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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 16833
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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do you do pro bono work for critically ill 28 yr old girl.

Customer Question

do you do pro bono work for critically ill 28 yr old girl. abrittle diabetic in fluvanna prison, that same prison that will not give her the insulin she needs, and told us that they let her die if she goes into coma. No resisitation efforts will be done
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Fran-mod replied 2 years ago.
Hi, I’m a moderator for this topic and I wonder whether you’re still waiting for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will do my best to find a professional to assist you right away. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you. Thank you!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Fran, good morning


What do you need to know? I have a correction. My granddaughter is 20 not 28.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Fran, good morning,


Yes I M waiting with extreme anxiety. thank you

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 years ago.
Hi Jacustomer,

Unfortunately the terms of service here at JustAnswer do not allow experts to engage in actual representation of customers' off-site legal issues. We're here to provide legal information only and everything we do must stay on the threads of our boards where we post.

Your granddaughter has a Consitutional right to adequate medical care under the 8th Amendment to the Constitution. The Supreme Court has held that it is cruel and unusual punishment to deny an inmate necessary medical care.

If she has a condition that requires medical attention, while the prison does not have to provide the same caliber of medical care that she would get on the outside, they cannot turn a blind eye to her problems either. You can get an idea of what courts have found to be deliberate indifference and what sorts of situations constitute a serious medical need here in this PDF.

Unfortunately, in my experience, family members are only going to get the runaround when they try to inquire too closely about what's going on with their incarcerated relatives, particularly when the questions relate to the inmate's treatment -- medical and otherwise -- at the hands of the Department of Corrections. It takes a lawyer to ascertain that. They not only can visit when other people cannot but they can get in touch with people in the system who will not speak at all to family and thus have a much better chance of turning the situation around.

Your best and quickest way to find out just what is going on is to contact your grandaughter's lawyer -- the one who handled the case that ended up with this jail sentence -- or retain another to put the appropriate authorites on notice that that she is not getting what she needs and what she is Constitutionally entitled to from the Department of Corrections. A lawyer can also prepare a writ of habeas corpus to get her before the judge, make the record, and get medical treatment ordered.

If her old lawyer is a public defender, the defender organization should be willing to pick up the ball here so that she doesn't end up dying in jail. They certainly would around here. But if they give you a hard time, here is a list of the pro bono organizations in your state. Most will not do criminal because the public defenders cover that, but some will and all might have leads to special free services in your area.

You can also look into law school clinics. Most have criminal justice clinics which serve the community for free or with a sliding fee scale. The work is done by law students, closely supervised by a practiciing attorney/professor. Law students are good researchers and they are generally idealistic. They should certainly be eager to go to bat to get treatment for an inmate such as your daughter. University of Virginia has a criminal defense clinic, for one example. You can google Law school Clinics Virginia to see the others.

Last but not least you will want to report this to the ACLU. While their plate is very full and they tend to take on class actions rather than any one case, they are working hard in this area to advocate for prison reform and adequate medical care for all inmates. If they can't do anything themselves for you, they may know of pro bono lawyers in your community who are willing to get involved.

I wish you much success in finding someone to address this problem for you.
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 16833
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
Zoey_ JD and 9 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Fran, thank you so much. This is the first real conversation we have had with anyone. no one gets back, and when any do they can't help.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

I completely understand. There is not that much out there pro bono for this sort of work. Inmates' rights don't seem to be at the top of most people's list of priorities. The ACLU has done a great deal of work in this area, and they have chapters all over the country. They should know of someone. I hope they will be able to help.

You might also want to start contacting Congressmen. I've actually known some of them to get involved now and again.

Good

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