Solano prisoners petition against ‘man down’ policy

by Michael Rhinehart

Dear Bay View:

My name is Michael Rhinehart. I am prisoner at California State Prison-Solano. I am asking you for your help for the following reasons.

Enclosed is a group appeal that has 215 names on it, stating:

“A. We are grieving the introduction of a new medical emergency policy, ‘man down,’ that forces prisoners to call ‘man down.’ We are forced to use the medical emergency call for help, ‘man down,’ in order to receive medical treatment, even for minor ailments such as colds, the flu, back pain, headache, minor cuts or a sprained ankle.

“When a medical emergency happens, all prisoners are required to sit on the ground or remain still for very long periods of time. We are forced to sit in the rain or very hot weather. We must even sit on the ground for medical emergencies that take place in the Administrative Segregation Unit.

“These medical emergencies occur many times a day, causing stress and frustration with all prisoners. They affect our physical and mental wellbeing. It is dehumanizing. We have to wait to be allowed to walk to a medical area that treats prisoners for minor medical problems without using the emergency code for help, ‘man down.’

“B. We request that we are allowed to walk to a medical area and receive medical assistance if we choose not to use ‘man down.’”

Let me add to the group appeal. The prisoners here are truly suffering from this “man down” policy. This is why we need your help – we need help from the outside to put an end to their medical emergency policy. These people do not take our grievances seriously. To add to it, they don’t care about our suffering.

The medical emergency is used for very minor medical reasons, like prisoners’ complaints about headaches, colds, flu, minor cuts and toothaches. A prisoner speaks to a guard about any medical problem and the guard asks the prisoner, “Do you want me to call ‘man down’?” Then the medical emergency alarm goes off and “all inmates down.”

The reason why we use “Man Down” is that there is no medical facility we can walk up to and request even the most minimal medical assistance.

If you inquire into our welfare, ask Sacramento and Solano Prison if what I wrote here and on the group appeal is true! And come visit with us to bear witness to what is a bad policy causing a lot of unnecessary pain and suffering.

Send our brother some love and light: Michael Rhinehart, C39412, CSP-Solano, B7-232, P.O. Box 4000, Vacaville, CA 95696.