Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 22 Share on Twitter 2 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Life Arts    H2'ed 2/23/13

Warning: Incarceration in US Prison May Prove Hazardous to Your Health

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   16 comments
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Joan Brunwasser
Become a Fan
  (89 fans)
Gary, Christmas 2007
Gary, Christmas 2007
(Image by White Family collection)
  Details   DMCA

Gary, Christmas 2007 by White Family collection

Background: Gary White was a county commissioner in Jefferson County, Alabama. Good friends with Les Siegelman, he introduced Les's brother, [former] Alabama Governor Don Siegelman to Richard Scrushy, a local Republican businessman. Because of this, White became inextricably intertwined with Siegelman, who was one of the biggest targets of the Rove-directed, heavily politicized Department of Justice [DOJ].

Scrushy and Siegelman were later indicted and convicted on charges stemming from that relationship. According to affidavits provided by Gary [and Judy, who was also in the room] White was asked to perjure himself before a Grand Jury in order to make the case against Siegelman and Scrushy. White refused and the very next day, the DOJ started delivering subpoenas to build a case against him. White is serving ten years and has been moved most recently to Federal Prison in Arkansas. [BOP is Bureau of Prisons.]

Installment #20 - links to entire series at end of article

My guest today is Judy White. Welcome back to OpEdNews, Judy.

Thank you, Joan.

Every day, things happen that make me newly aware of the wrongness in our lives, aside from constantly missing Gary and family times.  A recent bonus:  Gary's invitation to attend his 50th high school reunion arrived in the mail.  Fifty years.  Most people would think that makes Gary solidly in the "senior citizen" category.  Most people.  The idiotic abusers at the BOP?  They are "Exhibit A", demonstrating the reality that way too much is wrong with our country.

Think about this inherent contradiction, that Gary -- a sick, frail and fragile senior citizen (sorry, Honey, but it is what it is) -- being chained, handcuffed and shackled, then put on a 40-foot bus with three heavily-armed federal prison guards with shotguns and sidearms, and the road shut down to move him from solitary confinement to a higher security prison further from home because THAT is how DANGEROUS he is, being such a threat, not to "public safety", but the only threat the BOP is concerned about, the threat of exposure of THEIR corruption.  
But, to truly understand how abusive and hypocritical they are, drop back a mere two months, when Gary was driven by another prisoner in a white Ford Escape -- no chains, no guards, no guns, no roads shut down -- and dropped off alone at a medical facility in downtown Memphis to see a private sector doctor, deemed absolutely no threat to the public or anyone at all.  Gary went in through the regular entrance, sat in the waiting room at the doctor's office along with the other patients and their family members, interacted with the other patients, the office employees and the doctor - just like a real human being - over a period of time lasting almost six hours.  A little over a month later, Gary was locked in solitary confinement for 28 days, then chained and put on a bus to be moved to a higher security prison - because the prison employees are so afraid of The Truth getting out, and that is the real threat to their entire system and way of life in BOP World.

When Gary was finally able to get to medical at the prison to which he was moved, after being required to wait outside with about 50 other prisoners in the early morning cold without adequate clothes, he had a fever of 102 degrees, chills, and a serious respiratory infection with wheezing and a cough that made his chest and stomach muscles sore.  They gave him ibuprofen .  No tests, chest x-rays, or antibiotic, and no apparent medical interest in the fact that he had just spent 28 days in solitary confinement, freezing and breathing toxic mold, mildew and exposure to human waste 24 hours a day.  I am very worried about Gary, but the prison employees certainly aren't, being concerned only about themselves.  They made Gary put on a mask before seeing him, to protect themselves from him, with no effort ever made to protect Gary or other prisoners from them and their abuses.

I can certainly understand your concern. I understand that the visit to the doctor that Gary saw was controlled by the BOP and the appointment resulted in Gary being accused of violating some provision or other. Can you tell us about that?

We've talked about some of Gary's medical problems before, and, of course, the BOP's medical abuse of Gary through withholding his prescription medications and refusing to provide proper care for him, both of which constitute violations under the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.  Before his imprisonment, Gary was under the care of a competent physician who was properly and successfully treating his prostate disease; his PSA at the time he was imprisoned was just under 2, which is a "safe" level.  Immediately upon his self-surrender, all of Gary's prescription medications were taken from him and withheld, endangering his life and health.  His prison medical records were later falsified, as Gary suffered terribly and they continued to refuse to give him his needed medications.  We filed complaints.  After seven months, they finally tested Gary's PSA and found that it had more than doubled and was over 4.0, a "dangerous" level.  So they did... nothing.  Months later, they brought a consulting urologist to the prison who prescribed the exact medications that had been withheld.  So they did... nothing - just continued to withhold Gary's medication and make him suffer.  We begged, and even offered to pay for the medication, but they refused to provide it and they refused to allow me to pay for it.

