A Cold, Lonely Death, by Furnell Brown

Yesterday, I received the news that another one of my fellow inmates passed away Tuesday night. I don’t know his goverment name but he was known by everyone as “Brick”. Brick was a black male in his early 60s serving a 30 year sentence with a little more than 10 years already served. His cause of death is unknown but the circumstances surrounding his death are suspicous, to say the least.
From my understanding, Brick put in a sick-call monday morning, complaining of stomach pains and was seen by medical at 6:30 pm. He was told by medical that he had heart burn and was sent back to his dorm with antiacid.
Tuesday morning, Brick made an emergency sick-call, complaining of the same stomach pains, and was rolled to the infirmary by the inmate orderly in a wheelchair. I happend to be on the walk(fenced-in walkways), going to charge my tablet, when I saw him rolling by. Brick was sluped to the right of the chair, with his left hand holding his stomach. His head was down, resting on the arm of the chair, and didn’t look up or utter a word when I asked him was he ok?
After making it back to the infirmary, the medical staff decided to admit him for observation. Instead of putting him in the room with other sick inmates, they placed him in an isolation cell. Isolation cells are one man cells that measure 6 feet by 9 feet, consisting of a bed and toilet. It’s like living in your bathroom but instead of your tub, it’s our bed. The cement cenderblock walls are painted a grim gray which amplifies the loneliness. The three isolation cells are located in a narrow, short hallway directly across from a mop and supply closet, in the back of the infirmary. Instead of bars, there are iron doors with small windows. The cells are normally used for inmates with contagious illnesses, inmates who get ill while on lockdown, overflow from the hospital room that sleeps 8, and to punish sick inmates, for whatever reason. Those cells are the last place you would want to be in if you were ill, not to think of dying in one.
After being placed in the desolate cell, I can only speculate how long after he passed. What’s suspicous to me is why wasn’t the doctor called to examine him, instead of a nurse, before being placed in isolation? Why was he placed in isolation to began with when beds were open in the hospital room? Why are the officals saying he passed away in the ambulance, in route to the hospital, and the inmate orderly said he was dead when they found him? Who’s telling the truth? Which story shall I believe? Who do you believe, inmate or State Offical?
In defence of the medical staff, I affirm their are some inmates who make sick-call just to get a sneek peek at the female nurses. Offenders will claim some of the minute, to the most serious illness, just to be in the presents of a female. The actions of these selective few have consequently caused proffessional nurses to question if you are being authentic with your claims. In other words, you are persumed healthy until proven sick. This is what I believe happend to Brick. Stomach pains don’t sound serious and difinitely not life threating. To cover their asses, I believe the madical staff addmitted Brick for observation, but because they didn’t believe he was sick, they placed his in isolation to punish him but instead, he died a cold and lonely death.
After finding him dead, I believe they tried to do what they could to bring him back because it had been proven he was sick. I also believe State Officals are saying Brick passed away in route to the hospital and not in that cell, strictly for liability reasons. The orderly had no reason to lie and the officals have every reason to. Again, who do you beLIEve?
RIP Brick and may God have mercy on your soul!!

Furnell Brown
DOC #394357

2 replies »

  1. Im a defense atty. i know all to well the injustice in the prison systems. I hope his family is pressing the issue. I can tell this event truly affected you. Your writing was very touching. Im praying for you snd his family.


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s