Imagine spending more than 40 years in prison for a crime you didn’t commit. It’s a fate you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. Now imagine while you were incarcerated, you were denied treatment for a serious medical condition – which ultimately left you with compromised mobility for the rest of your life. What would you do?
This is what happened to Kansas City resident Kevin Strickland, and he decided to sue.
Mr. Strickland was wrongly convicted of a triple murder in 1979, when he was just 18 years old. He spent his entire adult life in prison. He was finally released in November of 2021, at the age of 62, when a review of his case found that all key evidence had either been recanted or disproved. But in addition to the years of life Strickland had unnecessarily lost behind bars, his physical health had also suffered from years of improperly treated medical issues while he was in prison.
Denial of appropriate medical care
In 2017, Mr. Strickland was diagnosed with spinal stenosis – which caused pressure on his spine. The condition usually requires surgery to resolve. He sought help from Corizon LLC – the company in charge of providing healthcare to the prison. Corizon repeatedly delayed or denied requests for treatment, instead offering him anti-depressants and recommending he exercise. Corizon was also unable to provide the necessary medical treatment onsite, but repeatedly denied requests for off-site treatment to resolve the problem.
As a result, Mr. Strickland is now confined mostly to a wheelchair, only able to stand for short periods without assistance. He is currently suing the medical provider for denying him adequate medical care that could have prevented his disability.
We all have basic human rights – including the right to health care. This right applies to all people, even if you are incarcerated. It’s important to understand your rights and seek justice under the law when they are denied.