We hear story after story about inmate mistreatment and the failure of the inmates to get their prescribed medication. We recently heard a story of an inmate that was sent to Taylor Hardin for behavioral medicine stabilization. The inmate was returned to MCSO with the prescriptions for his medical condition. Ready and stable to go before the judge. Unfortunately, he was not given the prescriptions prescribed by Taylor Hardin. He was given the medications that the MCSO medical staff decided he needed. He was sent back to Taylor Hardin. When is, this practice going to stop. Do the judges in Morgan County have any say about the inmates that are presented in court who are clearly not able to assist in their defense. No. They only see what is reflective in the court room. We believe they now have a larger picture of why so many mentally challenged inmates are still in the Morgan County Jail. Getting the inmate to court is the responsibility of the sheriff's office. Many of the inmates have attorneys. So where is the attorney in all of this? Do the attorneys meet with their clients at the jail or do they wait until they get to the courtroom to see that their client is not mentally competent to assist in their defense? This is another part of the issues that are troubling. How many times has the criminal attorney for Mr. B been to the jail? Did she know about the serious weight loss? Did she complain to the judge? Did she talk to the sheriff? Did the inmates family call and discuss their concerns with the attorney?
We all have a responsibility to humanity. Even the ones who are caged and charged as criminals. We would ask the attorneys to get more involved. If you know the inmate you represent has behavioral medicine issues you should be bound by law to ensure that your client is receiving adequate medical, mental, and nutritional needs. Sure, your complaints will fall on deaf ears at the sheriff's office but you can always report your suspensions to the judges and to agencies that specialize in human rights. The correction officers do what they can for the inmates but that isn’t always enough.
No sheriff or medical facility associated with law enforcement has the right to deprive an inmate of behavioral medicine, prescribed medication by their physician, and nutritional meals. It is time to get involved. Don’t make the Human Rights Organizations do what we here in Morgan County should be doing. Attorneys appointed by the Judge are just as responsible for their clients as are those who receive payment from the inmate or the inmate’s family.
We have several years of bad sheriff actions here in Morgan County. We do not have to accept what is going on. We have a voice, we can make change, and we have an obligation as citizens of this county to ensure that this sheriff does not get another four years in office. That is, unless it is in the jail house as an inmate. It does not take very long as an inmate to decide this is not what you want to do for the rest of your life. No child ever born said that they wanted to be an inmate when they grow up.
Pope John Paul II, July 9, 2000