Family of Orleans inmate says he's not getting medicines, health is deteriorating

Concerns over OPP inmate's health

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The family of an Orleans Parish Jail inmate is saying he isn't getting the medication he needs.

Family members say Jamal Washington was arrested on a parole violation a month ago, and they say his health is deteriorating rapidly. They say he is now having seizures.

"He will die if he doesn't take this medication," said his partner, Latisha Simmons.

Washington's family says he has been dealing with several health issues and requires 11 different medications a day. But they say since he was picked up by police on June 6, he's only getting about a third of what he needs.

"They just stopped his seizure medication, and he just had a seizure," Simmons said.

They say when they talk to him in jail, he's often too weak to continue, and that wasn't the case when he went in.

"It's been 20 to 30 days without a number of medications that he should have," said Washington's mother, Sheila Daunoy.

The family says their efforts to get him the medication he needs have fallen on deaf ears, and that part of the problem is that an inmate's medication is seized when he's brought in.

"There's gonna be a doctor in that jail who's in charge of this man's health care, and he doesn't want medicine coming off the street," said FOX 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti.

"She said they don't have the medication that's he's on, so they substituted," Simmons said.

And they say that has made him sicker. They say his seizures have caused him to fall down, and there's no one for him to call for help.

For now, they family says they've been trying to work through the sheriff, but Raspanti says it may be time for stronger action.

"Legally you go to court to put everyone on notice - this guy has major problems a, b c and d," Raspanti said.

Washington is set for release next month, but his family wonders, if he'll make it that long.

"There's a possibility that he will die if he does not specifically adhere to the medications prescribed to him," Daunoy said.

FOX 8 received a statement from sheriff's spokesman Phil Stelly, who  said:

"Because of patient privacy laws, the Sheriff's Office cannot disclose medical information.

"Inmate Jamal Washington's medical records have been provided to his attorneys at the MacArthur Justice Center.

"While he is under our care, custody, control and treatment, inmate Washington is receiving all necessary medications."

Washington's family says that's not the case, and they are now exploring legal options.

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