A year later, as this unauthorized human medical experimentation continued, Gary's PSA - according to the BOP's own test - had risen to 5.32.  And by that time, they refused to give Gary or his attorney the test results.  Just think about that, Joan.  What if you went to the doctor, had tests and bloodwork done, and when you asked about the results, they just flatly refused to give you your own test results?  That's what they did to Gary, because they are well aware that they have committed medical abuse and medical malpractice, and the test results are the evidence of both.  Gary had to file "administrative remedy" complaints to get his own test results.  And while Gary had filed over and over requesting a medical furlough so he could get needed care and treatment, they refused, because, again, a doctor they don't control would  provide additional evidence of their wrongdoing.  A cover-up had begun - have I mentioned how obsessed the BOP is with covering up their corruption?

Rather than take any chances that Gary would actually receive needed evaluation and treatment, unknown to Gary, the BOPers filled out a medical furlough application for Gary and scheduled him to see a doctor in Memphis chosen by them.  I believe this doctor has a government contract, giving him an incentive to do as they want, not what is in the best interest of the patient.  Without Gary's authorization, consent or knowledge, in violation of HIPAA and the Privacy Act, the BOPers faxed Gary's medical records to this doctor - Charles Wallace.  But the records, again, were falsified, stating Gary's PSA was 4.17, rather than 5.32, a significant understatement, to Gary's detriment.  And included in the information sent to Wallace was the following statement under "Health Problems":  "Observation for suspected malignant neoplasm."

Cancer.  They suspect Gary has cancer.  This entry was made in Gary's prison medical records in August.  But Gary has never been told anything about this "suspicion," and they have done absolutely no "observation."  When I saw the information in early December, I told Gary about it and urged him to ask the BOPers about it.  When he went to medical and asked, they refused to respond, telling him, "This is not a walk-in clinic and you don't have an appointment."

But let's get back to Charles Wallace.  Gary had been summoned and directed to sign the BOP-prepared application on October 24th, along with "Conditions of Furlough" stating what he could not do while away from prison.  Gary gave me the name of the doctor at that time so I could research him.  We were very concerned, as another prisoner had been taken to see a urologist in Memphis, had gotten a severe infection that required hospitalization and was later returned to the prison with a colostomy bag.  We certainly didn't want a BOP-chosen doctor to make Gary even worse, and we certainly didn't want Gary to see the same doctor that had caused the other prisoner's infection.

Late on November 26th, Gary was told he would be taken to the doctor the following morning.  We discussed that Gary would not consent to any information being given to the BOPers by Charles Wallace, as they had shown they would not give Gary his own medical information and test results, and they had repeatedly falsified Gary's medical records.  Honestly, if this hadn't taken place just two weeks after I had major surgery and was still very limited, I would have gone to Memphis to be with Gary to see the doctor, as had been our practice prior to prison.  
Gary also has some cognitive impairment and memory problems, so before prison, I went with him except for routine check-ups.  Since I wasn't able to go to Memphis, when Gary saw the doctor, he wanted me to be included by telephone, so I could provide reliable history, ask questions and look out for Gary's interests.  In addition to being his wife and personal representative, I am Gary's Attorney in Fact and have his medical power of attorney.  The doctor, Charles Wallace, called me, and we had a discussion lasting less than seven minutes, in which I asked Wallace lots of questions after clarifying that he was not an employee or agent of the BOP and that Gary was his patient, not his prisoner.  
For less than half of the conversation with Wallace, he put me on speaker phone so both Gary and I could be assured of the limitations on disclosure.  I heard Gary say that he had been asked to sign authorizing his medical information to be provided to the prison and that he had refused to sign, stating that no disclosure was to be made to anyone other than me.  I asked Wallace if he heard and understood that, and repeated that no information was to be disclosed to anyone other than me.  Wallace acknowledged the condition.

Wallace, however, did what the BOP wanted, as we learned later when he disclosed unlawfully to the prison, and not to me.  And he did not test Gary's blood to determine his PSA level, based on the limitations and directions imposed by the BOPers.  It just amazes me that all those prison employees practice medicine without being licensed to do so, even telling licensed doctors how to practice, and they follow the directions of prison employees, regardless of what the patient needs.

This will not surprise anyone - Wallace prescribed the same, exact medications that had been withheld from Gary for two years and two months.  He went even further, giving Gary a month's supply of pharmaceutical samples and telling him to start taking the medicine that very day, indicating urgency in beginning treatment.  But Gary never got to do that.  After seeing Wallace, Gary called for the prisoner in the white Ford Escape to come pick him up.  When he returned to the prison with a tremendous sense of relief that he would at last be able to take the medication he so badly needed, the samples were confiscated and never returned, and Gary was told he could not have the medication.  We again initiated complaints, with me personally calling the regional and Washington BOP medical directors, demanding Gary be given the medication, and I sent federal case law citations to the prison attorney in the regional office.  We discussed part of this in Gary White and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week [November 29, 2012].

