Marsha Powell became another victim of neglect & negligence at the Arizona Department of Corrections earlier today. Inmate Powell was held for approximately 3 & ½ hours outside in an uncovered holding cell in the Arizona sun across midday in clear violation of ADOC Policy. Under ADOC Policy use of such holding cells is limited to 2 hours.
Inmate Powell was being held outside waiting for a psychological evaluation and apparently was forgotten. While four (4) corrections officers were sent home on Administrative Leave with Pay under investigation, it appears ADOC mental health staff, commonly known as “psych,” once again gets off scot free.
There is no mention of the investigation including ADOC Counseling & Treatment Services and the contributions of “psych” to the negligent demise of Inmate Powell. Powell apparently was a “psych” patient and/or was to be assessed for possible need for mental health treatment and/or possible emergency intervention.
While security at ADOC is obviously understaffed and corrections officers stretched thin, past the point of breaking and past the point of the safe & orderly running of ADOC facilities, such as at the Perryville penitentiary, ADOC was severely compromised under the Napolitano-Schriro Administrations. ADOC has deteriorated since Governor Brewer took office and Chuck Ryan replaced Schriro earlier this year.
Morale at ADOC has been extremely low since Chuck Ryan took over the helm. Ryan was appointed by Governor Jan Brewer earlier this year. Since Ryan’s appointment many corrections officers, commonly & wrongly referred to as “guards,” have opted to retire early from ADOC rather than continue working under such terrible conditions.
Previously, I reported on the demise of another inmate due to heat stroke at the Arizona State Prison Complex—Lewis (ASPC-Lewis). That was covered up. More importantly, during the previous death at a men’s penitentiary, the officers left the inmate exposed purposely in a holding cell outside of Medical to kill that convict!
Ultimately, Medical covered up for the negligence of security in that inmate’s death. At least in the Powell death, Ryan has ordered a (partial) investigation.
One wonders who is in charge of “psych” at Perryville?
One wonders which Psychologist II’s, which Psychological Associate II’s, and which Supervising Psychologist III may have been on duty or were supposed to have been available to see that obviously distressed and in need of treatment female inmate in a timely fashion?
Let the investigation be expanded to cover the real causes of Inmate Marsha Powell’s death and the contributory negligence of Counseling & Treatment Services staff for failing to respond in a timely fashion.
Moreover, I urge opening an investigation on the previous heat stroke death due to exposure at ASPC-Lewis. It appeared that death contained a certain degree of premeditation.
Maybe it is time the FBI came in and investigated these undue losses of life?
Neither inmate was sentenced to death!