Medical Neglect at SCI Muncy

The Human Rights Coalition received reports from Stacey Detwiler, a prisoner housed at SCI Muncy, who is experiencing health problems and deliberate indifference from medical staff at the prison . Two months after being admitted to SCI Muncy and prescribed 9 new medications, Detwiler lost regular leg function and has trouble walking or standing without collapsing. She suspects her medication is not correct and has tried meeting with medical staff to resolve the issue. Staff refuse to intervene, saying she must wait until she is released in two years.  Detwiler’s laundry job pays $12 a month making it impossible for her to meet the $5 charge per sick call to get appropriate care.  Staff refuse to grant Detwiler any privileges offered to prisoners with similar health problems, claiming that she is not old enough to qualify for privileges, such as obtaining a white card to move to the front of the medication line.

In December of last year, Detwiler and other women reported to prison officials, racial comments made by Guard Wolfe.  Wolfe was removed from line duty for a short time, but then came back. Shortly after, Wolfe accused Detwiler of cutting the med line and charged her with 30 days in the hole for being in an unauthorized area. Detwiler reported being freezing in the RHU in February and having trouble doing breathing treatments in the cold cell. Juan Mendez, the U.S. Special Rapporteur on torture suggests 15 days in solitary confinement as a psychological limit for punishing people, yet the DOC doles out 30 days commonly, often in retaliation for filing grievances.

Additionally, Detwiler reports being denied food by Guards McElroy and Cramer. After collapsing on the way to the chow hall because of leg problems, Detwiler was sent to the infirmary. When attempting to get her meal later, expecting a peanut butter sandwich, CO Cramer told her he would think about it. After an hour and a half she alerted Sgt McElroy who informed her that there was no food left. Detwiler reports that other women have been denied food by McElroy and Cramer.  In addition to being a human rights violation, denying a prisoner food is against DOC policy.

Detwiler was convicted of 3.5 to 7 years for witness intimidation, after stopping over a neighbor’s house to see if she was going to go court for her son’s case.  Detwiler knew the women and had helped take care of her when the neighbor was a teen, but believe the court inflated the story to get a conviction.  Detwiler fears that she will not regain regular leg function and will have become disabled due to her lengthy prison sentence and lack of medical treatment.

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