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A private prison killed an inmate through negligence, El Paso lawyer says

Story in the Midland Reporter-Telegram titled Dead man’s family seeks answers in wake of prison riots:

PECOS — The death of a 32-year-old epileptic inmate in solitary confinement at Reeves County Detention Center last Dec. 12 touched off the first of two riots that saw fires set and hostages taken, said an attorney who represents the inmate’s family.

Some of the privately-run federal lockup’s 2,400 inmates, many of them illegal immigrants, had complained of woeful health care after the riots west of Pecos on Dec. 12-13 and Jan. 31-Feb. 1.

But the story now centers on 32-year-old Jesus Manuel Galindo of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, who El Paso lawyer Miguel “Mike” Torres” claims was improperly treated.

Representing Galindo’s wife, three children and parents with co-counsel Leon Schydlower, Torres said Wednesday that a doctor with a Lubbock physicians’ group that contracts with the prison examined Galindo just before his death.

“The doctor said Jesus had an attitude problem because he was complaining about the lack of medical treatment that killed him three days later,” said Torres. “He had no business being in the SHU (Security Housing Unit) because he was only in for minor infractions, not fighting or worse. His mom had been calling almost daily to say he was not feeling well and was having seizures.

“They tried to contact the administration and say, ‘Bring him back and we will watch him.’ You have to take this type of medication (Dilantin) at precise times at well-monitored therapeutic levels.”

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

June 19, 2009 at 1:23 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

5 Responses

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  1. Warehousing prisoners has become a lucrative business. Private facilities need to be closed monitored by the State. Medical care is a prisoner’s right. This man’s family deserves compensation and as a taxpayer I think it should be paid. The for-profit facility should be the first to pay.

    Ken G

    June 19, 2009 at 3:28 pm

  2. People with even a passing understanding of detention and correctional facilities (except those in the private sector who try and run them–and even they, if they would admit it) know that contracting out operation to private companies is a bad idea. There have been many examples of this truth even in this county with respect to some facilities that are, or have been run, for the local adult probation department.

    The obvious problem in this context is the profit motive. These companies run these facilities to make money. To do that shortcuts have to be taken, as in the related story, the quality of people to run the facilities is most often substandard–many guards and security people who they hired did not meet the tougher standards of governmentally operated facilities.

    Most governmental functions should be run by governments. Q.E.D.

    Bill E.

    June 19, 2009 at 9:51 pm

  3. Lets just pay to house these criminals in Juarez. They can complain to that government.


    June 20, 2009 at 11:56 am

  4. Privately operated prisons are inherently immoral. Profit should never be a motive in the administration of core government functions (e.g. national security, judicial administration, prisons).

    By law, private corporations have a fiduciary duty to their shareholders, not the general public. Yet, the government, as it contract out these core governmental functions, owes a fundamental duty to the general public. It’s this untenable logic that makes privately operated prisons anathema to our core American values.


    June 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm

  5. The situation with Mr. Galindo is evident of the many abuses that occur in our prison systems. Under the guise of rehabilitation, privately run prisons contract with computer recycling companies that disregard health and environmental requirements. Toxic exposure is common and prisoner health care takes a backseat to profit. Ongoing investigations conducted by the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons are attempting to determine the extent of exposure to workers in the federal prison systems. As we address our health system, let us be mindful of the reform that includes our prison systems. I urge the media to investigate the reason why the inmates felt it necessary to protest and riot, and why Mr. Galindo was placed in solitary confinement. I would speculate that conditions and complaints went unheeded.

    Xavier Miranda

    June 22, 2009 at 8:18 am

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