Saturday, November 22, 2014

Speaking of death, #929754, 1987-2014

Is the headline a bit sarcastic?  Yes.

Word of another prison death came to our office again this week.  I use the inmate's number in our headline, not to offend the family, but instead to point out that prisoners are just a number.  Her name was Sabrie Lorain Alexander, she was a real human being, and in our opinion she didn't have to die.  I'm going to let one of our courageous whistle-blowers tell the story, in her own words.  But first, a quick explanation.  POA is a job for which some inmates are chosen and trained.  It's a successful program where inmate observers watch prisoners who may be contemplating suicide, or who have other issues.  Here's her story:

We had another incident here. We had a young women here in her twenties, black. She was a level II, out date in 2016. She was in the Infirmary on Observation. She had a seizure. The POA TOLD the officer that Alexander was having a seizure. The Officer said 'Oh, she'll be OK.' Well, she wasn't OK. She died. The Coroner was here, the State Police, a fire truck. At first they again tried to tell us that she was alive. BUT I heard straight from staff that she in fact died. She is not alive. They tried to revive her, but they were NOT successful. 

Sad thing is the POA told the officer on shift that she was having a seizure and she did not think she was breathing. Again the officer told her, 'she'll be OK' and did not go in. This is what I have been saying all along. Prisoners are sitting on these women and when we alert the officer that something is wrong they do nothing. This happening shows that the minute DOJ (US DEPT OF JUSTICE) is gone they go right back to how they used to be. There are cameras and mics ALL over the hallway in the infirmary to prove the POA told the officer. Right now they want us to believe that she died because of her seizure. However if the officer would have reacted when she was told what was going on that young women probably would be alive today
They NEED to investigate this Doug. I pray that you can get them to come here and investigate or send word to the papers that have been putting this information out there. Women are DYING and getting poor treatment because the staff REFUSE to do their job. POA's do what they are supposed to do but we cannot make the staff open the doors to help other inmates in their time of need. This POA was forced to watch this young women die. I did not realize that MDOC could implement the death penalty whenever they want. I did not think it was legal in the state of Michigan.  One officer could have made a difference showing one ounce of compassion, just one ounce.

So sad in here today, so so sad.

We need your help again Doug.

The bad news is that the beat goes on.  The good news is that HUMANITY FOR PRISONERS is not letting up, partnering with the ACLU and the US Department of Justice to improve conditions for women in the Michigan prison system.

But for now, there's an open bed at Women's Huron Valley Facility.

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