into hotels. He sure can't run a corrections outfit.
Teen calls boot camp care poor
Lawyer says facility acted appropriately
By Matt Ward / Arlington Morning News
A 19-year-old Mansfield boot camp probationer, whose pulse stopped and who had to be resuscitated en route to the hospital, said Sunday he was denied proper medical care by the camp prior to the incident.
Michael Johnson of Fort Worth, who is serving four months in a drug rehabilitation program at the camp, was recovering Sunday at Medical Center of Arlington, afraid to return to the facility and considering legal action.
"As far as adequate medical treatment . . . no, I'm not getting proper care," Mr. Johnson said. "My doctors here think it might be pneumonia and they're running a whole bunch of tests on me. I didn't go there to catch a disease there. I'm in there for rehab, not to die young."
The incident was the second in as many months in which a probationer suffered a medical emergency that resulted in hospitalization. The boot camp is under investigation by the Texas Rangers in the Jan. 9 death of an 18-year-old Arlington man, Bryan Alexander, a probationer who died after being transported to the hospital from the facility.
A corrections officer at the boot camp deferred all questions about the incident to Randy Tate, the boot camp administrator. The officer said Mr. Tate would not be in the office until Monday.
Tony Schaffer, the attorney representing Correctional Services Corp., the facility's owner, in a civil suit by Mr. Alexander's family, said he expects Mr. Johnson to be back at the facility Monday.
"This seems like a stream of hard luck, where several situations in a row that wouldn't have garnered any attention have become a situation where everything that happens is garnering attention," Mr. Schaffer said. "It will have an impact. There are state agencies watching all aspects of our operation."
State Sen. Chris Harris, R-Fort Worth, said he is investigating Mr. Johnson's hospitalization and that law enforcement needs to take a closer look as well.
"It will be a few days before we know what happened to this young man. But it does raise questions," he said. "The Alexander boy is not an isolated incident. This is a progression of events that's gotten worse and worse.
"I don't know yet where this latest incident fits in," he said.
Officials with the Texas Rangers could not be reached Sunday.
Charlie Smith, attorney for Rick Alexander, Bryan Alexander's father, said he didn't know much about Mr. Johnson's situation.
"We are certainly looking at previous incidents," he said. "And we are looking at Bryan Alexander not being an isolated incident where adequate medical attention was not given."
Mr. Johnson said he first complained of stomach pains Wednesday.
"I requested the nurse Wednesday. And I didn't even see her," he said.
He said he was taken to the hospital on Thursday.
"They had to take me to [John Peter Smith hospital] because I couldn't breathe. Then when I came back she called me down to the office. She didn't want to see me until she found out I had to go to the emergency room," he said.
"When I finally saw her, she said to take Advil, even though they gave me a prescription at the hospital."
Mr. Johnson said JPS doctors had prescribed pain pills to take three times a day. But on Friday, he said, boot camp officials told him they did not have all the medication available.
"It wasn't even there. Friday when I went to go to pill call they only had one pill, even though the doctor [at JPS] told me to take three a day," he said. "I got sick again, and that's when I went back [to the hospital]. They gave me a shot because they already knew I had a prescription." ..............
You are showing early signs of alshemiers, you cannot remember what you post from board to board, I told you that we would discuss facts anytime you want, but when they are brought up you pull a Bill Clinton and change the subject. One thing for sure, I do not need a old broke down warhorse like your self as a boss, or a janitor for that matter. You old warhorses are what got all of these Federal Court orders we have to operate under now. Your type just liked to beat your way of thinking into a inmate or staff if they opposed you. Your old news and old hat, just go wrinkle away. The industry is better of without you. POPS
As I said before and you certainly fit this mold; if ignorance hurt you'd be in a body cast. You spout your rhetoric with no factual basis, whatsoever. You simply state something and expect all of us to accept your Clintonesque banter. You know absolutelty nothing about corrections and your mail order intelligence is evidence of this.
The fact that the inmate population is increasing is proportinate to the baby boomers' kids coming of age and doesn't endorse the need for sloppy companies, such as yours.
Actually, your train of thought and philosphies are dangerous and typical of your Generation X upbrining. You need supervision from us old war horses.
You're lying about your benefits packages. They suck and you know it. You should be ashamed and embarassed to even endorse the notion that your salaries and benefits for the line staff or as good or better than the states.
Yes, I'm enjoying my new career. As far as yours, it's a dead end. If you submitted reports like you post on this board, I'd fire your smart-aleck ass. Have a good one, junior.
