How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Zoey, JD Your Own Question
Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 25534
Experience:  Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
18321761
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Zoey, JD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I need a lawyer for my brother who is in federal prison who

Customer Question

I need a lawyer for my brother who is in federal prison who isn't getting proper medical care
JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Texas but he is from wyo and in prison in texas
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: I have called Washington DC to tell them and nothing gets done I have called them numerous times
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: he also had a heart attack in jail cause they refuse to give him his medication needed for his heart problems
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 5 months ago.

Hi,

I'm Zoey and I'll be assisting you. I'm reviewing your question now. Please be patient while I research and compose a reply for you.

Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 5 months ago.

Prisons are notorious for being unresponsive when it comes to providing medical treatment, and depending upon the seriousness of the condition, this can rise to the level of a civil rights violation under 42 U.S. Code § 1983. What he needs is a civil rights lawyer.

An inmate has the right to adequate medical care. The Supreme Court has held that a lack of adequate medical care is a form of cruel and unusual punishment, which makes it a violation of the 8th Amendment to the Constitution.

A prison doesn't have to provide an inmate with the same caliber of treatment that he can get on the outside. But prisons are not allowed to be indifferent and turn a blind eye to a serious medical problem. 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 I am attaching.

It has been my experience that when an inmate needs medical treatment and isn't getting it, that family and friends aren't usually able to accomplish much by calling or emailing the prison. Generally, the authorities just give family the runaround and they won't address inmate care issues with them.

If you're in this situation with someone you care about, one thing you can do is to contact your brother's lawyer and have him or her look into the matter. Lawyers can see an inmate without having to wait until visiting hours or days, which is more than what anyone else can do. They can also see the shape the inmate is in. They can contact the prison's legal team and warn them of a likely civil rights violation. The prison's lawyers then can investigate and if they agree, they can push the prison to get him treatment. His lawyer can also get the case back in front of the judge, who can order medical treatment.

If his lawyer can't/won't do anything, another step you can take is to contact the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU been advocating for inmates rights all over the country, and even if it turns out that they can't take on your brother's specific case, they may be able to steer you to someone local who can.

The ACLU is at ACLU.org. They have branches throughout the United States, and this sort of a situation is one that's right up their alley. If you cannot afford a lawyer for your brother, the ACLU may even know of local lawyers who would take on his matter pro bono.

If he/you can afford a lawyer, however, you can also call the Texas Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service and ask them to refer you to a civil rights lawyer. You could also contact a private lawyer referral service such as Martindale.com or Avvo.com