E-Alerts & Press Releases

PJC Intervenes in Life Threatening Situation at Central Booking

On Friday, July 14, 2006, the PJC learned of a man with serious unmet medical needs at Baltimore’s Central Booking facility.  The detainee had HIV/AIDS, pneumonia, diabetes, and had been on methadone maintenance.  He had been in Central Booking for several days and had not received any treatment whatsoever: his dialysis for diabetes, methadone maintenance, and HIV medication had all been interrupted.  Days before, the Circuit Court had ordered that the detainee have immediate care, but the facility did not comply with that order.  The detainee’s medical condition was severe and upon visiting him on Friday, PJC paralegal Levern Blackmon was very concerned that the detainee might not survive over the weekend.  Only $100 bail stood between the man and his freedom and medical care, but he was indigent and could not pay it.
 
The PJC legal team sprang into action. Levern was able to persuade a correctional officer to make copies of the detainee's outside medical records and to have the man taken to the medical office.  Then PJC attorneys Wendy Hess and Sally Dworak-Fisher called the Maryland Attorney General's office and demanded that the man receive immediate care.  Wendy and Sally also communicated with the detainee's public defenders and the criminal court to obtain relief.  Legal Assistants Niecy Taylor and Rob Lower retrieved additional information necessary for advocacy.  Phone calls were being made by these staff members while at the PJC’s annual summer staff party. By the end of Friday afternoon, the man had been taken to the hospital.  The man's criminal court judge has taken steps to inform the facility that they did not comply with the order and the issue will be discussed further.

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