Friday, October 21, 2005

Followup: Sandi Smallwood about husband in DWCC

I wrote to Ms. Smallwood to follow up on the post "David Wade CC inmate's wife" below. Her husband Sam was in a Jefferson Parish jail awaiting trial when Katrina hit. In a comment at "The Katrina Briefs," Ms. Smallwood said he was first moved to a Jena facility, and then to the David Wade facility, where she said he was being denied access to counsel.

Ms. Smallwood replied:
Good afternoon,

Thanks for answering. The only news is that our attorney is back in town and working despite having much of the contents of his office on Poydras St in downtown N.O. sucked out of broken windows. I am hoping that he makes it to DWCC to see Sam soon. Sam has only been allowed two phone calls since being evacuated; he called his sister's home from Jena and then we spoke on Sept 8 after he landed at DWCC. Since then, I have received about 20 letters (the facility is providing paper, envelopes and postage).

Initially the letters were shocking with Sam saying many times over, "Please help me". He indicated to me that at Jena he had been kicked in the ribs and force to kneel for extended periods. I'm sure you've read the published accounts and I'm certain he was in that number. The tone has greatly improved but I am still troubled that he does not have access to a telephone. The assistant warden tells me that all evacuees share a single phone and I should consider the notion that Sam just doesn't want to call me. The warden has not approved setting up monetary accounts either and for Sam that only means that he gets no food other than the regular menu. He also has a chronic medical condition and states he is not getting all prescribed meds. I have read the governor's executive order regarding payment for housing said inmates and the previously established standard for reimbursement of medical care costs. With that being said, he should be getting all prescribed meds

I never thought either of us would say this but we really wish they'd get back to Jefferson Parish. He was surrounded by people he had known for a while, was receiving all meds, had money to buy extras and was allowed weekly visits. I understand the problem with returning the inmates hinges on the fact that Charity Hosp provided their medical care and the hospital is (probably permanently) closed. Although they had 68 deputies walk off the job, they assure me staffing is not an issue

Our attorney has called the DAs office to reschedule a status hearing that was scheduled for the day Katrina hit - Aug 29. To date, it has not been scheduled.

I appreciate your interest. Just to find Sam and maintain contact has been an all-consuming task over the last few weeks. We have decided to be strong and remain prayerful.

Thank you,
Mrs. Sandi Smallwood :)
Posted with Ms. Smallwood's permission.


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