PHILIPSBURG:--- Attorney at law Sjamira Roseburg the legal representative for the Prison Association said in a statement on Monday that it is unbelievable how one of her clients was treated by the Pointe Blanche Prison and the St. Maarten Medical Center. Rosebury said her client has severe medical and mental issues, which is not being properly taken care of by the Point Blanche Prison. “Attorneys, always have to go the extra mile to make sure the basic needs of our clients are met.” She said the situation regarding her client was brought to her attention that her client, who has a severe medical condition, was not doing well.
“I monitored it with the prison director, and he informed me that he would look into it and that the matter had his attention. This was March 16th. Last Thursday, after my client's family and friends, visited him, they informed me that he could barely walk, that his face and legs were swollen, and that he was shaking with the intense pain. On Friday, the ambulance was called to the prison, and surprisingly, he was not taken to the hospital.”
In the meantime, the client kept complaining that he had pain all over his body. During the weekend, she was told that the nurse prescribed him morphine. Now, on Monday, March 27, 2023, she visited the client at the prison and was shocked to see his condition.
“The prisoner couldn’t walk and was brought to me with the assistance of a guard and another inmate. Seeing the urgency, I requested to see the nurse. I was told I needed to schedule an appointment.
I immediately informed the watch commandant that I needed to see someone from management. After some time, the prison director finally showed up, and I told him that my client urgently needs to see a doctor. About 1.5 hours later, my client was finally transported to the doctor. When we arrived at the prison doctor's office, he immediately informed us after a medical examination that my client needed to be transported to the hospital.”
After arriving at the hospital, Roseburg said she sought to safeguard her client's best interests. As she previously did at the house doctor. This is especially troubling given the fact that his medical situation has not been properly monitored. As the law states, a lawyer and an inmate should have free contact with each other. My client requested that I be there to assist him in this medical situation, yet my access was denied at the hospital. The management of SMMC was, for unknown reasons, afraid to grant me access without the permission of their legal department. When I explained to them that this does not make any sense, they then changed this to: They need permission from the prison director. The prison director did give permission but then decided that he would not grant me access to my client anymore, without explaining the legal basis for such.
This is a violation of my client's rights. He is expecting me to represent him or assist him in this current medical battle. But access to him is being denied. Seeing the current medical and also mental condition of my client, I would like to make the authorities aware that if at any moment any decision was taken by my client (and this negatively impacted him) without being able to consult his attorney, the involved parties will be held accountable.
This will also be the case if, at any point in time, any neglect in connection with the medical situation is established. We cannot continue to violate the rights of inmates. They also have rights. This is yet another perfect example that shows that the medical protocol in the Point Blanche prison is not functioning.