The following is testimony that we received and there is numerous names and numbers of citizens that were witnesses to what was happening.
Montana Has Crossed the Line
It all started early 2011 if my memory serves me correctly, but come summer he nearly died. My husband was slowly bleeding to death and no one but family seemed to care. Right here in Big Sky Montana, day after day, week after week and month after month he got sicker and sicker. While he begged for help and while I did everything I could to get him help, we were told to be patient and to stop calling. He was just fine!
If you are wondering what ambulance service or hospital was refusing him care, you may be surprised to hear, he was at Montana State Prison—a facility run by our state, paid for by our tax dollars—a facility that houses our husbands, brothers, fathers, sons and even grandfathers, cousins, uncles, nephews and friends. Yes, some may be guilty of their crimes but some may not be. And some have well paid their price already, but are trapped—maybe for the rest of their lives…
As for my Joe, he fits in to the ‘well paid their price’ category but that’s another story. There are so many shocking stories, I could literally write a book on, and probably will. After the things I have witnessed and experienced, how could I stay silent? After all, that is what Joe is in prison for in the first place—keeping silent while something terrible was happening right before him. His choice not to stop this crime nearly got him a death sentence but he plead down to 80 years to save his life and he now sits at the mercy of a corrupt system, always ready to inflict as much misery as it can on him, including letting him bleed to death.
We didn’t know at first he was that sick. He complained that every time he ate the red meat, his stools were unusually hard and black. He had stomach aches, excessive gas and bloating, then eventually he started to bleed. While racking our brains trying to figure out what was wrong and what could be causing this, there was much talk around the prison that boxes of food where in the kitchen that said “Not Fit for Human Consumption.” There was talk of glass in the food and even “road kill”. This would be illegal of course so we would never know if the inmates were actually being poisoned, but ironically there were others who told him of these same symptoms. So we took that as a good indicator that the red meat he had been complaining of might be unfit and he stopped eating it for a while. He got to feeling better and eventually started eating it again, after all he had to eat something and the food is very limited in prison. Soon after eating more red meat, the bleeding came back with a vengeance. Coincidence? We may never know.
As a former CNA I spent a great deal of time caring for people with various medical conditions and one thing I knew for sure was that excessive rectal bleeding was not something to neglect. My opinion was that he was suffering from a torn colon. I researched this through medical journals and online resources, which only validated my worst fear. A torn colon requires emergency medical care and if neglected the person can very well die! I told him to get to the infirmary right away but he said it wasn’t that easy to be seen. Eventually they did see him but only to be given stool softeners and gas medicine. I was quite shocked that their doctor did not take severe rectal bleeding seriously so I started to make phone calls. I called the prison to tell them they had a medical emergency. Joe needed to be taken to a hospital immediately! I was ignored with hostility so I had Joe’s mother try to call and thought perhaps if everyone called to tell them there was an emergency, they would have to act, but still no action was taken. They left me no choice; I had to step it up, so I started calling the Governor’s office and the Citizen’s Advocacy. I reached out to representatives and even started writing the newspapers about prison treatment. Still nothing…
It was a miracle to me that he had survived as long as he did at this point with what I believed to be a torn colon. I drove across the state to be with him thinking at any time I could lose him. While visiting he had to take many trips to the bathroom to release the blood that was building up in his system and once he called not only me to the restroom but also one of the guards. Joe showed us the bathroom tissue in his hand completely saturated with blood. We asked the guard, who went by “Binky”, if there was anything he could do to help. He basically said his hands were tied but was appalled that this had been going on for so long and no one seemed to care. When I left visitation to return home, leaving him in the care of this horrible facility was one of the hardest things I had ever done. I was afraid I would never see him again and there was nothing I could do.
I went home and made more phone calls to the Governor’s office and decided I would call them over and over and over, all day, until they acted. Finally they got tired of dealing with me so they called the prison to tell them to get Joe into the infirmary. Sometime later the infirmary saw him again. At this point they decided to make an appointment with a doctor down town, instead of getting him to a hospital for emergency medical assistance. This appointment that was booked took weeks and the bleeding was getting worse—by this time he was feeling very weak, tired and dizzy. I told him to stop eating for a few days and stay on bed rest. This seemed to do it. Within a few days, the bleeding stopped and shortly afterwards, he finally was taken to see a doctor.
The next time I spoke with him, he said the doctor told him he had a torn colon and this should have been treated as a medical emergency. He said Joe should have died but somehow his system repaired itself. Unfortunately the emotional trauma from being medically neglected will last him a life time though. Others have lost their lives begging for help while incarcerated in Montana, so we know the harsh reality of our so called Justice System. Those incarcerated in this state are treated with less concern than farm animals are. So when our Governor Brian Schwietzer publicly praised MSP’s infirmary for superb care of the inmates, we all had to wonder how much worse it could get. If that is what he calls superb care, what would have to happen for him to take action against the facility?
Personally, I don’t see how it could get much worse. I have heard and seen too much. Our husbands, fathers, brothers, sons, grandfathers, uncles, nephews, cousins and friends are not just serving their time they were sentenced; they are serving their time being abused and neglected. They are living a nightmare while our state denies any wrong doings. Our state holds us all accountable for any and all laws broken, to an extreme degree, so we must ask why the state is not being held accountable for laws they have broken. Is this a dictatorship or a democracy? There is a saying: “When the people are afraid of their government, it is tyranny. When the government is afraid of the people, there is liberty.” It’s been a long while since the government feared the people. If we don’t change that, what will happen to us? What will happen to our future generations?
- Unfortunately this is common place in Montana. There are cases after cases of negligent medical care, abuse, deaths, suicides. We have heard just this week that there were worms in the food at Crossroads Correctional Institution. We have witnesses that saw the boxes that had “Not Fit for Human Consumption.” There are inmates that have received food poisoning. Drinking water that was contaminated with feces. Not allowed water outside in the recreation yard in this heat. Which can lead to heat exhaustion, heat stroke or death. Units that still have their windows sealed from winter time, inmates are literally burning up without any airflow.
- There has been inmates just in the last few months that have had amputations and almost died from non-medical care. There has been numerous suicides throughout the state. Male officers that have sexually assaulted female inmates. Female officers that have sexual relationships with male inmates. Deliberately acting out and trying to get with inmates which can give an inmate more time in prison. Female inmates that have had miscarriages in prison and those that have gotten pregnant from officers.
- Someone has to call this for what it is. Montana is a beautiful state but it has a very deep and dark side that has stayed covered up. Well, Montana citizens that have and keep suffering from this kind of tyranny by the state government is tired of it. We want future generations to be protected from this corruption. They are using the prison for profits for them to live high on the hog while they warehouse citizens in their Montana prisons and hospitals. We are not just talking about criminals. Yet if that is not bad enough they have made concentrations camps out these facilities.
- If you are a Montana citizen and you agree with this kind of behavior, well it just states how appalling Montana has become. There is not one thing that is beautiful about that!
You may ask why the title of this article is “Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer’s Concentration Camps. The Governor is the one that has appointed many of the positions that make up this system of corruption. A multitude of citizens have tried to contact the Governor about what is going on in his state and he continually ignores them. He allows the corruption of the AG’s office to go unchecked. He allows the DOC to go unchecked and allows them to show arrogant disrespect towards the Law and Justice Committee. It is only right for the Governor to make an honorable stand for his state and the citizens and he has decidedly decided that we are not worth it.