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A Woman’s Cry for Help: Health Care Abuse at NCCIW

February 23, 2012

The following is a piece written by a woman imprisoned at North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women, located in Raleigh. A new hospital has been under construction at the facility, though another woman wrote that the “hospital” is a “monstrosity,” and that it’s opening has been pushed back a year because it can’t pass inspection.

A Woman’s Cry for Help

I am an inmate at NCCIW, and behind these razor-wire fences egregious medical neglect has been a concern for decades. The health care inside this prison is grossly inadequate, unconstitutional, and has been ignored for far too long. The quality of the health care here has been questioned since as early as the 1990’s, and it continues to get worse.

Most of us women who are behind these fences will return to the outside communities, and the lack of health care while we are incarcerated therefore has a huge impact on society as well, whether it be financially or otherwise.

Women here at this facility have died because medical neglect. For some women, coming to NCCIW is truly a death sentence. Irene Baity had been here for years, with only five left before her release. She was over-medicated on a mental health drug that resulted in her hanging herself. Rosa Moody, from Avery County, came in here on a Friday sick with pneumonia; she was dead three days later. Teresa Jones had Crohn’s disease; inmate Kathy Thompson found her bleeding uncontrollably. The Corrections Officer left her, did not even try to help her. I stood watching helpless, unable to do anything. The second shift CO came in two hours later and got her to the infirmary, where she died.

These are just a few that lost their lives due to medical neglect. I came in here 2010 healthy with two working legs and feet; I now am permanently disabled in my right leg and foot. I walk on crutches now because of medical neglect. I now have a lymphoma tumor on the left side of my neck, and was told by Dr. Lyle Park that I only had six months left to seek a doctor when I got out. We are mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and children, and we deserve health care equal to that of the outside communities. The need for medical treatment has been ignored for too long, far too many women have died here and their plea for help has been ignored. We deserve justice! The state needs to be held accountable for this.

A prisoner at NCCIW

2/7/12

Despite the construction of a new hospital at NCCIW, prisoners remain skeptical. One woman wrote, “As long as it remains unopened, people can still go out and receive real medical treatment. Each day it stays shut, lives are saved.”

27 Comments leave one →
  1. emily reynolds permalink
    March 25, 2012 8:00 pm

    i was an inmate at ncciw as well. I witnessed the medical neglect and even
    witnessed an imate die and be walked over and treated as if she was pulling a prank

  2. Teresa Gallop permalink
    June 16, 2012 11:46 am

    My name is Teresa Gallop, and i am the woman that cried for HELP! Women are dying from the medical neglect that go’s on inside this facility, and no one seems to care, WHY? Women are living in buildings that have been condemned, and no one seems to care, WHY? Housing units with no hot water to bath in, WHY? Women walking around with festering sores on their body’s,and being ignored by medical, WHY? Women that have spent the last 20to25 years behind these fences are popping up with cancer, WHY? Please help me put a stop to this, the next body rolled out of there could be your mother, sister, or child!

    • lisa permalink
      August 23, 2012 2:13 am

      my daughter is in there now she has about 3 months left and she ells us when we visit about the nasty conditions that they have to endure . its not rite and i wish there i was something we can do if we rite the senator they just say they deserve it , wich i no dogs get better treatment , and thease girls dont deserve it

      • Justice permalink
        September 25, 2012 12:20 pm

        The elected public officials in the state of NC aren’t going to do anything. Been there done that they felt i was crazy because i was Correctional Officer speaking up for the abuse of inmates. You have to write to Federal agencies outside of NC such as Washington if they get enough complaints they will investigate but, i suggest you wait until your daughter is released because if they find out you are writing and your daughter is there she will suffer the consequences.

