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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

More Readers Air Opinions About MRRJ

Middle River Regional Jail
The comments in this post were submitted online by readers of the Staunton News-Leader's August 2 editorial, one which called for an independent investigation into alleged problems at the Middle River Regional Jail. This facility currently houses 150 inmates from our area as well as from Augusta and Page Counties. 

Please note that the treatment of inmates at Middle River Jail may not be significantly different from many other facilities. Certainly not every inmate will have the kinds of negative experiences described below, and most members of the MRRJ staff are undoubtedly dedicated and good people. It should also be noted that inmates do not receive free medical care and meds, as one comment suggests, but must pay for it.

I print the following responses (with editing only for brevity and clarity) without names, although all signed their online posts, :

"I'm so glad somebody is finally speaking out about this. I couldn't have said it better myself. So for those who say "So what, they are inmates,"  etc... first and foremost they are humans, and don't deserve to be treated they way they are. Not all inmates are murders or rapists, most at MRRJ are small time petty offenders. I have heard way to many stories about how they are talked to and treated. I don't care if it's a 90 year old man or 19 year boy, a life is a life and they deserve better."

"Why should inmates receive free medical care and meds? How does one break a hand in jail? If you have a heart problem or any other medical problems, don't do crimes. It's that simple!"

"And if you do a crime then you should be allowed to die?? If you have asthma and you have a prescription that is paid for and can be delivered you get denied. And they charge the inmates $3 dollars a day to stay, and to see the nurse it's $10.00."

"$3 daily rent? Whew, look out. And pay copays? Wow, I pay copays and I also have to pay for the insurance and a deductible before my insurance pays at all so yeah it's pretty good. And yeah if you are sick and you need meds and you know the jails don't provide them why are you committing crimes? Why should tax payers have to pay for people who are breaking the law?"

"I'm an ex resident of MRRJ and something very inhumane, adn downright disgusting was done to me but Ive got way more to deal with in my life than to complain about insensitive C.Os but it really is unjustified the way thy treat people."


"Reading certain posts here have actually gotten me pretty dismayed. How does one break their hand in jail? How does it happen anywhere? Many ppl are completely naive to situations that eventually land them in jail. I suppose not everyone had the good fortune of being brought up with the cynical hearts that prepare you for the predators out there. "

"$3 dollars a day, hmm. Seemingly dirt cheap, yes? To whom? The inmates can't pay it. It's families and friends that take on that burden and then still try to send commissary and phone money.  Fine, let's call it
what it is. A money racket.... a business. Only problem is, inmates are getting low quality everything for the money they are required to pay. Should they have caviar? Obviously not. Should they be given respect and just adequate care. Yes. Pretty simple. "


"RIP Steve Rawley... Cancer unchecked after much complaining at MRRJ until he fell out and died two days later at AMC. Serving a year for habitual offender. Thats a driving charge. A DRIVING CHARGE. OUTRAGEOUS. "



"I have two brothers there....they are being mistreated and hit by guards and nothing is being done about it. they have filed grievance and no one looks at it, or it will take over a month to receive anything back. Some of the guards there think they can get away with everything. Its not fair. they may have broken the law and been sentenced to jail, but they are still human and dnt deserve how they are being treated. thrown into the hole with no mattress pad so they are sleeping on cold concert floors. than when they get sick they don't want to provide any health care. they withhold visitations and mail from family from them and that's not right to the family who is concerned about them, and have no way to know how they are. Seriously hope this is investigated more deeply as to not only my brothers well being but to the other inmates as well. Yes, they made mistakes and choice to be punished for these mistakes and I agree but to be inhumane and treat human beings like dirt under our feet just cuz they made bad or worthless choices in life isn't right nor is it fair......I wish and hope and pray this is investigated and the true justice is served!"

"That is right . They still need medical help. They need to go to the hospital and be seen. Where is that $3.00 a day going? Just because some of them made bad mistakes doesn't mean you do not help them. They are just like us out here. Some thing needs to be done. Some of them are in there for child support when they should be out here working to be able to pay it. God bless all."

"Well again last night my family member was taken the wrong meds, the medical staff was questioned and they insisted they were her meds. So therefore she would have gone without meds last night. Like I said I take her meds there every month so we know what they look like. I called immediately and spoke with a Cpl, Within an hour he took her the correct meds and signed off on them also, and he he did return my call and let me know he had taken care of. it I really appreciated it. But what happens to the inmates that don't have anyone on the outside to do this for them, do they just die from a medication error? Maybe it's time the medical board is contacted. I am not going to let this go, I wlll take it as far as I need to. She has filed at least six grievances in less than 30 days and nothing has been done."

"My son is in MRRJ and got a boil on his stomach from the unsanitary conditions. When he asked to see the nurse it took four days and a phone call from me complaining and telling them that I will harass them till he was seen. Then he was given a bandage and ibuprofen. Then he had an asthma attack and had to use someone else's inhaler bc they wouldn't let me bring his in even though he had a prescription for it."

"Just on 7/27/15 I called and spoke with a lady in the medical department about my family member that had received the wrong meds the night before and that morning, even described her the capsule, she said it sounded like an antibiotic, which is bad because she is allergic to sulfa,. She said she would look into it. It took until that Thursday, 7/30/15 for her to get the correct meds, which by that time she had withdrawal from her antidepressant and was in a bad state. The sad thing is I purchase her meds myself and take there, so they do not have to give her anything for FREE."

"I was at MRRJ for about 5 days and during those 5 days I was denied my heart medication and other meds that I need for congestive heart failure and copd.. I was in holding and told that the nurse was too busy making her rounds with the inmates to make it up to the holding cells for me to receive my meds. I wanted to file a complaint and was told there was nothing I could do since I was considered property of the state while I was in there and they basically could do what they want."


I will be glad to post any official response or rebuttal provided by MRRJ.

Here's a link to other posts on this topic: http://harvyoder.blogspot.com/search?q=mrrj

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