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“Censored 2014 is a clarion call for truth telling. Not only does this volume highlight fearless speech in fateful times, it connect the dots between the key issues we face, lauds our whistleblowers and amplifies their voices, and shines light in the dark places of our government that most need exposure.” –Daniel Ellsberg, The Pentagon Papers
“Activist groups like Project Censored . . . are helping to build the media democracy movement. We have to challenge the powers that be and rebuild media from the bottom up.” —Amy Goodman
“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
“[Censored] offers devastating evidence of the dumbing-down of main-stream news in America. . . . Required reading for broadcasters, journalists, and well-informed citizens.” —Los Angeles Times
Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
“Project Censored brings to light some of the most important stories of the year that you never saw or heard about. This is your chance to find out what got buried.” –Diane Ravitch, author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System.
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“Project Censored continues to be an invaluable resource in exposing and highlighting shocking stories that are routinely minimized or ignored by the corporate media. The vital nature of this work is underscored by this year’s NSA leaks. The world needs more brave whistle blowers and independent journalists in the service of reclaiming democracy and challenging the abuse of power. Project Censored stands out for its commitment to such work.” —Deepa Kumar, author of Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire and associate professor of Media Studies and Middle Eastern Studies at Rutgers University
“For ages, I’ve dreamed of a United States where Project Censored isn’t necessary, where these crucial stories and defining issues are on the front page of the New York Times, the cover of Time, and in heavy rotation on CNN. That world still doesn’t exist, but we always have Project Censored’s yearly book to pull together the most important things the corporate media ignored, missed, or botched.” –Russ Kick, author of You Are Being Lied To, Everything You Know Is Wrong, and the New York Times bestselling series The Graphic Canon.
“[Censored] should be affixed to the bulletin boards in every newsroom in America. And, perhaps read aloud to a few publishers and television executives.” —Ralph Nader
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast
“At a time when the need for independent journalism and for media outlets unaffiliated with and untainted by the government and corporate sponsors is greater than ever, Project Censored has created a context for reporting the complete truths in all matters that matter. . . . It is therefore left to us to find sources for information we can trust. . . . It is in this task that we are fortunate to have an ally like Project Cen-sored.” —Dahr Jamail
“In another home run for Project Censored, Censored 2013 shows how the American public has been bamboozled, snookered, and dumbed down by the corporate media. It is chock-full of ‘ah-ha’ moments where we understand just how we’ve been fleeced by banksters, stripped of our civil liberties, and blindly led down a path of never-ending war.” –Medea Benjamin, author of Drone Warfare, cofounder of Global Exchange and CODEPINK.
“The staff of Project Censored presents their annual compilation of the previous year’s 25 stories most overlooked by the mainstream media along with essays about censorship and its consequences. The stories include an 813% rise in hate and anti-government groups since 2008, human rights violations by the US Border Patrol, and Israeli doctors injecting Ethiopian immigrants with birth control without their consent. Other stories focus on the environment, like the effects of fracking and Monsantos GMO seeds. The writers point out misinformation and outright deception in the media, including CNN relegating factual accounts to the “opinion” section and the whitewashing of Margaret Thatcher’s career following her death in 2013, unlike Hugo Chavez, who was routinely disparaged in the coverage following his death. One essay deals with the proliferation of “Junk Food News,” in which “CNN and Fox News devoted more time to ‘Gangnam Style’ than the renewal of Uganda’s ‘Kill the Gays’ law.” Another explains common media manipulation tactics and outlines practices to becoming a more engaged, free-thinking news consumer or even citizen journalist. Rob Williams remarks on Hollywood’s “deep and abiding role as a popular propaganda provider” via Argo and Zero Dark Thirty. An expose on working conditions in Chinese Apple factories is brutal yet essential reading. This book is evident of Project Censored’s profoundly important work in educating readers on current events and the skills needed to be a critical thinker.” -Publisher’s Weekly said about Censored 2014 (Oct.)
“Most journalists in the United States believe the press here is free. That grand illusion only helps obscure the fact that, by and large, the US corporate press does not report what’s really going on, while tuning out, or laughing off, all those who try to do just that. Americans–now more than ever–need those outlets that do labor to report some truth. Project Censored is not just among the bravest, smartest, and most rigorous of those outlets, but the only one that’s wholly focused on those stories that the corporate press ignores, downplays, and/or distorts. This latest book is therefore a must read for anyone who cares about this country, its tottering economy, and–most important– what’s now left of its democracy.” –Mark Crispin Miller, author, professor of media ecology, New York University.
“Project Censored shines a spotlight on news that an informed public must have . . . a vital contribution to our democratic process.” —Rhoda H. Karpatkin, president, Consumer’s Union
“Project Censored interrogates the present in the same way that Oliver Stone and I tried to interrogate the past in our Untold History of the United States. It not only shines a penetrating light on the American Empire and all its deadly, destructive, and deceitful actions, it does so at a time when the Obama administration is mounting a fierce effort to silence truth-tellers and whistleblowers. Project Censored provides the kind of fearless and honest journalism we so desperately need in these dangerous times.” —Peter Kuznick, professor of history, American University, and coauthor, with Oliver Stone, of The Untold History of the United States

11. Death Behind Bars

Sources: SAN FRANCISCO BAY GUARDIAN, Title: “Death Behind Bars”; “Infected-and Ignored” Date: February 5, 1997; February 19, 1997 Author: Nina Siegal

SSU Censored Researchers: Renee Hamilton, Carolyn Williams, and Kecia Kaiser
SSU Faculty Evaluator: Barbara Bloom, Ph.D.

A nine-month investigation by the San Francisco Bay Guardian found that California’s prison system routinely denies women access to even minimal medical care. The investigation revealed that in many cases this failure to provide care resulted in death. Examples included breast cancer diagnoses, delayed for years; ignored cardiac cases; and cases of painful post-operative treatment of surgical patients, including poor wound care, where incisions ripped and were left open to infection.

Shumate v. Wilson, the 1995 class action suit brought on behalf of hundreds of women inmates in California, is indicative of the widespread health-care crisis in women’s prisons throughout the state. The suit accuses the California Department of Corrections of violating prisoners’ rights under the First, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments.

This suit charges that women’s prisons are responsible for many instances of poor and grossly negligent treatment, claiming that the prison system consistently fails to provide emergency medical treatment to women in life-threatening situations. It states that inmates with chronic and terminal conditions—such as AIDS, lupus, or multiple sclerosis—are denied continuous care. The suit lists cases in which women inmates have died, suffered permanent disabilities, lost infants at full term, and been left with severe problems due to poor follow-up care. It states that inmates have difficulty getting medication prescriptions refilled, that emergency call buttons at one prison were malfunctioning, and that medical wards are often private cells with no nearby medical assistance. The suit was sponsored by a coalition of nationally renowned legal teams, including the National Prison Project in Washington, DC, the ACLU, and the Legal Services for Prisoners with Children in San Francisco. The plaintiffs are seeking prison system reform, not money.

The current lawsuit adds to prior complaints concerning medical treatment for prisoners. In the past decade, class action lawsuits filed against the California Department of Corrections have argued that the state fails to provide adequate medical health care, mental health treatment, and disability access. In most cases, courts have found those allegations to be true.

Indicative of the system-wide problems is the lack of care for AIDS and HIV positive patients. There are approximately 10,000 women inmates in California, 1,000 of whom are HIV positive. Although the prison system hired an infectious-disease specialist to check on prisoners with AIDS, women inmates at the Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) at Chowchilla—which houses two-thirds of the state’s women inmates—say he only visits the Chowchilla facility once a month.

Dr. Armond Start, associate professor with the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Wisconsin Medical School said, “women in prison have an increased incidence of chronic healthcare problems, and convulsive seizure disorders, because of their exposure to violence. Without proper medical treatment, even basic medical problems can become fatal.”

UPDATE BY AUTHOR NINA SIEGAL: “Both [Bay Guardian] stories focused on inadequate health care in state prisons—particularly in the Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) and in the Valley State Prison for Women, both in Chowchilla, California—that exacerbated inmates’ problems with chronic and terminal illnesses, and led, in several cases, to unnecessary deaths.

“The problems with the health facilities at these prisons were the subject of a class action lawsuit, Shumate v. Wilson, filed on behalf of hundreds of women prisoners at CCWF and that California Institute for Women in Frontera, California. As a result of this lawsuit, on August 11, 1997, the State and the inmates’ attorneys filed a settlement agreement on the suit which required the California Department of Corrections to give their female inmates adequate medical care. According to the draft agreement, the prisons will be required to provide appropriate screening for contagious diseases, keep medical records private, and expedite the referral process for prisoners in need of physician review. They will also be required to maintain effective emergency equipment.

“Despite the terms of the settlement, however, the problems at the prisons persist. Women are still dying behind bars in California due to lack of adequate attention to chronic, terminal, and emergency medical problems. And just as unfortunately, the mainstream press has failed to pick up on this important story.

“Anyone who wants to get involved should call the California Coalition for Women Prisoners and Legal Services for Prisoners with Children at 415/2557036, ext. 313, or the HIV/AIDS in Prison Project of Catholic Charities at 510/834-5656.”

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