To the editor: Betty Brink’s April 18 story “Death by Indifference” is appropriately titled. She’s been the consummate crusader for justice for inmates at the Carswell facility since 1999. She has written updates and tried to draw attention to the problem to motivate changes at the Carswell chamber of horrors. Getting sentenced to prison is one thing, but it shouldn’t be a potential death-row affair. Such de facto denial-delay of treatment for inmates, as Ms. Brink wrote about, has become the coup de grace for many of those sentenced to Carswell.
Our elected officials must suffer from narcosis to be able to remain so uninterested in the machinations at Carswell, which has virtually become a killing field. The horror stories are enough to cause apoplexy.
Since some officials have a do-nothing attitude, let’s vote the incumbents out of a job. At least that would be a partial quid pro quo for all the things their legislative hands could have done.
To the editor: Senior journalist Betty Brink’s update on Carswell, our “favorite” prison hospital for women, certainly shows her perseverance. This has been her mission, to get closure and justice for inmates, and she has kept the issue in the limelight, hoping for legislative action in lieu of silence and deaf ears. The repeated medical and psychological abuse of inmates, as well as the rapes, have been well chronicled by Ms. Brink. For her efforts she deserves many accolades.
I wonder how the men are treated in prison medical facilities. Is the abuse an anomaly reserved for women? Is it only women who are virtually terrorized by guards and the system itself?
To the editor: Betty Brink’s “Death by Indifference,” like prior Fort Worth Weekly critiques on the subject, leads one to conclude that inhumane conditions at the Federal Medical Center for female inmates at Carswell warrants a substantive investigation. The story evokes sympathy, but that’s in large part due to its abundance of sympathy-evoking facts.
According to the story, Loukeithia Felts became a crack addict. She was later doused with lighter fluid and set afire by a crack dealer who believed she’d stolen his drugs. Cruel, certainly, but one wouldn’t expect to find sensitivity in a crack dealer. Then she robbed a bank, and police easily identified her because of her burn scars.
Ms. Felts made “poor choices,” her mother says, but the story omits any accounting of the societal costs of her choices. From the tenor of the article, I would conclude that Felts contributed little to support her child; that the taxpayer paid the cost of prosecuting, defending, and incarcerating her; and that the taxpayer bore the expense of her extensive medical needs. I believe that if the story had accounted for these expenses and who paid them, many readers would be less sorry about her plight.
John R. Stoutimore
Trifecta of Greed
To the editor: The Weekly’s April 11 stories, “Playing Nice,” Static, and “Your Land is My Land” constituted a trifecta of what’s wrong with the system that allows lobbyists and their money to take precedence in respect to gas wells, drilling, and getting special prerogatives to protect themselves. To hell with folks’ health and the pollution of our environment.
With our turncoat former city officials, mayors Ken Barr and Mike Moncrief and environmental manager Brian Boerner, all in the hands and pockets of the gas industry, it just shows how money talks.
The eminent domain and condemnation loopholes that allow gas companies to virtually steal your land need to be legislated out of existence. I admire the Crawfords’ resolve and endurance in getting the publicity their cause warrants. Peter Gorman wrote an excellent piece about a situation that is due to become a cause célèbre.