More Info: The Latest

< Those responsible - Power to change - Archive - Protest - Ed Speaks >


BERNIE S. Picture

To E-Mail Bernie

To Protest E-mail

To Get on the 2600
E-mail list

Snail Mail
Northampton County
Correctional Facility

ATTN: Ed Cummings, M3
666 Walnut Street
Easton, PA 18042
Computer Hacker Severely Beaten
after Criticizing Prison Conditions
Target of Campaign by U.S. Secret Service

[ Mon, 9 Sep 1996 ]

The latest update is pretty depressing. Ed's lawyer has been very hard to get ahold of - Judge Panella has rescinded his offer to revisit Ed's sentence. The best offer they're holding out now is a consideration (!) to grant Ed work release status. This would mean that he could leave prison during the day to go to work (and return to prison at night). Of course, how many jobs can you do with your jaw wired shut and one arm in a cast? He can't type - his lawyer has offered to call some lawyer friends in Easton to get Ed a 'job' in their office (just so he can get out during the day). What he really needs is to be resting and recovering in BED somewhere OUTSIDE the prison system.

Note that the very same judge has already granted Ed this status (and rescinded it once in-between during the fax-crime maximum jail penalty period) while at Bucks. Ironically, Judge Panella's second order for work release at Bucks was sent to them on the very same day that Ed was transferred to Lehigh.

We called the health provider (CHS) at the prison to find out the last name and direct phone number of a Barbara person who was helpful to Ed on Thursday night, only to be told that she now no longer works at that facility. We then called their corporate offices who didn't (of course) know about this problem. They did seem very interested in keeping the story out of the press.

We also spoke to Ed's nurse at the (real) hospital, Pat. She couldn't give any further details on his nutritional requirements, but said that he should have been taken for his follow up visits to the surgeons already. Pat added that all of the visit and medical information had been given to Ed on his discharge from the hospital. Of course he was not allowed to retain this information.

Ed has asked us to phone the surgeons Monday morning to confirm that he is scheduled to meet with them. He also asked us to relate this info to his uncle, to try to get his uncle to witness the meetings with the surgeons (and of course with prison guard present) so that it is duly noted that he hasn't been receiving proper medical attention.

On a positive note, he _has_ been getting his antibiotics fairly regularly since late on Thursday. Still no pain relievers though...he has to argue with them to even get regular Tylenol! And he did finally receive all of his legal papers from Lehigh County; they finally found his 20+ folders (although they had all been sorted through, which Ed believes is illegal).

Ed met with the doctor at the prison, a Dr. Wood, on Friday. The doctor asked him what was bothering him and would not let Ed consult his notes about missed medications and nutritional concerns. He merely wanted Ed to describe what was wrong with him (as though this 'illness' he had were something new). When Ed informed him from memory that he'd had no antibiotics for 32 hours, no ice for about 20 hours, and no pain relievers as prescribed, the good Dr. did not care. Ed also mentioned that no one had taken his temperature, blood pressure, or pulse since he'd been at Dr. Wolf's facility. Ed also expressed concern that the medical orders from his surgeons were not being followed, to which Wolf replied "Those orders are irrelevant. You are under my care now." When Ed again tried to get the guy to admit that there might be some problem with a person who had just had surgery not getting the required antibiotics and pain killers, the doctor walked out of the room.

As an aside, the hospital staff had very carefully made sure that the Lehigh County Prison guards were given a special set of wire cutters in case Ed choked or vomited. They gave special instruction to the guards, noting that Ed could easily choke to death with his jaw wired shut. Ed has pointed out that in his 'medical isolation cell', it took his next-door-cell-mate whistling under the door to the ward to get a guard's attention. Ed's own version of yelling (through his wires) was not loud enough to attract their attention. The guards only pass through the area about once an hour. It's pretty easy to see that this is not a very safe condition. Ed could die if he chokes on anything. Ed is _not at all_ certain that the instructions OR the wire cutters got transferred to the Northampton County Prison. Furthermore, with NCCF's blatant disregard for any other medical orders Ed is under, it is unlikely that they would have paid attention to this instruction even if they DO have it. (The staff at Lehigh County Prison couldn't find Ed's medical orders when he was transferred to Northampton and promised to fax them to NCCF).

Both Dr. Wood and a Debra Tombocz, the kind prison hospital administrator who blew smoke in Ed's face as she interviewed him, told Ed's lawyer that he was receiving adequate care but was an annoying patient. We suppose he is, if you consider asking for your medication as prescribed to be _annoying_.

More information on this case can be found on the following web site:

the complete here.

More Info: The Latest

< Those responsible - Power to change - Archive - Protest - Ed Speaks >

back TO 2600  BACK TO 2600

. . . . . . . . .

BUILT IN toyland