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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.