

You were quick to say that prisoners get all the benefits of the best, to include transplants.  Well hopefully you will be quick to tell the real TRUTH about healthcare in our prisons.  You will be quick to reveal the ongoing abuse of human beings behind bars who cannot help themselves. 

Men and women are dying daily at the hands of callous or ignorant guards who do nothing to promote even basic healthcare.  Perhaps when you know the whole story as researched by YOUR staff you can find the answer to help families and friends of prisoners explain premature death in prison to grieving children and parents when there is no answer acceptable except PURE NEGLECT.  We have societies to prevent cruelity to animals, but we let human beings suffer and die at our hands!  I do not understand that concept. 

We send missionaries and medical help to foreign countries to show our compassion and mercy, yet we let unfortunate human beings die without lifting a finger here in the prisons of the United States.  My belief is that people are uninformed!  60 MINUTES is certainly uninformed!!  Please attend the rally at the Capitol in Sacramento on the 13th of March to become informed in matters that you broadcast. 

You are invited, you are welcomed, I personally challenge you to attend and get the REAL STORY and then present a picture that is true for your audience.  I for one will be watching for that preview to your show and I and my family will definitely be watching that show. 

San Diego 

This is in response to the story on the medical transplant conducted on a prison inmate in California.  I believe you don't know the whole story about medical care in California prisons.  I worked for quite some time in a women's prison in California and daily watched women suffer with serious illnesses that went untreated.  I invite you to attend a public protest on this and other vital issues going on in our prison system in California on March 13 at the Capitol in Sacramento.  The real story will be told here by the families of inmates who have suffered under California's failing, yet expanding, prison system. 

Sarah R. Chappell 

Dear 60 Minutes: 

    I am appalled with the position taken by your program portraying medical transplants for prisoners as being not only expensive, but also undeserving and.  In the first place, many of your facts are incorrect.  The most salient quality displayed in this piece, in purest form, is the disgusting and abhorrent laziness involved in putting the story together.  We rely on you for the truth and instead we get this?  Have your people forgotten how to truly research issues or are you interested primarily in ratings, spins and lies? 

    The truth is that medical care for prisoners in the California  prison system is a public health disaster.  Shame on 60 Minutes for buying into the misinformation spewed forth by the California Department of Corrections.  Scratch the surface and you will see the illusions they have created for you and which you have broadcast in turn on their behalf.  Last time I checked, this was called propaganda.  60 Minutes -- you've been had! 


Mary Charlotte White 
Riverside, CA 

Dear  Producers of 60 Minutes 

Thank-you for exposing some of the corruption going on in the California Judicial system.  I feel also, that the other men wouldn't have been convicted and sentenced to life sentences, had the murdered victums father not been a police officer. 

My son has gone through the system, and been wrongfully convicted, and has an extreme sentence of 33 years.  This has tried to destroy our family, but we are strong, and determined to fight it. 

Our government is doing this to us.  I have been fighting this with other families, and trying to expose it to the media.  Pull up "Judicial Terror in Shasta County"  on the web.  You will see many of the stories here.  I have many more.  My sons isn't even on there. 

One of the problems going on in California, is the prison system.  Gov. Davis has been funded millions of dollars for his campaigns by the prison guards union.  This has been out in the open.  Because of this, the prisons are a large industry in the State of Ca.  The guards have jobs, and have been given a 37% pay increase even though we are having money problems in the state. 

Gov. Davis has taken funds away from the schools, poor, elderly, medical, but has increased the prison industry fund. He says its to be tough on crime.  I know so many people that have been wrongfully convicted, or if they have comitted a crime, been extremely sentenced.  Gov. Davis needs prisoners to fill the prisons, and is doing everything he can to get convictions, even convicting innocent people for the prison industry. 

We're very close to living in a third world country.  If this can happen to me, it can happen to anyone.  I live in a counrty club, with professional sports stars, and presidents of major companies living on my street, just a few houses up from me.  People don't believe it when I tell them this is happening in the United States. 

Then there's the problem of how the guards treat the prisoners once they're in prison.  There is no re-hab. 

Because the guards did some things to threaten my son, and he was in fear for his life,he had to file a law suit against the guards.  He has been put in a room, handcuffed behind his back, and threatened by 5 guards to beat him up.  They didn't, but they threw him in a cell with no mattress or anything.  My son was shivering all through the nignt, because he had nothing but a cold slab to sleep and sit on. No blanket etc.  They have taken his legal papers and law books from him several times.  The guards also try to psychologically intimidate my son, trying to threaten him and get him to fight back so they can prove that he is a problem  He isn't falling for it.  He won't fight back, except legally, through the courts. 

He was just beat up by 3 men in the gym. I feel that the guards had this set up, because of the lawsuit.  The beating took place just when the courts wanted my son to file the papers about the evidence on the guards.  Before he could send them to the court, he got beat up, and all of his belongings were taken from him, including those papers.  Coincidence?  My son lost complete memory of who he was or why he was there.  He has regained his memory. 

He was placed in the hole.  Why?  He was beat up, he didn't do anything wrong.  Why should he be punished?  If you look into this, the prison just covers it up.  Of course, what do you expect? 

Many families of the prisoners and myself are uniting to help the prisoners  because of inhumaine living conditions. Razor blades were found in the food at Mule Creek prison.  One prisoner had to have surgery because of it.  The prisoners that tried to tell the rest of the prisoners about the problem, and the prisoner that had to have surgery are in the hole, so the media can't get to them. Another inmate is severly being punished for trying to alert the other inmates, and for writing a legal CDC appeal to have the kitchen moved. CDC is covering this up, and saying they have taken care of the problem. 

I just received word that another inmate has just been rushed to the hospital to have razor blade pieces removed, and a 70 year old man just found a wire fashioned into a hook in his food. Does this sound as if the problem has been taken care of? 

The prison has had several reports in the last few weeks about the food being poisened. Human waste, tab tops,razor blade pieces, rocks, pubic hair, and various other articles have been found in the food.  Of course CDC is covering this up, but the prisoners are getting the word out to us.  To learn more about what is happening go to the web site:    http://www.geocities.com/1union1/mule_creek_food_crisis.htm 

The National Center for Disease Control has stated the 15% of the inmates have Hep C when they are incarcerated.  By the time they leave 39% of the prisoners have contacted it.  34,000 enter U. S. prisons with Hep B and 155,000 leave with it.    These diseases filter back into the general population.  The body fluids contamination  in the food is a very serious problem that is happening state wide, something needs to be done about it.  These inhumaine unsanitary conditions need to be stopped!!!!   If we found animals being treated in this way, we would demand that it be stopped immediately.  It is happening to human beings in our prisons.  Something must be done to stop it. 

Gov. Ryan from Illinois just did a 3 1/2 year study and discovered that 60 % of the prisoners in Illinois are wrongfully convicted.  I believe that the percentage is higher in California.  We have a human bondage industry going on here.  What country are we living in?  What are the human rights people doing?  This needs an investigation.  In California the media is banned from the prisoners. Could this be one of the reasons why?  The families are getting the information out to the media, now who will take it from here? 

I do hope that you give this your consideration and look in to this situation. 
Please feel free to contact me 

Thank-you for your time 
Mardele Duarte 


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