One Prisoner’s Story

Noted defense attorney and civil libertarian Harvey Silvergate has written a provocative piece for the Boston Phoenix that highlights the issues of far-from-home placements within the BOP, prisoner transport (a.k.a., “diesel therapy”), and inadequate medical attention and care.

At the time of DiMasi’s September 9, 2011, sentencing, US District Court Chief Judge Mark Wolf recommended to the Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBP) that DiMasi serve his sentence in Ayer. Wolf expressed concern about DiMasi’s then-diagnosed heart condition and the prospect of forcing his cancer-stricken wife to travel long distances for visits.[…]
In December 2011, DiMasi found lumps in his neck and made repeated requests for a medical examination. In January 2012, a prison doctor examined him, determining that the lumps were potentially cancerous and that further testing was required.
Despite the fact that DiMasi should have immediately been given diagnostic tests and started on a treatment regimen, the feds launched him on his seven-week odyssey, during which he requested urgent medical attention at every stop, but to no avail. He was not taken to see a cancer specialist for another month after his return to Kentucky, despite yet again requesting care the day after he arrived.
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