Monday, July 01, 2013

Jails forwarded inmates to TDCJ without mentioning dialysis needs

On April 19, Texas Commission on Jail Standards executive director Brandon Wood sent a memo to all Texas Sheriffs and jail administrators (pdf) advising them that:
In the past week, Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) officials have notified us that two dialysis inmates from separate counties were sent to TDCJ facilities without prior notification. As a result, one inmate had to be immediately hospitalized in a private hospital because TDCJ was not prepared for the inmate and did not have an available dialysis unit.
The memo included a reminder that under the law and TCJS regulations counties have a "duty and responsibility to notify and coordinate the care of inmates with serious medical or mental impairments with receiving facilities." It doesn't say which were the offending counties.

Mentioning, "Hey, you might want to have a machine ready," before sending somebody who needs dialysis to prison seems like pretty basic stuff. And given that there's a formal process in place, such documentation should be part of their regular "pen packet" so there's really no excuse. Two in a week from different counties could be a fluke or it could also be a red flag, so Wood was right to take the opportunity to issue the reminder.


Anonymous said...

These felons should be at home on ankle monitors and save the state a bunch of money. People requiring dialysis can't run too far, and shouldn't be much of a risk to society.

Anonymous said...

I've seen counties show up with inmates in ambulances, without informing TDCJ they were bringing an inmate with serious medical conditions. I'm glad this is coming to light, it's a serious problem that TDCJ staff and UTMB medical are constantly dealing with.

Getting tough on crime and getting stupid on crime are one in the same. These local counties that choose to send everyone to prison should be taxed a surcharge on their local property taxes for a higher than normal rate of incarceration. It would be great to get tough on crime if we could properly fund our prison system. There should be a price to pay for getting tough and it needs to be on a local level.

DEWEY said...

"Two in a week from different counties could be a fluke or it could also be a red flag,..."

I'll go for the red flag.

Anonymous said...

tdcj don't want to waste time, they are running them in like cattle and don't give a dam about the health of an inmate, this state & counties just see $$$$ signs it's just a job to them!!

Anonymous said...

It's payback for treating sheriff's deputies like inmates when they come to a unit to pick up a bench warrant or inmate release to local authorities. Deputies are not the ones smuggling cellphones into your prisons.

Anonymous said...

TO ANON 08:12:00 PM,

Getting treated like an inmate should be the least of your worries while picking up an inmates from TDCJ. You better hope there is not a riot while you are there. I guarantee most prisons in Texas don't have the staff to protect you while you are there unarmed with thousands of convicted felons who don't have nice thoughts about what they would like to do with your shiny badge while you are in there unarmed.

Deputies are the largest problem in TDCJ with introducing firearms into the prison. Most do it unintentionally, other do it because they are scared. Don't be mad over TDCJ Correctional Officers doing their jobs and searching you for weapons. It's best firearms are kept outside of the prison walls. You should respect the fact these brave guys police the worst neighborhood in Texas without guns.

Anonymous said...

This to anon 7/1 0929- don't be fooled into to thinking that just because an inmate requires dialysis precludes him or her from being a risk to society. Most of the dialysis patients are strong and mobile. They have been known to go from pleasant to completely volatile in a matter of seconds and become very physical. They may not get too far but can do plenty of damage in between treatments.

Anonymous said...

My husband has a seizure disorder. Prior to incarceration , I notified and provided medical documentation to the state jail, and to Tdcj patient laison'
s office. I was assured by the county medical doctor he would make sure he was not removed from his medications; and assured by Tdcj they had all his medical documentation and all I needed to do was give them his Tdcj I'd once he left county. I even notified Sgt. Baker that prepares pen packs for the county to make sure everything was in there. I notified the Tdcj of his departure and 2 days later his Tdcj I.d.

A week later my husband was found in a facility stripped of his medicines, his clothes, in a black room with cold temps (the hole). When the Tdcj investigator found
him (an investigator was assigned the day I called and gave them the TDCJ #, I wondered why I was getting a investigator assigned--now I know), she told me all my fears had come true. But that she could not talk to me because my husband did sign a medical release form but that medical records failed to date it...yea right! I found where they had transported my husband to the jester ward psychiac ward. There I was finally able to speak with the doctor to let him know he is suffering severe seizures, and the medications he needs to be placed on which were located in his medical records. He was immediately transported to john sealey in galveston. There he suffered according to records rhabdomyolsis (kidney failure...he has a inherited kidney disease which has never been a problem until now). The Tdcj , utmb and state jails need to learn to communicate and quit passing the buck. There are so many inmates lives that are being lost, harmed or ruined. Inmates are humans, one can your friend, a brother, a son....Communication, and responsibility is all that is needed.