For Kini Seawright, and all the other women who bury a loved one due to police or prison violence...

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Cancer in Custody: Benny Joe Roseland, 59, is dying to save us money...

 UPDATE AUGUST 1, 2013:  Just sent this email out today...

Arizona Prisonwatch    Thu, Aug 1, 2013 at 9:30 AM

To: CHARLES RYAN , Richard Pratt ,, 
Cc:,,,, David Fathi (ACLU National Prison Project), Daniel Pochoda (ACLU-AZ), Donald Specter (prison Law Office), Justin Scalise (Corizon Health), Jennifer Alewelt (Arizona Center for Disability Law), "Halloran, Wendy" (CH12/KPNX)

All four of you in the primary address here should be ashamed of yourselves for this prisoner's needless suffering and looming death - which appears to be due to a pattern of neglect over the course of Chuck Ryan's administration. This is why Parsons v Ryan is in play.

Sen. Biggs and Rep Gowan: a lot of people expect you to show some leadership and do something about Mr. Ryan and Mr. Pratt, if the good Governor won't. Someone else needs to turn that place around before we meet the next Benny Joe Roseland, or Tony Lester, Anthony Brown, Nelson Johnson, Marcia Powell, Forrest Day, Lasasha Cherry, Jerry Kulp, Ferdinand Dix, Carlo Krakoff, Huberta Parlee, Joseph Venegas, Brenda Todd, Susan Lopez, Jesse Cornejo, Daniel Porter, Duron Cunningham, Jesse Cabonias, or any number of Jan Brewer's ghosts whose wrongful deaths in prison I can detail for you, having read their DOC records and survivors' claims myself. The indifference some of them suffered was quite deliberate, and sometimes even criminal, in my book.

Sen Pancrazi and Reps Otondo and Escamilla: Please represent Benny's interests to the people responsible for his welfare, and make sure he gets the same palliative care you would want for your own brother or son if they were imprisoned in this place. I know his life gives something to your communities by virtue of being warehoused, and thus counted, in your districts. I honestly don't know if he has anyone else to fight for him. He can be reached at:

Benny Joe Roseland #124449,
PO Box 70 
Buckeye, AZ 85326

I've promised Benny I will amplify his voice in the service of for those who will never be heard as they suffer and die, so we'll be posting from him to both blogs until he can no longer write to us. His death is representative of the "state savings" Arizona realizes by shortcutting on prisoner health care. Benny can be the poster boy for a campaign championing the "rights" of private corporations to profit from the erosion of our collective humanity in this state, too.

Mr. Pratt: I'd appreciate a run-down of what hospice services there are in your prisons, particularly those you plan to offer to Benny. Are prisoners trained to care for eachother, like some other state have done? They often care for their sick and dying anyway - might as well give them the right tools. And please don't let his pain meds get cut off again like everyone else's has been, or he might have to turn to heroin like the rest to self-medicate. Most prisoners can get a quick fix from the gangs more easily than tylenol from a Corizon nurse these days...but surely that isn't news to you.

Mr. Scalise: I'll be requesting Benny's records as soon as the ROI he wants to fill out is given to him and processed, which I'm sure the DOC or your company's staff will assist him with doing promptly.

Someone else please forward this to the governor - I'm not sure she ever gets my messages; I'm certain she doesn't want to hear them, though I would hope that she'd agree that it's not only more civilized, but also more fiscally responsible to assure that prisoners are offered a community standard of medical care from the moment they are committed to state custody, regardless of who signs their physicians' paychecks.

Especially in light of the Hep C epidemic behind bars and the numbers of seriously mentally ill people we have criminalized in AZ, responsible prison medicine is also essential for the sake of public health and safety. Since 95% of state prisoners eventually do come back to us, we'd rather they not  emerge from isolation cells in psychosis, or return just to die in our streets and expose the community to even more infectious disease.

Thank you all for your attention to this prisoner's basic needs and human rights. Gitmo has nothing on AZ DOC when it comes to deprivation of America's prisoners.


Margaret Jean Plews

-------original post (july 27, 2013)------- 

. The following letter came to me recently from ASPC-Lewis/ Barchey Unit: this is what deliberate indifference at the AZ DOC sounds like, before the death notices are posted. Benny is soon to become another Ghost of Jan Brewer's...another human being whose life may have been saved, but for the contempt routinely shown prisoners by the state of Arizona.

The author is a long time correspondent of mine, and a reliable source of information. He's writing on behalf of fellow prisoner  Benny Joe Roseland, who wanted his story told so others may perhaps be spared similar suffering. Benny's experience is not uncommon, unfortunately, and spans the period of time when DOC was providing their own health care (when the class action suit over neglect was initiated), then Wexford, and now Corizon. 

Benny - thank you for this, my friend; your story will not be forgotten. I'm so sorry for what it cost you, though. Blessings to you for some measure of comfort and peace as you prepare for your final journey Home...

To friends and family helping loved ones in the AZ DOC fight for health care: See these blog posts below and/or contact Peggy Plews - I'm no attorney, but will  do whatever I can (480-580-6807 or