    • Justice permalink
      September 25, 2012 12:15 pm

      I was a former Correctional Officer at this prison and I tried to speak up about what i saw and it was career suicide but I am glad because the things i saw there encouraged me to get a degree in nursing. That place is horrible and the reason why women are getting cancer because there is asbestos in the walls and when it starts seeping out they just slap a fresh can of paint over it. I witnesses medical NEGLECT over and over again. The inmates need to file a class action law suit about the conditions. All of the Correctional Officers are not for what is going on there but when you complain in behalf of the inmates they will make working there unbearable. I kept a journal during my stay there of the things I saw it could be a lifetime movie!!! People would be surprised if they REALLY knew what goes on behind those bars. Don’t STOP fighting ladies your voice will eventually be heard.

    • Justice permalink
      September 25, 2012 12:33 pm

      Teresa I need a way of contact for you!

      • Teresa Gallop permalink
        November 12, 2012 10:06 pm

        I am Teresa Gallop, and i am the woman that cried for help and i can be contacted at (252) 542-0385, or e-mail teresagallop@yahoo.com. Please call me Justice so we can talk, i am still having to seek medical help, and they are dragging there feet on my disability which the prison filed for me.

    • Jaime Burleson permalink
      May 8, 2014 5:53 pm

      It was my baby. I want to do something to bring awareness!

  3. Kim permalink
    September 26, 2012 6:34 pm

    If these woman were animals there would cries of outrage from the community at the neglect and treatment they receive. What does this say about our society when we no longer value human life, because they have made a mistake and treat them worse than the pound treats dogs. We need to stop this treatment of our woman in the State of NC.

  4. Teresa Gallop permalink
    November 12, 2012 10:26 pm

    The state of NC had rather pay family’s of victims that has lost their lives at NCCIW due to medical neglect, to cover up all the wrong doings than to fix the problem. Unless you have experienced this first hand you cant imagine what myself and other women at this facility have gone through, and are still going through. We made a few wrong choices in life, but that don’t make us all bad people, and yes ANIMALS get better health care than inmates incarcerated in the state of NC. It’s time we the people put a stop to this. Like i said the next body rolled out could be your mother, sister, or child!!!

  5. November 15, 2012 10:00 pm

    my sister and i was in ncciw.so we know what goes on.we know first hand what goes on.mysister has had open heart surgery and adefibrillator,diabetes numerous other problems.ihave diabetes,post polio syndrome,just to name a few.my sister also has kidney problems.she started gathering a lot of fluid.they did nothing until she could hardly walk,they finally put her in the infirmary,and gave her more fluids,for three days.when they finally called an ambulance,she was in cardiac arrest.we would have to walk all over campus to get our meds.i have to walk with a walker,and going up and down hills was very hard on me and her.there is also a lot of bigotry and fovoritism.

  6. Golden Garrette permalink
    December 27, 2012 4:38 pm

    I entered NCCIW with a broken ankle, a broken Tibia and FIlbia,the orthopedic doctor refused to house me in a dorm that allowed me access to the kitchen, library, and all other activities. I was given a wheelchair and stuck at the bottom of a hill and told that I had find my way up a 30 degree hill that stretched 50 yards at least. I have a LONG written documentation using grievance’s waiting for an attorney to file a class action law suit

