Prison Radio
Kerry “Shakaboona” Marshall

The number one cause of death among incarcerated citizens in the Pennsylvania Department of Correction (PADOC) is medical homicide by prison medical personnel.

Medical homicide of prisoners is a regular occurrence in prisons and is largely by prison medical staff’s inadequate medical treatment, non-medical treatment, non-medical treatment, and intentional medical neglect of prisoners’ health concerns that causes lethal conditions and sudden death.

Inadequate Medical Treatment occurs when prison medical staff provides sub-standard treatment for serious medical conditions like providing a prisoner who’s coughing up chunks of blood a “Motrin” pill and returning him to his prison cell.

Non-Medical Treatment occurs when prison medical staff provides prisoners no treatment at all, although the prisoner has a serious medical condition, such as the case of political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal’s recent near-death experience, where prison medical staff was aware of Mumia’s extremely high blood sugar levels through diagnostic testing, yet provided no treatment, which is precipitated a near fatal shock.

Mis-Medical Treatment occurs when prison medical staff gives prisoners the wrong medication or the medication proscribed to another prisoner, and the prisoner dies as a result.

Intentional Medical Neglect occurs when prison medical staff decides to not provide “care” to a prisoner who has a chronic ailment or is seriously ill, like when an incapacitated prisoner is in the infirmary suffering from cancer and the nurses fail to feed, bathe, or change the prisoner.

One prisoner at SCI-Rockview, a former prison infirmary worker whom wish to remain anonymous, provided a ‘house of horrors’ description of the cruel & inhumane treatment of seriously ill prisoners occurring in the prison’s infirmary. The prisoner confided, “I’ve been working in the prison infirmary for a year now, and every week I watched three prisoners die in the infirmary man. I’ve gotten so use to seeing them die, that I know exactly when they’re going to die. And they be dying painful deaths man, ‘cause the nurses don’t take care of the prisoners; they just leave them there to die in agony. They be hungry, having bed sores, and sleeping in their urine and feces. But I take care of them man. I feed them, change their bed sheets, clean them, talk to them, and try to make sure they’re alright. And that ain’t even my job man; my job is janitorial work. But I can’t stand to see them in such conditions. It’s horrible man, looking at and smelling death like that every day. I be having nightmares now.”

If three prisoners are dying every week at SCI-Rockview’s infirmary, and there are 29 other state prisons within the PADOC, then there are about 5,000 prisoners whom are dying every year from medical homicide within the PADOC under Wexford Corporation’s healthcare.

In the mid-1990s, the PADOC privatized its heath care sector by contracting with Wexford Corporation to provide healthcare to prisoners. The Wexford Corporation has received about two billion dollars in PADOC health contracts over the past two decades for providing inadequate and sub-standard healthcare and Medicare to prisoners and causing lethal conditions. Prisoners went from receiving actual healthcare provided by the PADOC, to now receiving Death-care provided by Wexford Corporation.

The PADOC and Wexford Corporation does not “care” about the health or well-being of incarcerated citizens, they only care about the accumulation of profits off the backs of prisoners. Prisoner intimately understand their precarious medical situation all too well, that their lives are in jeopardy every time they must visit the prison infirmary, and that becoming sick while in prison can prove fatal.

From the Belly of the Beast, this is Shakaboona.

Thanks for listening.