Help With a Petition: Diabetes Care in Jail

James Ward is in jail, and is being killed one meal at a time. I saw the story in diaTribe last month and wasn’t quite sure what to think about it.  Mr. Ward is, by no means, the picture of a model citizen, but that doesn’t mean he has to surrender the right to adequate healthcare while incarcerated.

Kelly Close and her team at diaTribe imagine that this situation is not unique, and that many inmates with health issues are not properly cared for.  This is certainly not the first time I’ve heard of dangerous diabetes care in prison.

According to Philip Baker, a retired public health administrator in Austin, TX, “There is a strong belief in prisons that healthcare is a privilege, and it can be yanked.  But that’s not the case.  The felon is to be incarcerated but not mangled medically.

I know this is a touchy subject for many.  All I’m asking is that you take a look at the petition.  Whether you sign it or not is nothing I need to know about.

More details can be found in diaTribe’s most recent issue.

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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8 Comments on "Help With a Petition: Diabetes Care in Jail"

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I am in full support. i can’t get the petition to open on my laptop tho’…even in the pdf format. My son is doing a year+ in a county jail for violating probation and was just diagnosed with type I diabetes…he only took a jail sentence so he no longer had to have probation to deal with and could be free to move. He does not deserve to suffer from inadequate care leading to possible severe consequences because he got high. People go to jail for a myriad of reasons, some are even innocent. I thought jail was the price… Read more »

Thanks, Dhana. It looks like the petition is closed now, though I appreciate you reading and leaving a comment. Hoping for the best with you and your family.

Nancy Anderson
Scott, I’m definitely supporting this one. My granddaughter has Type 1 Diabetes, and we all know that symptoms of low bg is to appear drunk or on drugs. Many diabetics have been arrested because of this. I would hope that if my granddaughter was ever in this situation, that until it is all sorted out that she receive her medical care as is needed. If somone is incarcerated on oxygen, they don’t take that away. If a an inmate comes in on an ventilator, they aren’t going to remove that. So, a diabetic should not be deprived of their life… Read more »
Bernard Farrell

Scott I’ll support this. Not providing treatment constitutes cruel and unusual punishment in my mind. Here in Massachusetts we have a completely different issue where an inmate is requesting a sex change operation and may actually get it — I really don’t support that as the person’s life is not in immediate danger.

Catherine Stearns Newton

Jesus Christ! I just said to my boyfriend the other day that, being without health insurance, I could always commit a crime and get healthcare in jail! Apparently not!


It’s hard to say yes and support this.

I’ll have to think about it


Wouldn’t want anyone making a clam of cruel and unusual punishment (which they do all the time). Haven’t read the article yet but I will check it out. This guy is serving his time in prison for the crime he committed. Part of his sentence is not increased risked of diabetic complications. Many diabetes complications are irreversible. Its not right for this guy to get out of jail in 10, 20, 30 years and have devasting health consequences because of it.