This does leave me wondering if that's the only kind of cardiology consultation prisoners get now, though - an expert reading their ECG reports from afar. The guys in particular are dropping dead of "natural causes" pretty young it seems (though prison is infamous for shortening life spans). In fact, a year ago today a 16-year old boy sentenced as an adult and put in the minors unit at ASPC-Tucson died from heart failure. The whole story of how he got put into prison is pretty tragic, but important for people to know about; I hope they do someday
Edgar's family still doesn't know exactly why he died - I recall speculation at the time that it was his heart. I wouldn't be surprised if the kid had complained of symptoms in the months or weeks or days leading up to his death that a cardiologist - or even a regular physician - would have recognized if he had the chance to see one. Prisoners who have vague complaints like fatigue, nausea, numbness in an arm, etc. are generally regarded as malingerers just trying to duck work duty for the day or something. And who would think that a 16-year old was going to have sudden heart failure? It may well have been an undetectable and untreatable defect even if he had seen a stellar cardiologist.
The thing is that he shouldn't have been in prison in the first place, but I'm not sure I can tell the whole story right now - the link above takes to you a place before I spoke with people from his school. Largely because of situations like his, I have huge problems with charging, sentencing, and treating children as adults. People are still trying to raise the drinking age to 21 because kids just don't have good judgment all the time, and yet we throw them into adult courts and jails and prisons in a heartbeat. Hooray for the prosecution and judge, protecting us from children like him, making the world safer for - well, not for vulnerable children like him, clearly...
A year later and this young boy's life and death still make me weep. I can only imagine how broken the hearts of those who knew and loved him must still be, especially today. It's not your fault what happened to your brother, your son, or your student. We are an exceptionally brutal bunch, Americans - and Arizona is both racist and fascist. Any other kid - white ones, that is - would have been put through juvenile court, as he should have been. It's not your fault. It's ours. His biggest crime was being a young Latino male reaching for the Dream...he's someone we should have been supporting and celebrating, not incarcerating. I'm so sorry we didn't wake up and step up sooner - it may still take years to really change anything, though...
Anyway, at least CompuMed doesn't have a rap sheet yet with my friends who track the private prison contractors. They appear to have only been around a few years, though. In any event, I hope they are enormously successful in delivering quality care and never end up on the PCWG's website.
Keep your eyes and ears open for news of the other health care and prison operation contracts - they're supposed to be deciding on them any day, so give me a heads up if you find something out before I do...(bookmark that rap sheet page - we'll be needing it for the rest of them).
Again this is not a news article, it's a press release. This kind of thing just isn't news to most people:
CompuMed Contracts Extended with Oklahoma and Arizona Corrections
Telemedicine Provides Low Cost Alternatives to Costly In-House Prison Services
LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--CompuMed, Inc. (OTCBB: CMPD) (http://www.compumed.net), a medical informatics and telemedicine services company, has secured extended contracts to provide its signature CardioGram™ electrocardiogram (ECG) remote interpretation systems and over-read services for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (OKDOC) and Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) at selected facilities throughout both states. The OKDOC rents 21 CardioGram systems, and the ADC owns 45 CardioGram systems...
Don't bother reading more of that; it's all PR. I guess I just needed it to ease into what was really on my mind tonight...Edgar and his family, and all the other broken hearts out there because we put children like him in prison.