Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Healthcare Behind Bars: Do Prisoners deserve to Die?

With healthcare having been a heated topic of debate for Americans over the past year, a new point in the discussion has centered on the healthcare benefits of the incarcerated. The Huffington Post reports that prisoner Xavius Scullark-Johnson was serving a 5-month sentence at Rush City correctional facility in Minnesota when just two months in to his sentence he died after medical attention was refused by the jail's nursing staff. Scullark-Johnson, 27, who was serving time for a probation violation, suffered from a seizure disorder as well as schizophrenia and alerted his mother that during his sentence his medical needs were not being met. According to Minnesota Department of Corrections, Xavius was found in a soaked in his own urine, showing signs of a seizure complications after one nurse alerted correctional officers of his condition rather than the on-call doctor and another nurse turned away the ambulance medical staff once on the scene. Ambulance runs are known to be strictly monitored in most jails in an effort to conserve costs - but where should the line be drawn?

With only a 5-month sentence, Xavius Scullark-Johnson's 2010 death was senseless. A prisoner does not equate to an animal. Healthcare and humane treatment of the incarcerated has to be regulated and upheld, especially if the ultimate goal of imprisonment is rehabilitation. I look forward to justice being served in the on-going investigation of Xavius' death, but what about the other prisoners that die silently without any documentation or evidence of foul play? Is this just the cost of incarceration or is there a bigger civil liberties discussion at hand? What are your thoughts on this issue?

 twitter: mikeaustin414


  1. I look forward to justice being served in the on-going investigation of Xavius' death, medical Internet marketing