Inmate Healthcare Is Inadequate, Says Former Mass. House Speaker of the BOP

BOP’s Inmate Healthcare Policies Are Inhumane.

inmate healthcare-BOP-compassionate release-early release-medical release

In his first interview since his release from federal prison, Sal DiMasi has begun to speak out on the way that the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) treats inmate healthcare. The former Massachusetts Speaker of the House is now out on compassionate release, but his battle was hard-won. His goal now is to begin raising awareness of subpar healthcare policies and inhumane treatment he and his fellow inmates faced.

After only a year in prison, DiMasi found himself faced with disturbing diagnosis. Doctors had discovered cancer on both his tongues and in his lymph nodes. With limited options for cancer treatments in prison, DiMassi began petitioning the BOP for a medical release.

His wife and legal team spent years fighting for compassionate release from the Bureau of Prisons to get proper treatment on the outside. He also spent a lot of time trying to assist others with their requests for early release.

Inmate Healthcare is Horrible in BOP Prisons

“I was frankly disgusted by the ways the Bureau of Prisons was refusing them and obfuscating the process,” DiMasi told WGBH News. As DiMasi struggled to obtain a medical release, he suddenly found himself facing a third form of cancer, this time in his prostate. Finally, in 2016, DiMassi finally managed to obtain permission for a compassionate release.

Even with funds, resources, and clout, DiMasi struggled for years before he saw freedom. Most prisoners have none of those advantages.

“It shouldn’t just be for me,” DiMasi said of his release. DiMasi is now in remission, which he believes was only because he received medical care outside of prison. But now, DiMassi wants to see more changes in inmate healthcare policies. He expressed his fears of dying in prison, something that many of his peers shared.

“I can give you examples of the inhumane and cruel treatment that was in prison for lack of medical care–people dying every single day,” DiMasi said. “You have no idea what it was like seeing people drop off like flies. Every other day, someone in my unit would die and they would do nothing about it.”

DiMasi called the BOP “a rogue agency” that absolutely must update its inmate healthcare policies.

The Next Steps:

Federal compassionate release procedures can be challenging, and the First Step Act has not made the process any less daunting.

If you or a loved one are considering applying for compassionate release, it is highly recommended that you retain competent counsel who can ensure that you qualify. The experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Brandon Sample understand how compassionate release works. We stand ready to provide professional assistance with the entire process. Contact us today to learn how we can help give you the best chance at an early release.

If you have other questions about compassionate release in federal prison, please don’t hesitate to call us at 802-444-4357.

Src: www.wgbh.org, “Sal DiMasi Pushes for Wider Compassionate Release in First Interview Since He Went to Prison,” Eliza Dewey and Courtney Kennedy, 12/5/18

About Brandon Sample

Brandon Sample is an attorney, author, and criminal justice reform activist. Brandon’s law practice is focused on federal criminal defense, federal appeals, federal post-conviction relief, federal civil rights litigation, federal administrative law, and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

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