Arizona prison horror: “Critically ill” inmates told to “pray” for healing
A new report alleges illegal and deadly mistreatment of Arizona inmates whose medical care the state contracted out to the country’s largest private prison health care provider.
The report, released last week by the American Friends Service Committee, a progressive Quaker group, comes as an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit against the Arizona Department of Corrections awaits an appeals court ruling over the state’s challenge to its class action status. The ACLU alleges “grossly inadequate” care that creates “grave danger” for inmates, including “critically ill” people who were told to “be patient” or “pray” for healing, or that “it’s all in your head.”
I am a 58 year old man who is classified as SMI [Seriously Mentally Ill], my mental impairment is such, that I recognize that without the assistance of an advocate helping me to maneuver through this web of misdirection, confusion, and uncaring medical caregivers, I will simply be allowed to continue deteriorating at a fatally unhealthy rate,” an inmate diagnosed with cancer wrote to the Faith Lutheran Church’s prison ministry in a January letter cited by AFDC. “To say that I’m terrified would be an understatement. But I simply do not know what to do.” The man, Mackie McCabe, died in June.