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Montrose Voice, No. 282, March 21, 1986
File 008
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Montrose Voice, No. 282, March 21, 1986 - File 008. 1986-03-21. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. November 28, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/5059/show/5037.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(1986-03-21). Montrose Voice, No. 282, March 21, 1986 - File 008. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/5059/show/5037

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Montrose Voice, No. 282, March 21, 1986 - File 008, 1986-03-21, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed November 28, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/5059/show/5037.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Montrose Voice, No. 282, March 21, 1986
Contributor
  • McClurg, Henry
  • Wyche, Linda
Publisher Community Publishing Company
Date March 21, 1986
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 22329406
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Montrose Voice
Rights In Copyright
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 008
Transcript MARCH 21, 1986 / MONTROSE VOICE 7 Prisoners with AIDS Find Themselves Targets of Another Epidemic By Kevin Krajick Pacific New Service Special to the Montrose Voice Fear of AIDS, not the disease itself, is becoming epidemic in U.S. prisons, with the result that those few prisoners with AIDS often live out their last days segregated from inmates and guards alike in isolation cells. In all, some 530 cases of AIDS have been diagnosed among nearly half million state and federal inmates across the country, according to surveys by the American Civil Liberties Union and others. In New York's Clinton Correctional Facility, inmates in a disciplinary segregation block broke into a small riot last year when they found they had been sharing a bathroom with AIDS sufferers. Now AIDS victims are routinely placed in isolation cells or special infirmary wards, as much to protect them from the threats of other inmates as to protect them from infections, say prison officials. Prisoners in Alabama, Indiana, New -Jersey and New York have filed lawsuits demanding that all inmates be tested for antibodies to the virus, and that all those proving positive be segregated. Despite the prevailing medical opinion that the disease cannot be spread through casual contact, guards have also pressed for the tests, and sometimes refused to work with AIDS victims. Jail officers in suburban Westchester County, N.Y., invented what a brochure advertises as a "biteproof, scratchproof, waterproof, fireproof" jumpsuit made of nylon and teflon. It is supposed to defend officers against the "Dread AIDS Riots" of the near future, according to one local newspaper headline. Violent outbursts among AIDS victims are rare, however, according to prison medical personnel. Said Margaret Wyke, director of the medical unit of Sing Sing prison in New York, where eight of 12 AIDS victims are kept in a special isolation ward, "It's worse when they're passive, because it means they're giving up." Indeed, the inmates' wait for almost certain death is augmented by the mind- twisting isolation and boredom of their prison within a prison. When Renaldo Ortiz's mother and sister—his wife left him many years ago—first learned he was dying, they made the 35-mile train trip from New York City once a week to visit him for an hour or two. But soon they could no longer afford the $8.50 fare, so KPFT Holding Gumbo Cook-Off From a press release If you love Cajun gumbo, boudin, crack- lins, big crowds, live Zydeco and Cajun music, you can really "laisser les bon temps rouler," Sunday, March 23 at Clear Lake Park from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Come hear and taste the best that's Cajun when station show producer Pe-Te •Johnson hosts this benefit for listener- supported KPFT. Admission is free, with gumbo, soda and beer at $1. The cook-off will be held rain or shine at Clear Lake Park, on NASA Road One. just past (he main gate into NASA. Call 526 4000 for further information. In Montrose, Nearly Everyone Reads the Voite "What's hurting, boy, is that I have to die right here. As it is, they've taken away all my rights. They've taken away my dignity. Then they make me die in prison. That's the only thing I'm truly afraid of." now he sees them only once a month. They are his only visitors. The rest of this time is spent "walking from this bed to that room," Ortiz said, pointing weakly to the dayroom down the corridor where three dying inmates stared quietly at a television. Asked what runs through his mind, Ortiz, 44, said, "I don't think about nothing. Whatever is coming is coming, and that's it. If I live till August, maybe I'll make my time (be released). When I die I want to die on the street." Another inmate, 28, who asks not to be identified, is suffering from meningitis, a common illness among AIDS victims. Emaciated and confined to a wheelchair, he spoke slowly, sometimes slurring his words. He said he hasn't seen his two young children since he began serving a 5-10 year sentence for armed robbery two years ago. This has been his choice. "I don't want them to see me here," he said. But his chances of ever seeing them again appear small unless he relents. His next parole hearing is 17 months away. His parents, who live in Brooklyn, have told him that if he lives long enough, he can come home. They have a room ready for him. But few victims at his stage last that long. Most of the ward's patients are kept in the big communal room until they are about ready to die, or until they need acute care. Then they are moved to a nearby hospital to gasp out their last few hours or days. Some 50 men have left Sing Sing in this way. The inmate who has seen the most come and go is Daryle Morsette, a stocky 27- year-old who was diagnosed as having AIDS 16 months ago. Morsette is suffering from Kaposi's sarcoma, a purplish cancer that erupts on the skin of many AIDS victims. His case is especially bad, but on one day a few months ago he beamed with happiness. Mother Teresa had just visited the ward, going from bed to bed, leaving each man a little bag of candy canes and a medal depicting the Virgin Mary. "I feel so honored," smiled Morsette from his bed when she had gone. "I can't believe Mother Teresa came to see me." Morsette said that he is not afraid to die. "What's hurting, boy, is that I have to die right here. As it is, they've taken away all my rights. They've taken away my dignity. Then they make me die in prison. That's the only thing I'm truly afraid of." He and other inmates have filed a lawsuit claiming that Sing Sing does not have enough medical professionals or equip ment to administer such things as IV— dripping antibiotics, chemotherapy, or special diets that could prolong patient's lives, or pain killers that could make them more bearable. Sandra Johnson, nurse administrator at Sing Sing, agrees with many ofthe complaints, saying, "We're always down on items. We really don't have sufficient people to take care of (the patients)." During the past several years, Roman Catholic clergy and lay workers have appealed for the release of dying inmates. Finally last December, corrections officials did place Morsette and two other Sing Sing AIDS sufferers into the care of Mother Teresa, who had them admitted to St. Clare's Hospital in New York City. Sing Sing has released no other AIDS sufferers since. Spokesman Andrew Minor said the corrections department will consider releasing only individuals "who can't possibly rape or beat anyone over the head. I mean minimally ambulatory people." "Frankly, we can't take the chance that the public is going to pick up the paper and say, 'How come they let this guy out of jail?'" Wyke said she is not convinced that all inmates with AIDS would be better off released. Even non-convicts with AIDS have found themselves evicted from apartments, fired from jobs, shunned by their friends, she pointed out "Out in the free world, fending for themselves, a lot of them would just become bagmen," she said. "I don't think this is the right place for anyone to die, but out there, there aren't that many people who want them either." IS_I<$COLL §T. -G-A •!_!== AND CABARET Continuous Service Ham-closing Dine Where the Stars Dine Dueling Pianos FEATURING Scott Scott and Jerry Hinson performing Tuesday through Sunday Purveyors of Fine Food & Spirits Open 7 Days a Week 1834 Westheimer, 522-7020 OFFER EXPIRES 3/31/86. ■ y BY APPOINTMENT ONLY Monday-Thursday I Free Movie Rental with this ad* "Deposit Required "Does Not Include Adult Movies 2016 MONTROSE Houston, Texas 77006 529-5544
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