On January 9th, Gary discovered the existence of a document in his prison file stating a BOP investigation had proven Gary was abused by a prison employee - M.F. Huger.  He was refused a copy of the document, then taken and locked in solitary confinement, as we discussed on January 27th in The Bureau of Prisons, The Flood and Your Tax Dollars At Work .  The missing link is Charles Wallace - the "private" urologist, apparently controlled by the BOP, who, according to the BOP, just coincidentally contacted the prison on the morning of January 10th - 44 days after the November 27th doctor visit but the very day after Gary discovered the proof of abuse - and reported - falsely - that Gary had made a telephone call to me in his presence, when it was, in fact, Charles Wallace who called me from his cell phone.  
The reality is that the BOPers predetermined that they were going to terminated communications between Gary and me, and they used a purported lie by Charles Wallace to lock Gary in solitary confinement and torture him for 28 days, terminate all visitation, telephone calls and e-mail for six months, and move Gary to a higher security prison further from home.  I said "purported lie" because when Gary told me what the accusation was, I called Wallace.  
He told me he did not say what he was cited as saying, yet he refused to do anything to clear it up and save Gary - his "patient", even knowing everything that was being done to Gary.  He obviously cares nothing about his patients, nor does he care about his Hippocratic Oath, nor does he care about his duties and responsibilities as a physician or as a human being - he cares about the almighty federal contract and government money, even if it comes with government control of his "private" medical practice.

Gary did not commit any violation at all, as proven by the "Conditions of Furlough" document itself, as there is no restriction that would have prohibited any telephone call to anyone at all.  The Memphis/Millington BOPers were specific in what was prohibited, to the extent that consumption of items containing poppy seeds was prohibited.  But not telephone calls.  Nowhere in any document Gary was given is the word "telephone" even included.  Nowhere in the BOP's 21-page "Program Statement" on furloughs is the word "telephone" even included.  ("Program Statements" are the BOP's codified policies and procedures and are derived from the Code of Federal Regulations, federal law for government agencies.)  
Gary is being punished - wrongfully, harshly and severely - not for committing any violation at all, as he has not done so; all of this is because of our exposure of BOP corruption and violations.  First Amendment retaliation, criminal deprivation of civil rights under color of law, conspiracy and obstruction of justice, along with violations of the First, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments.  
There is an extensive list of provable criminal violations by federal employees - public corruption abounds throughout the BOP.  But why are there no investigators or prosecutors?  Is it because the BOP is part of the DOJ, and the DOJ "covers" for them or looks the other way?  If ever any part of government needed oversight and accountability, along with investigations and prosecutions, it's the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the agency entrusted to "reform" criminals, yet they thumb their noses at every law on a regular basis.

Well, we're certainly getting an education about how two of our federal prisons are run. It's not a fun ride. But thank you once again, Judy, for sharing all this with our OpEdNews readers.


* Judy White series, in its entirety:

Judy White Fights For Incarcerated Husband's Access to His Prescriptions  October 13, 2010     

The Feds and the Prisoner's Wife - Do Unto Others... as You Please  October 27, 2010

Come and Get It! Prisoners Served Expired Food, "Not for Human Consumption"   November 10, 2010

Judy White's Giving Thanks for Prison Visit: It's All Relative  November 29, 2010     

No Heat in the Cooler: More Tales from Edgefield Federal Prison  December 16, 2010

The Devil's in the Details: More Tales from Edgefield Federal Prison , January 11, 2011

Hello Kitty Mysteriously Disappears from Prisoner's Mail at Edgefield , January 24, 2011

Edgefield Prison's Commitment to "Maintaining Family and Community Ties"?   March 6, 2011  

Winter in July? Trying to Stay Warm in Edgefield Prison   July 6, 2011

Neglect at Edgefield Federal Prison Causes Inmate to Lose Toes  September 27, 2011

Bureau of Prisons "Disappears" Federal Prisoner Just In Time for His Birthday December 29, 2011

Magic Behind Bars: The Case of the Disappearing 600 Pound Chicken February 22, 2012

Are Federal Prisons Finding it Hard to Let Go?  April 24, 2012

Happy Father's Day! and the Justice Department's War On Families June 16, 2012

Federal Prison's "Camp Cupcake" - Putting the Fun[ny] in Dysfunctional August 14, 2012

Gary White and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week , November 29, 2012
Scrooged! Millington Federal Prison Camp's Version of Christmas Spirit , December 24, 2012

The Bureau of Prisons, The Flood and Your Tax Dollars At Work , January 27, 2013

Revenge of the BoP: OpEdNews Censored in Two Federal Prisons , Sunday, February 17, 2013

Must Read 4   Valuable 4   News 3  
Rate It | View Ratings

Joan Brunwasser Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of (more...)

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) ; , Add Tags  (less...)
Add to My Group(s)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Interview with Dr. Margaret Flowers, Arrested Tuesday at Senate Roundtable on Health Care

Renowned Stanford Psychologist Carol Dweck on "Mindset: The New Psychology of Success"

Howard Zinn on "The People Speak," the Supreme Court and Haiti

Snopes confirms danger of Straight Ticket Voting (STV)

Fed Up With Corporate Tax Dodgers? Check Out!

Literary Agent Shares Trade Secrets With New Writers

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend