Only some drugs allowed in jail - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Only some drugs allowed in jail

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Thursday, July 8, 2010 9:41 am

Health care operates a little differently in jail.

Coeur d'Alene resident Wanda Montgomery said her efforts to give her son his prescription medication while he has been in the Kootenai County jail this week have been unsuccessful.

David Reed, 29, spent his first five days in jail without suboxone, which he has been prescribed to take daily for a brain infection, his mother said, and she couldn't understand why.

"If you're prescribed something, you have to get it, whether you're incarcerated or not," Montgomery said.

Lt. Kim Edmondson said it's jail policy to ensure the only drugs getting into jail are those that are life-sustaining medication and absolutely needed.

"A lot of folks we have in the facility do demonstrate drug seeking behavior, and we have to be cautious about that," Edmondson said.

The jail's policy is that medication brought to the jail for inmates must still be in bubble packs from the pharmacy so staff can verify the medication, said Lt. Stuart Miller.

The medication Reed is requesting is a narcotic, Miller said, and narcotics don't tend to be life-sustaining medications.

In these cases, Edmondson said, the requested narcotic is reviewed by the jail doctor, who is at the jail once a week, to determine if the medication is necessary.

"We have a doctor and that doctor is now the inmate's doctor," Edmondson said. "He (Reed) is receiving proper medical care. We defer medical situations to proper medical authorities, and in this case, it's our doctor."

Kootenai County jail's medical policies are accepted under Idaho Jail Standards, Edmondson said.

"We have responsibility to provide inmates in our care and custody with medical care," she said.

Reed, also a Coeur d'Alene citizen, is charged with possession of stolen property, theft of stolen property upon receiving it, and use/possession of prescription medication, Miller said. His bond is $10,000. - Alecia Warren

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.


  • azt12 posted at 4:12 pm on Mon, Sep 19, 2011.

    azt12 Posts: 7

    I did a little googlin about Suboxone and my criminal justice degree online came in handy. I found out that Suboxone, which is prescribed to treat addiction to heroin and powerful painkillers like oxycodone, is a widely used drug in jails. Law enforcement officials say that it has become a drug of abuse in its own right, resulting in prison smuggling efforts from New Mexico to Maine. Addicts buy it on the street when they cannot find or afford their drug of choice, to stave off the sickness that comes with withdrawal. But some people are also taking it for the high they say it provides. That must be why the officers refused Wanda's son medication.

  • mtngirl4ever posted at 6:27 am on Fri, Jul 9, 2010.

    mtngirl4ever Posts: 4

    Brain infection my a$$. If his mom insists he needs this medication, maybe she should tell the truth about why he needs it. Is she so ignorant to think people won't look up the drug to see what it is used for? Infections are always treated with antibiotics. Not anti-buse medications. Let him go through the withdrawals while he's incarcerated. Ever heard of tough love? Obviously he's incarcerated for some kind of crime. Could it be drugs?

    Why is this medication prescribed?
    Buprenorphine (Subutex) and buprenorphine and naloxone (Suboxone) are used to treat opioid dependence (addiction to opioid drugs, including heroin and narcotic painkillers). Buprenorphine is in a class of medications called opioid partial agonist-antagonists, and naloxone is in a class of medications called opioid antagonists. Buprenorphine alone and the combination of buprenorphine and naloxone prevent withdrawal symptoms when someone stops taking opioid drugs by producing similar effects to these drugs.
    Let's make the tax payers pay for his withdrawal medication. Sure wish the non-inmates had it as easy as the inmates.

  • J L Turk posted at 12:45 am on Fri, Jul 9, 2010.

    J L Turk Posts: 7

    As an inmate is the responsibility of the Sheriff's Dept. it is sad to hear of the attitude and policy of the facility. If a licensed Doctor has prescribed a legal drug, he or she should receive the drug. How can the 1 day a week doctor can adequately take over the care of an inmate who has been diagnosed and has receiving care prior to incarceration? The facility Doctor has almost 400 inmates under his/her care. Every inmate does nor require care but if even half are in need do the math, 8 hours 420 minutes... 200 inmates, he has 2 minutes to diagnose and treat an inmate. How can this meet any standards? I cannot believe the doctor would object to letting a primary care physician continue treating an inmate who has been under their care prior to incarceration.

    I cannot believe the deputies involved in the scandal are still employed, and none were charged with possession of a controlled substance and theft. I guess we have different laws for Law enforcement employees. The majority of the deputies at the public safety building have higher standards and their coworkers have shamed the entire Dept by their actions.

  • Kconner posted at 11:42 am on Thu, Jul 8, 2010.

    Kconner Posts: 327

    This is how Rocky Watson runs the Sheriffs Department. If you can stop the jail staff from stealing inmates drugs (A felony), you might not have this problem. Even worse, the fact that most of the jail staff who stole drugs are still employed: A year long investigation by ISP revealed more than a dozen employees were involved, NO criminal charges were filed, one inmate reported in February 2008 nearly 75 of her hydrocodone painkillers were missing. The inmate complained for weeks to a jail nurse, Monique Minas, who ended up being implicated in the investigation. Minas was not fired, but officials declined to discuss disciplinary actions against her. When the inmate threatened to go to the media and her lawyer got involved, jail staff contacted the Idaho State Police, launching the investigation. A 2006 medication-theft case at the jail ended with the firing of a longtime employee. Al Hetzler, a 25-year veteran at the jail, was charged with theft for stealing medications from an inmate. Charges were dismissed after he served five days in jail in August 2007, paid a $300 fine and reimbursed the inmate $25.50, records show. Jail officials concluded at the time that Hetzler’s case was an isolated incident and made no policy changes, said jail Capt. Travis Chaney. Three employees were fired this February – 11 months after the ISP investigation began and a year after the pills were reported missing. Eleven-year veteran Sgt. Rafael Merrill was fired after admitting taking a hydrocodone pill from the leftover medications with the help of a licensed practical nurse, Ruth Nagle. Nagle, who was hired in 2003, was fired in February after the investigation concluded she’d helped Lisa Brumbaugh, a booking deputy and nine-year veteran, smuggle pills from the jail. Brumbaugh was fired two days earlier after admitting she’d taken hundreds of hydrocodone pills from the jail since May 2007 with the help of Nagle and Judy Lobue, a registered nurse who still works there.
    But nearly a dozen people were named in the investigation, and interviews show the medications were long seen by many employees as free for the taking. A Deputy recalled getting a handful of prescription medications that were left over from an inmate. Documents suggest some employees were bitter that inmates had prescriptions for drugs they couldn’t get. Initially, Nagle and Brumbaugh gave investigators names of co-workers they claimed might be responsible. But investigators had heard Brumbaugh might have a drug problem and her medical records showed she was taking hydrocodone – something she lied about during her first interview with investigators. Disciplinary actions against employees were determined not just by the investigation but by the employees’ work record and past performance assessments, officials said.
    Sheriff Rocky Watson refused to discuss apparent differences in how various employees were disciplined, citing personnel issues. Documents show at least five employees who were implicated in the thefts still work at the jail.

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Not you?||
Logout|My Dashboard