  7. January 9, 2013 4:40 pm

    I just left ncciw in

  8. January 9, 2013 5:44 pm

    I just left ncciw in raliegh from honor grade and I spent five years in hell. The medical attention that we need is not there. Officers did not care whether you live or die. From what I saw was alot of women fighting for the wrong reasons. If you look at someone the wrong way then they get an attitude and theirs a fight. If you don’t like what I say maybe you should not read my reply. I was there when Cathy MacMillian died from cancer. I had just came from the hospital, I had my gall bladder removed, but before I got to the the hospital I was in Troy Prison and that’s when I got really sick. I lost over a hundred pounds, I didn’t eat my food, guards came in and took my food before I had a chance too eat it, I was throwing up posion. Sgt. Johnson pepper sprayed me from the trapp door while I was sitting on my bed with nothing but a robe on untied. Once I was sprayed with the pepper spray by Sgt. Johnson I was told to step to the trapp door so that he could put hand cuffs on me . So I did as I was told to do. The door open and I was immediately drugged from my cell naked to the shower area where the guards stood there with armour gear on. They placed me in the shower to rinse my eyes out from the pepper spray. All I heard was people talking saying too me “Ms. Rouse was it worth it ” After that someone complained too whom ever. The Unit Manager Ms. Goins took a broom and swept the food that I had thrown out of my trapp back under my cell and told me too eat it. She even had my cell door to open to sweep more food in and pushed in my cell. Mr. Hill knocked me into a class door and I was constantly harressed by an female officer while in Troy. Who ever got me out Troy thank God but they transfered me back to NCCIW which they still did not take me to the hospital at all until Captain Smith got involved which he is retired now. I was misstreated at the hospital by officers and hospital staff.(including the doctor who worked at the prison and who did the surgery to take out my gall bladder. Don’t get me wrong there are some good officers who care but NCCIW is just like the streets and if you are not street smart you will note make it and you have too be TUFF as much as possible. Inmates steal just to get by hell I stolen things myself which I’m not proud of by no means. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. The women in there is more concern about having a girlfriend in the prison and it doesn’t matter whether it is an inmate or staff. It’s all alot favoritism there and the former warden that’s over the entire women’s prison ain’t shit. Listen to what I’m saying while I was there several of my classmates that I personally grew up with worked there and that was an expereince itself. And because they knew of me they wanted too talk to me any type of way or say I was a trouble maker because they they never liked me and I never liked them because I got alot of attention from the guys in High School but I didn’t let that stand in my way. They disrespect me I stood up for myself whether they liked it or not. Which I usually ended up cursing them out like a dog. Sgt.Shaveeda Thompson is one former classmate I had dealing with her, Officer Channel Maye came at me the wrong way and I was called to the sgt. offce because I called her by her first name. Who gives a dame not me. I was chocked by two sgt.’s while I was on my bed. I had bogus write up’s. Watch out for Sgtr.Matthews ladies if you don’t give him any sex you get lock the fuck up. He was sex partner while I was in prison. His baby mamma is Diane Jackson a prison veteran in and out since she was sixteen. What do want to know reply back because I’m sick of women having to go threw so much because they did or did not committ a crime. It’s time too get real and talk. That’s the only way things are going to get done. They need an indoor prison instead of standing out in the damn cold for two to three hours or in the rain. Summertime is HELL!!!!!

    • Teresa Gallop permalink
      January 13, 2013 3:28 pm

      Ms. Rouse,
      Please call me, we need to talk, i plan on doing what ever it takes to put a stop to all the hanious things that are going on inside NCCIW, but i cant do it by-myself. I have statements from other inmates, as well as documentation of day-by-day happenings that i endured while i was there. We have to work together to get results, please feel free to call me,(252)542-0385,,, I want justice, not just for me, but for every woman that has been done wrong at NCCIW!!!

      • Paige Rouse permalink
        January 13, 2013 7:44 pm

        Are you still at NCCIW or at home. I’m not familiar with the area code. Today makes two weeks since I been out. I know you can’t do anything alone.I have friends in high places and I’m in Greensboro, North Carolina right know. What are your plans to help the women’s prison because they need a new prison that’s something I really would like too see happen for the women’s prison. After I left the central prison and went to honor grade i found out that there are not many resources for women and the reason for that is because there more men in prison across the state, so there are more resources for them which is not right. I’m trying too move right now my mom is going to help me. So let me tell you this right now Teresa we need too get Washington, D.C., that’s the only way is make history. Once people get together to make a positive change things happen o.k. I’ll call as soon as I can so we can talk. My email is paigerouse265@yahoo.com feel free to contact me there as well. I hope to talk to you real soon.

