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Inmate dies at Central Booking, complaining of denied health care

The following article in the Baltimore Examiner shows again that denied health care to detainees in the city jail may be life threatening. PJC Attorney Wendy Hess is quoted, referring to the class action lawsuit, Duvall v. Ehrlich, which seeks to address systemic failures of the Baltimore City Detention Center. The PJC and the ACLU’s National Prison Project are co-counsel on this case, which seeks to revive a 1993 consent decree and require the State to provide constitutionally acceptable health care and safe and sanitary physical conditions of confinement at the BCDC. Police investigating death of inmate at Baltimore Central Booking facility By Jaime Malarkey Examiner Staff Writer 9/21/08 BALTIMORE – Prison officials said they still are investigating the death of a man found unconscious in the shower of Baltimore’s Central Booking facility Wednesday evening. Inmate Thomas Moylan, 24, was rushed to the University of Maryland Medical Center about 6 p.m. Wednesday, where he was pronounced dead, prison officials said. The cause remains under investigation, but officials said Moylan, a drug addict, appears to have “dropped dead.” “It doesn’t appear to be injury-related,” said Rick Binetti, spokesman for Maryland’s Department of Public Safety and Corrections, which operates the jail. “There was no foul play, there was no fight that we know of at this point.” Moylan was in jail on burglary charges since Sept. 8 and has a history of drug and theft violations, according to court records. His mother, Mary Moylan, said her son had hepatitis and asthma and called her Monday to complain of poor medical treatment in the prison. She said prison officials refused to give Moylan an inhaler and that he feared he was going to die in jail. “His words were pretty prophetic,” Mary Moylan said. “He was in and out of trouble and jail but he wasn’t some hardened criminal. He was a junkie who needed help.” “Unfortunately, when you go to jail, they mix you all together,” she added. The state’s medical examiner said a cause of death is pending investigation. Moylan’s death was at least the third this year in Baltimore jails. Recent deaths have prompted the Baltimore-based Public Justice Center to reopen a lawsuit alleging inadequate medical care in city prisons, which requires the state to submit death records to the nonprofit. So far, the center has received none this year, said attorney Wendy Hess. “Even with a lawsuit where we have greater access, it’s difficult to get consistent information about what’s going on in there,” Hess said. “This is the incredibly frustrating aspect.” jmalarkey@baltimoreexaminer.com

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