Lawsuit claims Florida inmates are denied surgeries
Three inmates are suing the Florida Department of Corrections and medical contractor Corizon, alleging Corizon refused to provide medically necessary surgical procedures in an effort to keep costs down. The class-action lawsuit, which cites several other cases of alleged inadequate care, accuses Corizon of violating prisoners’ Eighth Amendment right against cruel and unusual punishment.
The Miami Herald gave away the clout of their closing paragraphs to the Florida Department of Corrections spokesperson McKinley Lewis, which makes no sense in light of Lewis’ portrayals of “reform” ringing hollow, time after time. I commented on the article:
This article leaves readers with the impression that McKinley Lewis’ words mean something, when there is little to indicate that this is true. It fails to mention the cost overruns that privatized healthcare providers have billed Floridians for, that surgeries aren’t the only form of medical care being denied to inmates, and that inmates are denied dental care as well.
I could have written much, much more. In an previous blog post, I published a heart-wrenching letter from then-FDoC inmate Jeffrey Srang about the inadequate care he was receiving for his cancer. This is part of what I wrote:
Beginning in 2009, Florida tortured Jeffrey Srang to death ever-so-slowly … he died on August 12, 2015 at age 28. His early release from prison (on June 19th) prevented his death from showing up in the Florida Department of Corrections stats. I’ve asked the FDoC for a formal statement, so far they haven’t responded.
My still-unanswered request of FDoC spokesperson McKinley Lewis appears below Jeffrey’s pictures.
There are other people who are grieving along with me over Jeff’s death. We know that Florida prisons are not changing, and that praying for other prisoners with lumps and bumps is still required. Our prayers include the materialization of long-awaited action of the Department of Justice that will facilitate the swift replacement of Rick Scott, Julie Jones, McKinley Lewis and scores of other posers with actual public servants.
From: Susan Chandler
Date: September 16, 2015 5:02:34 PM EDT
To: McKinley Lewis <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Jeffrey Srang DC Number 132632 – released 6/19/15, died 8/12/15 – DOB 11/3/86
Dear Mr. Lewis,
I have been following Jeff Srang for years, and have watched his physical appearance change from what appeared to be continual cancer surgeries.
I feared that the FDoC would kill Jeff via pretending to be able to address his medical needs, and that he would be in pain the entire time due to the FDoC’s penchant for administering only Tylenol, regardless of an inmate’s level of pain. This fear is based on an activist’s account of Frank Lee Smith dying while screaming in pain. Smith was DNA exonerated months later.
At your earliest convenience, please provide a formal statement regarding Jeffrey Srang’s early release. Thank you.