Inmate details alleged mistreatment at DepCor - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Inmate details alleged mistreatment at DepCor

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by Krystal Paco

Guam - After nearly two weeks of discussion in federal court about the problems with access to healthcare at the Department of Corrections, just yesterday independent monitor in the DepCor federal case, J. Bradley Klemm was ordered to look into allegations being made by an inmate.

In a letter addressed to Chief Judge Francis Tydingco-Gatewood, inmate Joseph G. Manibusan explains why he fears for his life while incarcerated.

In the letter received late last month, the 56-year-old states "the situation at the Department of Corrections is getting out of hand and with its current problems it seems like my health (although life threatening) will be taking a back seat" noting he's a diabetic on dialysis and has been deprived of refills for his medications, necessary surgery for his eyes, foods to fulfill his medical diet, and his prescription glasses.

This isn't the first time the prisoner has written to the chief judge. In fact, it's the second time. The first was in January when he stated the medical neglect, "I was sent to the ER and ended up losing a kidney function."

The letter prompted the chief judge ordered court monitor Attorney Bradley Klemm to look into the allegations and report back to the court.

Also in response to the letter, DepCor director Jose San Agustin says just this morning he transferred the inmate from the Hagatna Precinct to Mangilao where he'll be housed in Post Four.

"I want to keep an eye closely as to what's going on with the individual. As far as I know he's the only one individual that I've recently been receiving issues and complaints with regards to his medical needs and also his meals," he said.

Although Manibusan's letter may raise red flags, San Agustin says contends the agency continues to make progress. As we've been reporting, for months there has only been one medical doctor and two nurses to service the 740 DepCor population. As of today, San Agustin says a third nurse will start this week with a fourth potential nurse set to be interviewed on Friday. That's in addition to DepCor's more aggressive efforts to hire a fifth nurse, a clinical psychologist, and a part-time doctor to round out the medical team.

"I could assure you that although we're not meeting the minimum requirements we're working toward that. And so how do we address that? By bringing on board more staffing, but also what's of my concern is the way Mr. Manibusan had explained to me that he had displeasure of the type of treatment he's being provided by the doctors. I want to look into it through an investigation process so that I can get more detail information on what exactly is it that he is very concerned," he said.
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