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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I have a son in WMCI prison in Torrington. He has many medical

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I have a son in WMCI prison in Torrington. He has many medical problems. A little history, he tried to kill himself in Oct 2012 by drinking lye. He throat is very damaged and he has a feeding tube. He was sent to prison in Dec 2012. His throat is suppose to be stretched every 4 weeks, by the end of the 4th week he has trouble swallowing the pureed food, he is suppose to use his feeding tube when this happens. Last Thursday the feeding tube became infected. The prison doctors put him on oral antibiotics, Saturday the feeding tube fell out. He was put on IV antibiotics, Monday they told him it was too late to put the tube in and he needs to learn to swallow him food. The doctors' treating him in Ft Collins Colo. who are working with fixing his throat, say it will take at least a year to fix it and he needs the feeding tube in until his throat is fixed. I am worrying about the infection, he does carry the MRISA bacteria. His second medical concern is that he had testicular cancer in 2011 and the prison system is not doing his 3 month check ups to make sure the cancer hasn't come back. I feel he is being medically neglected. What can I do?
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am very sorry for your son's situation.

This may fall under 'cruel and unusual punishment.' The Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution states that cruel and unusual punishments shall not be inflicted. The Courts have held that prison officials are obligated under the Eighth Amendment of the US Constitution to provide prisoners with adequate medical care. In order to prevail on a constitutional claim of inadequate medical care, prisoners must show that prison officials treated them with "deliberate indifference to serious medical needs." Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 103 (1976).

The factors considered in determining whether a "serious medical need" is at issue are (1) whether a reasonable doctor or patient would perceive the medical need in question as important and worthy of comment or treatment; (2) whether the medical condition significantly affects daily activities; and (3) the existence of chronic and substantial pain. Brock v. Wright, 315 F.3d 158, 162 (2d Cir. 2003) (internal quotation marks, citation omitted).

This arguably qualifies as such. This gives rise to a possible federal case under the following:

Title 42, U.S.C., Section 14141 - this civil statute was a provision within the Crime Control Act of 1994 and makes it unlawful for any governmental authority, or agent thereof, or any person acting on behalf of a governmental authority, to engage in a pattern or practice of conduct by law enforcement officers or by officials or employees of any governmental agency with responsibility for the administration of juvenile justice or the incarceration of juveniles that deprives persons of rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.

Title 18, U.S.C., Section 242 - this statute makes it a crime for any person acting under color of law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom to willfully deprive or cause to be deprived from any person those rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution and laws of the United States;

Title 18, U.S.C., Section 241 - this statute makes it unlawful for two or more persons to conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person of any state, territory or district in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him/her by the Constitution or the laws of the United States;

Alternatively, similar actions under state law may be brought in state Court.

Of course, you wish to simply ensure that your son is cared for, and not to file a suit. As such, an attorney's letter to the Department of Corrections that threatens suit unless they take proper steps to care for him and the tube issue may have the Department of Corrections take proper action, fearing litigation unless they act.

I know you stated that you have attempted to talk with an attorney, but, you may wish to speak with 2-3 before you find one that works for you.

May I recommend the Wyoming Bar referral program - here. The attorneys are vetted and qualified. You should be able to find an attorney you are confident with and whom you can trust, and who is available ASAP. Choose CIVIL-RIGHTS as the area of law.

Normally, the attorney should be able to take care of this matter simply with a letter. And, it is not that expensive at all to create such a letter.

Good luck!

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