Monday, September 9, 2013

MDOC violates it's own policy!

To establish my case, let me first give you direct quotes from MDOC Policy Directive 03.04.125:

The appropriate facility head or designee shall be notified when an offender is seriously or critically injured or becomes seriously or critically ill. In such cases, the facility head shall ensure that attempts are made to immediately notify the offender's emergency contact person by telephone or certified mail.

Whenever an emergency contact person is notified...staff shall ensure that the emergency contact person is kept informed of the offender's treatment and progress...

Joey James Mercer
1960-2013

8/26 Joe's wife Sarah goes to his prison in Coldwater to visit him, only to be informed that he isn't there. He's being transported. She knows that he is seriously ill with liver disease, so she is worried. She is unable to learn anything more.

8/27 HUMANITY FOR PRISONERS learns of Sarah's plight and joins forces to try to find her husband.

8/28 Prisoners claim they know he has been transferred to Duane Waters Health Center in Jackson, but Sarah is not informed.

8/29 Duane Waters finally calls Sarah to advise that Joe is there, is alert and improving.

Fast forward to

9/7 Sarah has not heard from Joe in 3 days, which is unlike him...he calls when he is able. She asks about visits, and is told that according to policy she may not visit her husband for 30 days.

9/9 Sarah's words: After leaving 2 messages in 2 days, I was finally told that Joe was weak but OK. Now I got a call that he has died.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is an outrage. We're talking about a human life here, and a married couple. We don't have the liberty or the license to treat each other this way.

While she was going through all of this, Sarah said to us: "I spend my time in prayer asking God's will to oversee this madness and give me grace to endure."

May God give her peace and comfort in this time of sorrow. She won't get it from the state.

1 comment:

Doug Tjapkes said...

My heart goes out to Sarah; she just went through the same thing I did a week earlier with Otto. The frustration only continues for those left behind. The call from a funeral home, the arrangements, then the paperwork. Two weeks after Otto’s death, I still do not have his death certificate. This is holding up filing for probate so that I can get his medical records for the last two weeks of his life. I found out only through HfP’s inmate contacts that my husband was at DWH and was also treated at a Lansing hospital. The funeral director told me the cause of death, but other than these bits I know nothing. I’ll never know how Otto felt, not having any contact with loved ones the last days of his life.


Obviously, the MDOC doesn’t follow through with its own policies of keeping family members informed. I’ve gotten tidbits of information only when I’ve made the call. The only call from DWH was to tell me that Otto had died and the name of a local funeral home that they “use.”

Maybe Sarah and I should start an inmate “wives club” to pool information sources, etc. for when our loved ones in prison go through something like this. At least we can comfort and understand one another.


Diane