San Francisco County Jail’s incompetent medical care provider lets prisoners die

by D’Juan Barrow

I’m writing you to address a serious matter that can no longer be overlooked. I’m incarcerated in 850 Bryant, CJ4 of the San Francisco County Jail, and my health is failing. Due to the lack of sunlight, like a plant I’m withering away.

D’Juan Barrow
D’Juan Barrow

I’m having kidney problems, and I’ve had to have two spinal surgeries since I’ve been here, in three and a half years. I’m mentioning this because I’m only 35 years old! And also because the medical care provider that is contracted here is severely incompetent.

They have a history of letting inmates here die. A person is supposed to have a medical check-up and a dental check-up every six months. We can’t even get a band-aid from some of the “nurses” here!

There are no dental cleanings and the commissary doesn’t sell dental floss. So since we have to stay here, are our teeth just supposed to fall out? My thing is that gum disease leads to heart problems; so shouldn’t we be afforded the right to stay healthy?

When you fill out the “medical requests” here, if they answer when you need care, you must have had the luck of the draw, because they ignore you unless you’re an outspoken type of person like me who demands answers.

In 2014, I continuously attempted to get help for a problem with my neck and back. When they finally answered and I was seen, the nurse practitioner told me to put a “hot pack” on my neck and to take some ibuprofen. I ended up talking with the “real” doctor and getting an MRI.

Come to find out, my spine was pressed against the nerves that lead to my left arm, and I couldn’t feel my arm or turn my head to the left. Again, if I wasn’t the outspoken person that I am, I probably would be paralyzed right now.

The medical care provider that is contracted here is severely incompetent. They have a history of letting inmates here die.

All that to say this is the type of nonchalant health care provided for us “inmates.” The “I’m just here for a check” type should really have done been put on blast, but for some sad and sorry ass reason, these so called “gangstas,” “pimps” and “killas” don’t care about nothing but a funky ass commissary bag and some suboxone or percocet to snort!

Which brings me to the “jail psychiatric services” here, who collaborate with these deputies in using “the rubber room” on inmates for discipline instead of what it’s really for, inmates who are a threat to themselves or others. And they break federal laws by being the cowards they are, cuffing you first, then, as they take you to the “rubber room,” punching you in the face and using the code word for “fuck him up,” the infamous “Stop resisting!”

I’ve personally heard these “mall cops” make lewd comments once they strip an inmate butt naked in the “rubber room.” And the mental health workers participate in watching and listening to it all. Remember that these are not deputized staff, only civilians, so shouldn’t a citizen be concerned that this is what they’re paying taxes for and contributing to?

The mentally challenged inmates here are grossly exploited and abused. I’ve heard the mental health staff laugh at one of the psych patients’ cries as he was being beat up by these tough-only-when-you-got-six-or-seven-other-deputies-with-you ass pigs.

Which brings me to the “jail psychiatric services” here, who collaborate with these deputies in using “the rubber room” on inmates for discipline instead of what it’s really for, inmates who are a threat to themselves or others.

So once again, I say all that to say this is the medical care we have here. I don’t know if it’s the same provider, Corizon, that has been in the media lately, but I do know that they are just as bad. I write this in hopes that people who have family, friends, children, girlfriends, husbands or wives in San Francisco County Jail start making some noise.

I know the average person doesn’t even think of nobody that’s in jail. But when it’s your son or daughter or loved one, period, that dies or ends up seriously hurt, you gone wish you would have made some noise. This is a serious issue, and regardless of the buffoonery and ignorant minds of like 75 percent of the guys in here, they still my people, and if I have to be the one, the only one to speak out, then that’s what it’s gone have to be, because I care about myself and I’m trying to live.

These dudes ain’t gone listen to me. Only they family can plant the seed in their minds to stand up for what we are entitled to. Because if we can’t get the medical care afforded to people out in the world, then they shouldn’t have us locked up! What, we suppose to die just cuz we hit a lick or got a warrant?

I’m a part of a minority within a minority. I’m here for the long haul, so things like this are truly an issue for me. The average inmate is only here for three to six months. Plus they come back, get out, come back – so I can understand why they say nothing.

But those of us in here for years, if you’re reading this, I’m doing this for y’all, and I need your help. It’s time to stand up towards this bullshit. Stop being innocent, and start getting militant. You know the irony of all this? I have Medi-Cal!

Black lives are the best lives! One love.

Send our brother some love and light: D’Juan Barrow, 13676382, CJ4 K10, 850 Bryant St., San Francisco CA 94103. Find him on Facebook at DJuan Barrow.