Medical Concerns and Advocacy in Prison: My Perspective

By Joshua O’Connor AKA “Apache”

From PHN Issue 43, Summer 2020

One concern I would like to address is the deliberate indifference and lack of remedy regarding addressing medical concerns in prison. For months, I have been trying to get a new mattress, because my current one is flat and falling apart. In fact, the mattress is only about half an inch thick.

A few years ago (prior to my incarceration), I was in a terrible car accident. My friends and I were lucky to be alive after the accident occurred. I did come away from the accident with multiple injuries, though. I sustained a skull fracture, major concussion, broken leg, broken ankle, and a dislocated kneecap. I still suffer pain all over my body to this day.

The current mattress I have has made my pain so much worse, so I contacted multiple staff members, including medical staff and the sergeant, to ask for a new, better mattress. Nothing happened at first. It wasn’t until I sent a grievance that the sergeant had me come to his office to discuss my concern.

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