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Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Cruel and Unusual Punishment?


A Company's Troubled Answer For Prisoners With H.I.V.

The article above tells the story a company that is contracted to murder people with HIV/AIDS. This company is non other than Prison Health Services. They are the nation's largest inmate health care company.

I will focus on one abuse here simply because there are way too many to cover in one article. The abuse is in the Alabama State Prison system, which is the only one in the nation to quarantine persons with HIV/AIDS.

This system which has been called dangerous by many public health experts currently has 230 HIV positive male inmates in its HIV cell. Prison Health hired Dr. Valda M. Chijide an infectious disease specialist with superb credentials in HIV/AIDS care to coordinate the HIV cell block.

She lasted only 3 months. She had written the company a number of times with various complaints. From things as simple as not having soap and paper towels, to not getting the correct amount of professional help she needed for her operations. "Nurses were so poorly trained, Dr. Chijide said, that they neglected to hand out life-sustaining drugs or gave the wrong ones. Medical charts were a mess, she said, and often it was impossible to find such basic items as a thermometer, or even soap."(NYT)

The tragedy in all of this is that Prison Health Services, Inc has to answer to Ruth Naglich, the State of Alabama's commissioner of the Alabama Corrections Department. One problem, Ms. Naglich has a serious conflict of interest - 3 years ago she was an executive V.P. of sales and marketing for Prison Health Services, Inc.

A call to action:
1) Contact Ms. Naglich at
Mail:
Alabama Department of Corrections
301 S. Ripley Street P.O. Box 301501
Montgomery, AL. 36130-1501
Phone:
334-353-3887
Email:
pio@doc.state.al.us

2) Contact Governor Bob Riley
Mail:
State Capitol
600 Dexter Avenue
Montgomery, Alabama 36130
Phone:
334-242-7100
Email:
Web form to email Gov. Riley

The demands are quite simple: 1) Ms. Naglich should be relieved from her duties because of her conflict of interest. 2) The state needs to investigate and immediately correct its policies that are killing people with HIV/AIDS in its prisons.

*Photo Credits

3 Comments:

At Wed Aug 03, 08:04:00 AM GMT+10, Blogger ronnie said...

A copy of the email response I received from the Alabama Department of Corrections is below.
---------------------------------
Ms. Naglich no longer worked for PHS when she was hired by the Alabama Dept.
of Corrections. ADOC does not feel that there is a conflict of interest.
In fact, we feel that her previous experience gives us an advantage in
having her as our employee.

Regards,


Brian Corbett
PIO ADOC
301 South Ripley St..
Montgomery AL 36104
(334) 353 4053
(334) 353 3967 fax
bcorbett@doc.state.al.us
www.doc.state.al.us

 
At Sat Aug 06, 06:20:00 PM GMT+10, Blogger Bucko said...

R-

AIDS in prison is the forgotten story of a forgotten population. I hope that we can continue to shed some light on this tragedy.

Excellent work!

 
At Sat Apr 08, 04:30:00 AM GMT+10, Blogger horsesshouldbesoluckytoo said...

Why should the tax payers foot the bill?
no one ever said life is to be without risk, if you take a risk you pay with lethal cosequences ,this most people understand.
Felons may have rights but why exceed non felons ?
Equal in death as in life.
Harsh to some but not all, nice guys don't finish last?

 

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