I accept the fact that you are ignorant. What you need to understand that the inmate population is increasing at a alarming rate. More than half of the states are decreasing their funding for public safety and corrections. The population will increase by at least 25% across the united states in the next five years. I am sure that most americans do not want to be taxed in the 35-40% range. I know at least 20 -25 Wardens across the United States, and at least that many Deputy's. The majority of them will tell you that the majority of the prisons operated by CCA, WCC, and Crn do a outstanding Job. As does most of the public prisons. Both sectors have problems of there own. But what you fail to understand is that the privates are not going anywhere at least the big three. The run down facilities and the huge tax base shortages will not allow the state agencies to continue to operate in the same manner as they did when your prehistoric tail greased the seat of your musty old run down office. As far as the deaths of employees and inmates you need to read the papers old man. As far as the benefits my officiers currently make .75 cents more than the state agency, we have a good solid benefits package and our morale is just fine. It all goes back to the Warden running the instituion. Just because you were a failure does not mean the next guy picked up your weak style of management. As far as the last word you will be shooting back sometimes in the near future. You will never admit that there is equality in the two sectors much less admit that they do provide a valuable service. Like I said you are burned out, enjoy your retirement years. If it walks like a union, smells like a union, looks like a union, and wants your hard earned dues IT IS A UNION. Have a good one.
Like Reagan would say, "There you go, again." All you ever talk about are the unions. You are obsessed with them.
There's a place for the return of the dinosaur when compared to the management styles of today's Generation X wardens and corporate officers, such as yourself. When you're dealing with the human factor, walking and talking is a whole lot better than sitting behind a computer all day in the front office. Doesn't your butt get sore?
Looking at offenders as dollar signs just doesn't set well with me.
Yes, the numbers are out and they are not good. I accept that you're blind to the facts. You're the type who always wants the last word, even when no one's listening. If you are or were an investor, you got burned and will continue to get burned. There is absolutely nothing attractive about investing in the private sector corrections market. Companies that are privately held tend to do better and don't mind spending a few bucks to improve their operations. That, however, is not an endorsement for the industry. Cutting corners that endanger the lives of your staff doesn't conjure up that warm fuzzy feeling that management cares. The warden probably does care about his employees but he's always in that tug-of-war. He's told to put the needs of the investor first.
I noticed you preferred not to address the facts in my prior post regarding front line employees getting the corporate shaft. I have to assume then that you agree with those facts. What, as a team player, have you done for your employees' health insurance issues and other morale builders, tangible or intangible?
Oh, please don't cry for me regarding my most unfortunate ex-boss. If ignorance hurt, he'd have been in a body cast. I really felt sorry for him. Too busy finding things wrong? No, too busy correcting his mistakes.
Have a nice day.
Wow, just because you worked for a lazy boss does not mean that they all operate the way yours did. You must be reading the SOP'S for the Local Unions. You quoted most of them. But we will continue to debate this issue. The numbers are out, you just choose not to accept them. Sound like you were burned out anyway. Now i understand why got upset when I refered to you as a OLD BURNT OUT WARDEN WHO TIME HAD PASSED BY. (PREHISTORIC) OUCH THAT HURT. The three wardens I have worked for were outstanding people. My regional director does a outstanding job. Our Vice-President is a highly respected man. I am so sorry you never had the chance to work for someone you could look up to. That is trully sad, maybe you were so busy finding what was wrong you never tried to make a positive impact on anything. You have a good day and I trully mean that. Just looking for a little justice.
I don't have the years of experience that either of you bring, but have worked in both public and private facilities. Let me offer one correction. Wardens are important, no doubt, but the institutional culture is equally or more important. In CSC, for instance, the Slattery culture is to cut expenses, staff sparingly, hold training costs down, and look only at quarterlies. Many state facilities do no better, being driven by short term political agendas, like Texas and Virginia. Private facilities can run well, by taking advantage of the ability to procure quickly and cheaply, by being able to hire and fire quickly, when needed. But expecting a high rate of return and a well-financed operation is just not logical.
There is a place for privates...but track records like Slattery, and CCA, drive down potential for the industry. Just look at the market.
For those who defend CSC, saying "isolated incident", look at history over the past several years...In New Jersey as Esmor, in FL, NM, TX, PR as CSC, in Maryland as YSI...There simply is no record of success.
So too, is your agenda quite clear. I worked in both sectors for a total of 24 years. Now, that I work in neither doesn't mean I don't keep up with them. As public policy goes, private prisons are a very bad idea. I was not a disgruntled company employee. I simply did not like how they did their business, so I left with my integrity intact. I was a corporate officer who had to constantly do end runs around a vice-president who was brain dead when it came to obeying the law. He was not one who believed you had to spend money to make money. Words in a contract meant absolutely nothing to him. Having been there, done that, my analysis of the industry from the top is one that all (having witnessed how they do their business) companies give an off-brand kind of service. It's difficult to imagine that a for-profit company has any altruistic motive to rehabilitate an offender. Rehabilitation is not conducive to profit. Now, I would be the first to say that there are some companies who offer comparable if not better services such as drug abuse programming and the like. I would certainly clarify my position that I am against private companies warehousing inmates. I will never change my position on that even if the government has a monitor in every dorm or cell block. My position has nothing to do with unions. Yes, as you know (as we have both worked in the Texas system) public prisons are a mass of screwups. There are wardens who are wet behind the ears and you have to wonder how on God's green earth did these idiots make it to the top. Not a bit of snap to them and would and could not learn how to "convict." Well, according to the Peter Principle, "Sour cream rises to the top."
