By Susan Mortimer |
Last modified 2006-06-22 22:52
Wednesday, June 21, late morning—An hour and a half
ago I got a call from Lorraine—the mom of Tony Garafolo, 45, paraplegic
prisoner awaiting trial for parole violation. I knew Tony and corresponded
with him, occassionally spoke with him by phone. Most recently we talked
about ten days ago.
Medical abuse “inside” is rampant but we have policy
makers working to gradually change that by cultivating relationships with
the Department of Correction (DOC) and lovely commissioner Kathy Dennehy,
a former nurse. Many legislators respect her and insist that the
conditions in State lock-ups will change if we only conduct more studies,
more task forces, more confabs. Millions of dollars, years of wasted time,
destruction of physical & mental health continue unabated but the liberal
reformers are happy with incremental (glacial) change. In fact they
deliberately ignore the voices of those directly affected and the
After Tony's parole violation from Hampden County—home
to the liberals' sweetheart Sheriff Ashe, his cronies and D.A.
Bennett—they decided to send him to the SuperMax at Shirley to await
trial. Bennett wanted to use “three strikes” law to give Tony life in
prison. His crime was impulsively swiping change and dollar bills from the
counter of a convenience store, while “high” and in his wheelchair. No
threats, unarmed—and unlegged!
At the SuperMax Tony developed massive bedsores (4 x 8
centimeters). Mass Correctional Legal Services was now closely involved.
Months of complaints and advocacy did little. Colostomy had to be
performed. Tony was sent to the Shattuck, a Dept of Public Health (DPH)
hospital with a unit for DOC inmates. He deteriorated there—eventually
needed plastic surgery. This was done at UMass Medical Center, but outside
the auspices of the criminal “correctional” health care program. Tony
gained weight and color back.
Then he was shipped to Shattuck again. Within 48 hours
his condition was deteriorating. I spoke with him. He was disciplined for
refusing to comply with orders to get in his bed. The bed was causing the
post-surgical site to leak and bleed. But DOC and criminal med staff
About ten days ago Tony was to be returned to the
SuperMax to await trial, DA Bennett pushing for a life sentence. I'd
spoken to him a couple of days before.
His mom called me 90 minutes ago say that Tony is
dead. She was told by Superintendent Anderson he committed suicide by
hanging himself with a shower curtain. In MCI-Shirley, a place with 24
hour surveillance? Shades of Geoghan and Kelly Jo Griffen, folks! If you
don't understand now that this state murders with impunity and with the
complicity of the Legislature and liberal policy makers—WHEN WILL YOU GET
IT? How many investigations? How many task forces?
This morning Senator Jarrett Barrios told a radio news
station that he was enraged about Tony's death. This is complete bull
shit! He told us that there was nothing he could do. He needed to keep
working with DOC so he could continue to get information about other
happenings. His rude aide, Dede Edmondson, responding last month to the
urgent request of Andrea Hornbein (his constituent) that he visit Tony at
the Shattuck Hospital, replied—to paraphrase—we can't do that. It would
appear biased against the DOC.
Barrios does not assist his constituents who request
help for incarcerated relatives. We have several documented examples,
including the time I emailed him with urgent message about the death of
Kelly Jo Griffen—"deleted without reading". I have that on file.
*NO MORE COLLABORATING WITH THESE HUMAN RIGHTS
ABUSERS, FOLKS! END IT NOW!!!* —Susan Mortimer