Diabetic inmates' struggle for care
On April 9, 2003, the Center filed a lawsuit on behalf of about 1300 diabetic inmates in Alabama to demand better medical care. Diabetic inmates' symptoms are often ignored and that treatment is delayed. Their diets are virtually the same as meals provided to non-diabetics.
Some have already lost the ability to see. Others have lost their toes through amputation. The most critical are at risk of kidney failure, nerve damage, strokes, heart attacks, even death.
The lawsuit argues that failure to provide adequate medical care to diabetics is cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
On January 15, 2004, the case was settled with a revised settlement agreement approved by Judge Myron Thompson. The agreement implements the most recent medical standards of care for diabetics and gives a specific structure ensuring that the agreement will be carried out. This agreement sets a nationwide precedent for the medical management and care of diabetic prisoners.
07/11/2003: Class certified
12/08/2003: Non-jury trial date
01/15/2004: Case settlement approved by U.S. District Court judge