  9. mary cole permalink
    January 28, 2013 6:55 pm

    Hi my name is Mary, I too was an inmate at NCCIW. I have seen good friends die there and the prison trying to cover it up, for example, Patricia Brown. She had Diabetes, Heart problems along with several other medical issues. She developed a sore on her foot and the Infirmary didn’t do anything about it, she ended up passing away shortly after.Another friend developed cancer due to the asbestos in the old dining room, she got lucky bc her family pushed the issue. Ruth passed away after she was released but while in NCCIW, she was diagnosed with cancer. When she would complain about pain the drs wouldn’t give her anything bc they said she just wanted the pain pills. Her cancer was in remission when she was complaining about her leg hurting, the drs played it as her wanting more pain meds but when in fact her cancer came back. What about the lady who passed away in her sleep while in the Falcon Unit? What about the few women who were beaten with socks & locks, they were transferred to honor grade to keep their mouth shut. What about the lady who was beat while housed in Mental Health by officers? I could go on and on about what all I have seen during my stay but I will keep it short due to the fact I could write a book about it. There were several C/O’s who believed in us but their hands were tied on how much the could help us.

  10. cuzican permalink
    March 20, 2013 2:11 am

    Wow…My sister is currently housed at this prison and she calls me crying everyday. She has severe medical issues and has been ignored since she got there. Iam a nurse in a prison in the state of VT and I want to call there and talk to the medical staff or the warden. Do you think it would help? What do you suggest I do? From the sounds, all these women need help, what can I do?

    • Teresa Gallop permalink
      April 16, 2013 10:21 pm

      We the people that have been incarcerated there need to pull together and take this matter to Washington, DC. i have called officials in Raleigh, and got no where, they seem to turn a blind eye to the things that go on inside there. I am only one person and can not do it on my own, but that place needs to be shut down, it is a violation of our Constitutional rights to be medically neglected. We have to stop this state from killing inmates.

      • Cuzican permalink
        April 17, 2013 12:42 pm

        I will help, tell me what you need me to do.

      • Jaime Burleson permalink
        May 8, 2014 5:50 pm

        I will help!

    • Justice permalink
      May 21, 2014 10:28 pm

      Cuzican the worst thing you can do is call that prison you will make your family members life a living hell prisons in nC especially NCCIW play by a different set of rules. Some of the staff is more corrupt than any inmate in there and the sexual encounters have been going on there for years women officers as well as men make inmates sleep with them if you do your homework there was an incident that happened years ago in reference to sexual abuse that caused the feds to come in and shut them down. In order to make a change you must first learn there past, because a lot of those first officers are still there they slipped through the cracks. Therefore history is repeating itself.

  11. Jaime Burleson permalink
    May 8, 2014 5:49 pm

    I was an inmate here and was pregnant. At 38 weeks my baby stopped moving I complained several times tonurses but because she had a good heartbeat no doctor was calle. I recieved no medical help until no heart tones were detected days later and my daughter had already died! This place is a disgrace. In assisted living there aren’t even CNA’s or any medical staff just one guard at a time and other than basic cpr they have no medical training! lustylulu80@gmail.com

    • Justice permalink
      May 21, 2014 10:22 pm

      When I worked there it was another inmate who was pregnant she went to the infirmary several times that day complaining of stomach pain they kept denying her access to the infirmary and when they finally did let her go she had her baby right there on the floor in the waiting room. They said her baby was dead no CPR was given the baby was placed in the trash bag by Sgt Bell and put in the back of the trunk.

      • jaime burleson permalink
        July 25, 2014 6:47 pm

        I will do anything I can to bring awareness. Animals are treated better!

  12. Nik permalink
    June 25, 2014 8:35 pm

    My sister is currently there and may be there for a long time. She does have some medical issues that include mental health. After reading this I am very concerned for her and would like to know what I can do to help.

  13. Jill permalink
    January 23, 2015 6:35 pm

    To All….contact the media..all of them. Don’t stop until you have been heard. Everyone needs to!! This is nasty stuff…and needs to be dealt with!!

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