That said, this is to announce that another condemned prisoner has beaten the state to the punch and taken his own life: that's three from death row in less than nine months. Gregory Dickens, 48, was preceeded by Dale Hausner in June and Milo Stanley in May of 2013.
The deaths of these condemned men is part of a streak of suicides and suspicious, premature deaths that have happened since Corizon took over the contract to provide medical and psychiatric services for AZ DOC prisoners in March 2013. To make a sweet profit at less than the state would have provided such services for, they're cutting corners wherever they can - apparently mostly for prisoners they think the public doesn't care about anyway, like these guys held in AZ DOC's supermax prison complex, ASPC-Eyman, which includes death row. Say what you will about the evils some of them may have perpetrated, but we are condoning torture through gross medical neglect.
Like medical care, psychiatric "treatment" under corizon has been streamlined to maximize efficiency and company profit. This May 2013 letter from advocate Donna Hamm to DOC Director Charles Ryan illustrates the kind of "care" prisoners at the Supermax are getting from Corizon. Keep in mind that many of these men were imprisoned in the first place or sent off to Supermax because of poorly treated psychiatric conditions - and that most male suicides are occurring in these maximum custody and solitary confinement cells.
Ms. Hamm was soon put on notice about other troubling practices and policies put in place by Corizon for evaluating and treating serious mental illness, as indicated in this October email to the DOC director. Mr. Ryan's responses to her letter are embedded in the email in bold letters.
Note that Mr. Ryan asserts all these men received "private consulations with the provider". That's not what the men say, though, as evidenced by this email from a mother a month ago:
"He did try to get mental health when during his time in the minimum unit but he was never called in. When he was in medium security unit he was finally called in for evaluation, he was woken up at 2am, handcuffed, and taken to Central unit. At that time, as no-one was telling him what was going on, and he thought, he was gong to get moved there and he could get executed. The visit was a "telemedical" visit and he had to speak with someone over the TV. Obviously, he did not like the fact he had to speak in front of other inmates about his issues. The frequency of his anxiety attacks increased significantly immediately after and he declined further care...."
Given that at least ten prisoners now (perhaps more, as many young recent deaths have been noted by DOC as due to "unknown causes") have killed themselves in less than a year with Corizon HealthScare, it seems as if its' time for the DOC to seriously re-evaluate that contract.
AZ legislators who ordered DOC to privatize the health care for prisoners should be less worried about assuring corporate profits to Corizon and more concerned with public health consequqneces of mass incarceration and poor prison health care. Keep in mind that 95% of these prisoners will someday return to the community - over 40% of whom are infected with Hepatitis C now, due to rampant heroin addiction in the prisons and an obscene lack of substance abuse treatment services (only 4% of state prisoners are able to access help for their addictions in a given year).
The total time of transport reported was 3 hours, not 5. Upon learning that the inmates were left in restraints during this time, the Deputy Warden issued a directive, prospectively, that the restraints will be removed once the inmate is secured in the holding area. All the inmates received their medications prior to the transport and those that had KOP’s were allowed to take theirs as well. The inmates were fed prior to the transport and did not miss any meals.