As for the State of
Who, exactly, is
We say Jamie's life is worth the special diet and more: her humanity is not what’s in question here: yours is. Medical neglect of this magnitude should constitute violent crime of the torture variety, and we doubt that Jamie is the only victim in your prisons. You are positioned kind of like an EMT standing over a woman whose life could be saved by the medicine you have in your hand, but you won't administer it because it's not on the formulary for the poor. One twisted rationale holds that it's cheaper to let them die in medical crisis than to treat them properly for chronic, expensive conditions. Besides, what value is a life that's going to be spent in prison, anyway?
The relationships people have with each other in prison should never be underestimated; they will likely either help facilitate healing or cause more damage. There's been much documentation about the harm done people in prison when they have little human contact. There's also a whole lot on how prisoners have helped eachother. We are in no position to denigrate the relevance of one woman's existence, even if she is buried for life - double life - under a mountain of State secrets and hidden behind concrete walls.
Prisoners often have only each other to turn to to help them survive what is an extraordinarily traumatic ordeal. Even if one isn't among the many who end up being physically or sexually assaulted in the care of the state, there is the constant dehumanization, humiliation, stress, and threat of state and interpersonal violence in prison. It is like surviving a war zone; people there are the casualties and collateral damage of our economy, and we put many who have already been victimized in with serious predators. We put them into prison instead of hospitals or safe housing, where many might otherwise be.
Anyway, the contributions of lifers to others passing though their world can be of great value - I can think of a few people serving long sentences who have probably helped more than a handful of other prisoners leave prison more intact than they would be otherwise - which is a service to all of society. Charisse Schumate is an example of just one woman who died in prison saving the lives of fellow prisoners.
Of course, it would be much cheaper all the way around to send the Scott sisters home and let Jamie get community-based health care. Anyone who argues that they pose some kind of threat to society that justifies tens of thousands more dollars a year being spent on imprisoning them needs to take another look at who really endangers the American public: the real criminals all got bailouts last year, while the rest of us got laid off, driven into bankruptcy, and foreclosed on.
We all know that Jamie would not be seeking what should be lifesaving treatment in a prison trailer clinic if her family was wealthy. Socioeconomic class is not supposed to be the measure of the value of a person's life, however - not by most religious or ethical standards; certainly not by Christian standards. Yet the State of
This kind of punishment and execution was not part of Jamie's sentence, though. Those of you who are prison bureaucrats and medical professionals involved in the process of denying prisoners health care: be prepared to defend your actions against the people you've hurt, or stand with us and help us change the way your system routinely chews up poor people of every color (and no color at all) and calls it justice.
If that’s not a fair characterization, we encourage you to correct us with a reply. Perhaps we'll end up lobbying for federal funds to help your state implement reforms you've been dying to make - as long as they're the kind of reforms which lead us away from this madness instead of reinforcing the very foundations of the prison industrial complex. We will not be collaborators with you, but we will invite you to collaborate with us.
You can expect a furious new Prison Watch to emerge from the heart of
The truth will pour out of there in story after story like this as prisoners and their families, and ex-prisoners and honest public servants begin to amplify their voices. All the political tools of mass manipulation about prisons, criminals, and justice will be dragged out for critical analysis by the people who know how the system really works, what really goes on inside, how it got to be this way, and what needs to be done to change things. That's what happens in state after state, once the websites go up. I suspect more people realize they don't have to be ashamed for being or loving a prisoner and standing up for their rights, and they finally begin to talk about things they've had to hide. it's very healing, I think. You can be the enemy they're being hurt by, or you can join our side.
Unless it becomes part of the solution - whereas now it is apparently an obstruction - this administration at the Mississippi Department of Corrections may end up being retired before the current governor. As far as we're concerned (that would be the collective "we" of the "
Jamie needs to get the best care possible so she can live long enough for both her and Gladys to be exonerated or pardoned. Bad enough that the state is responsible for wrongful imprisonment; it may be best not make it wrongful death, too.
We will continue to report and respond to updates from the Scott family. This post goes to
Let’s fire up
Subject: SICKENING ROLLER-COASTER RIDE FOR JAMIE SCOTT!! ~ From Sis. Marpessa
SICKENING ROLLER-COASTER RIDE FOR JAMIE SCOTT!!
Mrs. Rasco was informed at 6:00 a.m. that Jamie Scott was returned to the prison infirmary after having been told that her body was full of toxins and that the medication she had been receiving at the prison contributed to the condition she is in today! In typical sadistic fashion, the prison told Jamie that they are not paying for her to have a special diet and that they will be moving her back to the horrible, leaky and moldy building where she was living. As if all of that wasn't bad enough, she was further informed that she will be taken to a trailer to receive dialysis instead of the hospital!
While Atty Jaribu Hill is working on legal support for Jamie, we MUST continue to advocate for her. Mrs. Rasco wants us to flood the governor's office as he has released inmates in the past who have been convicted of far worse crimes than which Jamie and Gladys are accused. Mississippi is also making
deep budget cuts which have included discussions around the release of inmates, and there is no reason on this earth why Jamie Scott should continue to be locked down in her serious medical condition, it is cruel, inhumane, and DEADLY, she has many aggravating conditions, is severely depressed, and there must be COMPASSION!
If you work in the medical field please make that known when calling/writing so that it can be made plain that there are medical professionals aware of this prison's culpability in this previously healthy young woman's deterioration into such a serious condition, which they continue to downplay to this very moment!
We also continue to feel strongly that if we could put the light of mainstream media on this case that it would make a huge difference. PLEASE include calls and e-mails to the media. If you're from overseas, please make sure that they know that fact.
Thanks again to you all, we have an enormous fight on our hands and we need all of the help we can get! We know that they expect us to give up, but we must push even harder!
JAMIE SCOTT, #19197, IS SUFFERING CRUEL AND INHUMAN PUNISHMENT!
BE DIRECT BUT PLEASE BE COURTEOUS
Governor Haley Barbour
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