Thursday, August 09, 2007

Mother of Idaho inmate suicide sues state over Texas Geo unit conditions

The next act in the almost-subterranean drama over poor treatment of Idaho inmates at the private prison in Dickens County, TX may unfold in court. AP writer John Miller reports ("Mother of Idaho Inmate who killed himself files claim," Aug. 8) that the mother of an Idaho inmate who committed suicide in a private prison unit in Dickens County, TX, has filed suit against the the Gem State alleging the Texas prison they contracted with tolerated:
"inhumane treatment and illegal and unconstitutional conditions of confinement" that contributed to his death.

Scot Noble Payne, 43, was in prison for aggravated battery and lewd and lascivious conduct when he slashed his throat March 4. He had been sent to the Dickens County Correctional Center in Spur, Texas, with other inmates last year to relieve overcrowding in Idaho prisons, which have more than 7,000 prisoners but too few beds to house them all.

Following Payne's death, Idaho prison health care director Donald Stockman investigated Dickens and concluded "the physical condition of the cell where the suicide occurred does not, in my opinion, comply with any standards related to inmate housing for either segregated housing or housing for inmates on suicide watch. The physical environment of the cell would have only enhanced the inmate's depression that could have been a major contributing factor in his suicide."

"Just being in the filth and degradation of that cell was sufficient to drive somebody into suicide," Payne's mother, Shirley Noble, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Wednesday from her home near Los Angeles.

See prior coverage from Grits and Texas Prison Bidness collected here.

MORE: From Texas Prision Bidness


Anonymous said...

So if the cell is not good enough for Idaho inmates, why does anyone in Texas thing they are good enough for Texan inmates?

Don said...

They don't have Texas inmates at Spur, except for a few county prisoners. I haven't been inside the prison at Spur in awhile, but I think the conditions there were worse than most, unless the reports were overblown, which is also a distinct possibility.

Anonymous said...

Brazoria County Jail in Angleton Texas has the worst health care and is very abusive to sick inmates. My husand in county for alleged DWI (he's diabetic and was having an "episode" when arrested). He became an outside trustee and outside of being diabetic and having had two major back surgeries years past he worked his but off, and has a stoke/heart attack setting up on the fairgrounds. They did send him to hosipital for 3-4 days and told him he was diabetic (which he had been telling them) and he was going blind from diabetic reynopothy. He now has high blood pressure, cannot walk, cannot bath himself, has to sleep lately sitting up since he cant breath very well. He cant swallow and has complained about an abcessed molar for five months. The main nurse in the jail claims one day they dont know whats wrong with him and now says dr said nothing wrong with him. His face is droopy, cant open eyes unless he holds open the one eyelid he can see 50 percent out of. He has lost over 60 pounds last few months, is dehydrated and is unable to chew so he cannot eat the food, since the stroke his jaw doesnt work properly or his swallow reflexes. He is repeated written up as refusal to go to infirmary nurse but he cannot walk or crawl, so he is denied medical requests. He is dying and he and we all know it, some of the jailers (deputees) know the truth. I need help and resouces to get him medical attention. I hate for him to die alone, the punishment is Any Suggestions on where to get help, his rights, who to write, etc, I would be grateful. Sincerely