Our Autumn Informational Newsbulletin is out now!

You can read the latest Informational Bulletin by clicking here.

In this IB more attention for the Hepatitis C virus and (non-)treatment inside Nevada’s prisons, hygiene inside the women’s prison, the solitary confinement-survey by ACLU of Nevada, and more.

Please consider donating to Nevada-Cure towards the cost of printing and sending this to hundreds of our incarcerated members, thank you!

Join NV-CURE! It’s $10.00 per year for people in the community and $2.00 per year for prisoners. Your donations can also go toward your membership.

Front of Nevada-Cure Informational Bulletin nr 13 (2015)

Free Criminal Record Sealing Class – restore your right to vote!

FREE CRIMINAL RECORD SEALING Class offered on Wednesdays at 3:00 PM at the Clark County Law Library from Sept. 2, 2015, thru Nov. 4, 2015.  
If you, a friend, or a loved one has a criminal record you are interested in having sealed, you should attend this Class. Seal those records – and restore your right to vote.
Use that vote to elect people that are concerned for the safety and well being of our people confined in our prisons. 
See the information on the leaflets for more info.

Is Poor Medical Care Killing Nevada’s Prison Inmates?

This comes from Nevada Public Radio, and was transmitted on tuesday 7/7/15. John Witherow, director of Nevada-Cure, is one of the people who were interviewed.

knpr

Is Poor Medical Care Killing Nevada’s Prison Inmates?

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jail cell

The number of inmate deaths at Nevada prisons is raising questions.
In Nevada’s state prisons, four inmates die every month, on average.
But in May and June of this year, 12 inmates died. And in the last year, the number who died in Nevada prisons is just under 50.
That compares to an average of 31 deaths per year in Nevada prisons from 2001 to 2012, according to the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Nevada’s prisons aren’t places we hear much about. Media access is severely restricted. Family members don’t always want to talk about a brother or father in prison. And, frankly, many Nevadans don’t care – out of sight, out of mind.
But some states, such as Ohio, are being sued for substandard prison medical care. And it’s no secret that many Nevada inmates die from medical conditions.
Between 2001 and 2012, 80 percent of 379 prison deaths were due to medical problems.
John Witherow knows firsthand how difficult it is to get medical care in Nevada prisons. He spent 26 years in prisons across the state, after being convicted of attempted robbery in Reno. His sentence included a habitual criminal enhancement, which adds years to the sentence of people who have been convicted of another crime.
“Getting medical care within the NDOC is an extremely difficult job,” Witherow told KNPR’s State of Nevada, “The few instances I had with the medical department were terrible.”

Read the rest here.

Concern about the high number of deaths in the NV Department of Corrections: a letter to ACLU-NV

This is the text of a letter that a member of Nevada Cure sent to the ACLU in Nevada about the high number of deaths in the custody of Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC). Their response: just fill out their form. We have been gathering so much documentation on medical neglect since the class action lawsuit that ACLU settled with NDOC! 
We would like to see some more answers and pushes to real change, more transparency from ACLU and NDOC in this matter. The electorate and the taxpayers, but most of all, the people in prison have a right to know why so many people die inside of medical neglect or inadequate medical care, and what is being done to address this.

Nov. 15th, 2014:
Dear NV ACLU:
I am writing about my concern about the high number of deaths in the NV Department of Corrections.  Since I moved here 15 months ago, there have been 20+ deaths reported in the media with little or no information as to the cause of death.  As a matter of fact just today, I saw in the media that a 55 year old woman at FMWCC and a 28 year old man at High Desert both died!
It is well known that the NDOC does not treat hepatitis and perhaps many of these deaths are a result of painful deaths due to this disease? While I realize that HIPPA laws prohibit an individual’s medical conditions to be revealed publicly, our state government is charged with the health and welfare of it’s incarcerated population, no matter what.  
I moved here from Illinois where the IDOC was carefully and routinely monitored by the John Howard Association in Chicago who visited each facility over the course of every two years and distributed their findings publicly and to the state legislature about the conditions and problems at each facility. They have no authority over the IDOC but their public reports definitely have an impact on needed changes that are always found as a result of the tours and interviews with the staff and the inmates.  
Is anyone monitoring the NDOC, especially when it comes to the number of deaths among the inmates here?  I note that most of the deceased inmates are NOT old men/women but younger or middle age and not likely to be dying of “natural causes” that are associated with old age.  My husband is currently incarcerated with the NDOC and I am concerned for his welfare as well as the other American citizens who are not getting proper medical care.  
How can we as citizens of this state, get this critical issue addressed in Nevada?  
Thank you for your attention and I hope to get a response.
[G.A.]

Bad News: ACLU NV supports AB 74

As a long time supporter of civil rights and liberties, I am bewildered and angered by the ACLU’s support  (under the heading “equality”!) for AB 74, which would establish fees and registration of documents preparers,  who are the often the only access to the legal system for poor communities in Nevada. How is this equality? Why would the ACLU support such a bill?
While attorneys in Nevada are not required to carry malpractice insurance; however, AB 74, if passed as written, will require paralegals to carry a $50,000. 00 bond. As stated in the bill, the bond is to cover any misconduct of the paralegal. If attorneys are not required to carry malpractice insurance, why are they not required to carry at least a $150,000.00 bond? How is the client protected from attorney misconduct when they do not follow the Rules of Professional Conduct?

There is more: registration fees and fees for FBI background check and fingerprinting and –possibly the most absurd and egregious portion —  a provision prohibiting ex-felons from preparing documents. How does that promote equality?

Why are attorneys not required to post notice of their fees for potential clients?  And provide the notice in English and any other language that are native to the majority of the attorney’s clients?
Imagine what would happen if attorneys had to post their fees? We would finally see accountability in the legal profession, or it would be a start anyway, some semblance of social responsibility on the part of Nevada’s legal community. Instead, the ACLU goes after paralegals?
I almost can’t believe I am typing these words.

If the ACLU was worried about equality, it would propose and support legislation to require increased pro bono hours by attorneys, AND not give attorneys an pass by paying a few hundred dollars.  Poor people
do not trust the legal community because the legal community is not trustworthy. This is not about paralegals. This is about attorneys taking people’s money and leaving them high and dry without legal help. These lawyers – and yes, there are many in Nevada – are called dump trucks.

Low income communities need paralegals. We can’t afford attorneys’ outrageous fees. Additionally, how many attorneys in Nevada have EVER done a pro bono case for a prisoner? Prisoners in Nevada are going blind from denial of basic medical care, denied their basic rights in the form of hearing aids and other assistive devices, suffering physical and sexual abuse , retaliation for use of the grievance process and other violations of their constitutional rights. Nevada attorneys, with a VERY few exceptions do not assist prisoners. Now the ACLU would like to take away the paralegals who do help them? Under the heading “equality”? Really?

Please reconsider your support for AB 74. It is bad for poor people and anyone who has been and continues to be denied access to the court system.
N. Smith

About the Medical Care at ESP:

11/16/2011

 
Family and Friends of Prisoners at Ely State Prison:

There is currently a medical care settlement at ESP which the court approved a year ago. An independent medical monitor has been appointed to oversee Ely State Prison’s compliance with the agreement for two years. Please write to Amy Fettig, ACLU Staff Counsel regarding ongoing medical issues at ESP. The ACLU is tracking and monitoring complaints and forwarding them for the Monitor’s review, according to Amy Fettig. Her address is:

Amy Fettig
Senior Staff Counsel
National Prison Project of the ACLU
915 15th St., NW 7th floor
Washington, DC 20001