Your defense of the privates is that they hire experienced wardens. For what they pay them, they should. That's where it stops, though. You know as well as I do that pay for the supervisors and line staff is barely a liveable wage. Insurance benefits, little that they are, don't kick in until 3-6 months down the road. Yeah, it's about the bottom line at the expense of your employees, alright. So, any defense of the employees to earn a livable wage makes a person a liberal union hack? Have I missed something in your eloquence that companies should take care of their employees? Aren't they the backbone? You blast unions (which I have no need for because if you're taking care of your employees, there's no need) because they represent employees? What's the difference in a company lobbying a legislator for business and someone representing the employees before a politician? So, what kind of person do you attract to this kind of job? A county boy or girl who'll get eaten alive by a well-seasoned thug? People are not leaving state service in droves to go to work for the privates. I'm trying to find the logic in your argument that a state employee would quit for lower pay and minimal benefits. You think that it might be because of less stress and the requirements that private companies just want warm bodies and no expectations? It is well documented, in a good economy or bad economy, that ALL companies have a hard time recruiting and retaining their employees. That makes it a public safety issue. If a company can walk away from a contract because they can't staff it, what integrity does the company have?
Remember, the state is the customer and regardless of what happens in their own backyard, they are still the customer.
You said you did audits for state agencies. I only hope your written reports were nothing like your posts on this board. I'm sorry. That was cold-blooded. I apologize. You have a good day and I mean that. You're a likable fellow even if you're pro-privatization.
You are nuts - I am new to the board but not corrections. The Hospital had him twice by this time and couldn't figure anything out. Nobody mentions the good work of the well trained officer or the fact that he was going to the hospital for a third time from a facility that is unfairly raked over the coals.
You cannot expect Mcprison or Prisonet to report anything objectfully. They do not want to blame the hospital they are blinded by the fact it is a private jail. Nothing more nothing less. It was unfortunate that the inmate got ill. The care that the inmates get in all prisons are more than the middle income public recieves. But I agree as long as the medical department followed the hospitals orders there is nothing to complain about. If they did not they are wrong. But when and If this unit is cleared you will never here anyone especially the print media say they acted in a correct manner. Thanks goes out to the officier that did what he was trained to do protect the public and the inmate resident. Good Job Man. Prisonet you had to dig deep for this one.
Mr. Johnson said he again had trouble breathing on Saturday and couldn't walk. He said he lost consciousness en route to the hospital in a boot camp van and awoke in an ambulance.
According to police reports, Mr. Johnson appeared to have had a heart attack.
"[The guard] pulled over and said the guy wasn't breathing and wouldn't respond," said Arlington police Sgt. John Gonzales. The guard told authorities he administered CPR to the man for about five minutes before reviving him, the sergeant said.
Mr. Schaffer, the attorney for CSC, said he could not respond to questions about the distribution of medicine or when Mr. Johnson saw the nurse. But he said the Tarrant County Community Corrections Facility acted appropriately.
"We sent him to the hospital as a preventative measure," he said. "Each time we took him he was treated and released back to the facility." However, Mr. Johnson said he was not receiving adequate care and questioned why he wasn't seen by the boot camp's physician.
"I didn't even know we had a doctor there. I had no clue that we had an actual doctor. If we had a doctor why do they keep taking me to JPS?" he asked.
"I want to talk to my judge."
Incidents are drawing increasing scrutiny from judges, law enforcement agencies, state officials and probationers, Mr. Schaffer said.
"People are creating stories like you wouldn't believe," Mr. Schaffer said. "Judges are releasing people back home for every little complaint. The program he's in isn't prison, but it is confinement and I wouldn't want to be in there either. This is a chance for him to get back into the real world."
However, he said he did not believe Mr. Johnson could be faking his illness.
"No, he wasn't. There's no reason to believe he was," Mr. Schaffer said.
Sen. Harris said the future doesn't look good for the boot camp facility.
"I worked very hard to get that boot camp out there. I think the whole idea of one is positive, but only if it is run as intended," he said, signaling that the series of incidents would "probably end with the facility being closed at some point."
"If the Texas Rangers can't do anything in the next 90 days, this company will continue to get $70 million to $80 million a year for the next two years and seven months," he said.
"But what must be asked is whether this was something that should have been diagnosed earlier."
Staff Writer Ben Tinsley contributed to this report.