24 August 05
Shane V Value Options
At this unit I share rec with twice as many inmates - twice as many sad stories. I recently met Shane, a good-natured thirty-year old, who described how he received an 11 1/4 year sentence from the same judge I was sentenced by.
Shane is mentally and physically ill. He has bipolar and borderline personality disorders. He has stage three cirrhosis of the liver from hepatitis C, which he contracted in prison. Shane’s first of many suicide attempts was at the age of seven when he stuck a knife into an electrical outlet. His mother abandoned him at age twelve and his father physically abused him, including smashing drinking glasses on his head. Also at age twelve, the State of Arizona started making him take Ritalin.
Shane’s adult life was spent either trying to kill himself – he ate glass, razor blades, and slashed his wrists countless times – or, in jails, prisons and psychiatric units, because he was committing petty crimes to obtain drugs to self medicate with.
Prior to this sentence for a minor burglary ($800 worth of stolen goods, which was returned to the victim), he spent seven years in prison functioning normally on psychiatric medication. Upon being released however, Value Options (the state contractor that was supposed to continue providing his medication) denied his application for medication on the basis that his behaviour had been normal in prison – which it had been because he had been getting the right drugs.
Off the medication, Shane reverted back to his old pattern of committing petty offences to finance drug purchases in order to ease his depressions. Value Options denied him any hope of living a normal life by stopping his medication.
According to a local newspaper Value Options has a $1.3 billion contract with Maricopa County. The company has been paying out $100,00 per death caused by them delaying or denying medication for seriously mentally ill people. The article revealed that Value Options is a subsidiary of Virginia based FHC Health Systems. I would like to know who owns FHC as I could not find any stock listed under that name.
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Copyright © 2004-2005 Shaun P. Attwood