tv America Tonight Al Jazeera December 3, 2013 12:00am-1:01am EST
welcome to al jazeera. i am john seigenthaler in new york. here are the top stories: extreme speed was at least one factor in sunday's deadly train crash in new york. authorities say the passenger train took a curve at 82 miles per hour, nearly three times the speed limit when it de-railed. four people died and dozens more were injured. >> bangkok police have taken down barriers and barbed wire around their headquarters and are allowing anti-government protest orders into the government building. thai officials are trying to avoid any further violence. at least three people have been killed and 220 injured in those
protests. in the ukraine, thousands remain in the streets of kiev. riot police beat dozens of demonstrators over the weekend. president yanukovich said police over reacted. an estimated $131 million have spent about $2,000,000,000 by the end of this cyber monday. that would be a record and nearly 20% more than a year ago. wal-mart.com officials called it the site's busiest day ever. those are the headlines at this hour. america tonight is up next. i will be back here tomorrow night. you can get the latest news on al jazeera. seen in more than a century. >> they're standing there ripping open that little package of sugar and filling that wound.
>> yes. >> how much is too much? the death of a mentally ill homeless man raises questions how much force police needed to stop him. and one thanksgiving, a pastor and his prayers. >> they want prayer but that's the last thing they're looking for . >> and good evening. thanks for joining us, i'm joie chen. we have been of course for weeks focused now on the grate health
care debate this this country. about access to quality health care and the cost of it. many americans of course have been weighing in but what about those who have very little say in the health care they receive and no recourse to demand better? over the past few years most states have turned over the health care in prisons to private for profit systems. but america tonight investigation reveals that as thets companies cut costs -- these companies cut costs the outcomes may be different than what we would expect. america tonight's correspondent adam may. >> brianne, clareen is a beautiful baby girl, she lives with her family in the small farming up to of safford, arizona.
it is a world away from where she was born, at the state prison complex at goodyear arizona. there. >> this is my beautiful girl, we are very close, we just took a picture together. two years ago, she was arrested with having painkillers illegally and charged with possessing for sale. she met and started dating ryland's father. she found out she was pregnant two days before a judge issued her sentence two and a half years behind bars. >> how did reagan react when she found out she was going to be sentenced to two and a half years and she's pregnant at the same time ? >> reagan is very -- she holds her emotions very well but once she is talking to me alone it's complete devastation. >> but that was the very
beginning. reagan was transferred from county jail to perryville state prison where her daughter was denied prenatal care. >> the baby was born small. >> yes, small. you know it just infuriates me. >> after 48 hours in labor reagan had to have a c section and the medical staff didn't sew the wound shut. they just dressed it with burlt butterfly bandages. by day 3 it's oozing and not looking right, it's in in infected. >> she would cry, it scared her so much. to be able to look inside her body was freaking her out. she would sit and cry and say please please take me to the
hospital. i need them to stitch it up, it needs to be closed. they told her, if you come back we're going ostart giving you tickets. >> and a ticket is a bad behavior notification? >> bad behavior. i believe i could have lost my daughter had they not given her antibiotics prior. >> two weeks later they finally brought her inside the hospital in the prison. but her daughter's ordeal was not done yet. >> they decided the best thing to do for this would be to pack it with kitchen sugar. >> sugar. >> and we're talking sugar that you get -- they donate it from mcdonald's, burger king, they're starting to relationship it open, these little packets of sugar. packing it in with what's left.
>> with sugar from a fast food restaurant? >> yes. >> sugar was used to treat wounds before the advent of antibiotics, in the 1900s. but it's no longer acceptable health care apparatus. al jazeera asked them to comment and they declined. >> in the middle of the conversation with jody, reagan called home. >> hi i'm adam may, i am going to ask you a couple of questions. after you had the c section what happened to you? >> the morning i found out, i looked down it was coming open. so i went to them and i said i need to be seen right away. >> back up for a second. how big was the wound? >> it was big enough for me to be able to put my fist in it. >> reagan confirmed the details of what her mother had told us about her care in
prison. >> they were pouring the sugar inside. >> did you actually see them opening up these sugar packets from mcdonald's and pouring the sugar inside your wound? >> yes. >> what did you think when that was going on? >> is this sanitary? i was kind of scared. maybe these sugars are old, something spilled on them and it dried, you know. >> what do you think needs to be done here? >> um -- i don't know, because we're just inmates, what we say doesn't really matter. we are not -- >> reagan is not the only inmate alleging treatment. the aclu filed a class action lawsuit, against the arizona state prison in march. it allegation that the inmates
are in possibilities of extreme pain or death. aclu says the treatment amounts to cruel and unusual punishment and violates the inmate's rights. >> the thought is, who cares. >> dan fukoda says in his 40 year history he has never seen a worse health care system. the arizona state turned over the prison system to a private for-profit company. >> the main goal has been to reduce the costs that are attributable to the prison function. people are often sent to prison for two-year, three-year sentences that have turned into death sentences because of the
absence of basic minimal care. >> a stunning case study from adam may. after the break, is it a death sentence? >> my husband passed away on monday and i got a call from wex wexford medical. i was pretty upset, i'm saying what are you talking about, he's dead? >> more allegations of malpractice behind bars. america tonight's adam may picks up the story after the consider this: the news of the day plus so much more. >> we begin with the government shutdown. >> answers to the questions no one else will ask. >> it seems like they can't agree to anything in washington no matter what. >> antonio mora, award winning and hard hitting.
the stream is uniquely interactive television. in fact, we depend on you, your ideas, your concerns. >> all these folks are making a whole lot of money. >> you are one of the voices of this show. >> i think you've offended everyone with that kathy. >> hold on, there's some room to offend people, i'm here. >> we have a right to know what's in our food and monsanto do not have the right to hide it from us. >> so join the conversation and make it your own. >> watch the stream. >> and join the conversation online @ajamstream. >> and welcome back. tonight we're looking in depth at health care in privately run prisons in america and in the second part of his investigation, america
tonight's adam may, said that in an effort to save money, privatized care has sentenced some prisoners to death. >> it's a growing trend, states looking to trim budgets. to date, at least 28 states have privatized prison care. american friend services, in arizona, since the time the state privatized the prison health care , cost dropped $30 million. 50 people died in arizona department of corrections custody in just the first eight months of this year. compare this to 37 deaths in the previous two years combined. >> some people just believe the government is the only one to
care for this people. >> state attorney general john cavanaugh, we asked him whether he thought it put inmates in danger. >> people die in prisons. i receive a lot of handwritten notes from prisoners, i receive e-mails from prison families, with all sorts of allegations of prison behavior. you call them up and they have a reasonable explanation for it. >> i spoke to a woman in the female exafd i capacity in goodyear. she had a c section and the wound opened up. the doctor took sugar packets from mcdonald's to fill in the wound. does that sound like good health care to you? >> that doesn't sound like a true allegation. some of them could have a basis in fact but you have got to take
them with a grain of salt or in the hospital, a grain of sugar. >> that woman who gave birth there, how can she prove this allegation? she's there given birth and only with a couple of staffers. >> aclu attorneys at the drop of a dime will file a lawsuit. >> you don't put a lot of credit in this class action lawsuit? >> i think the class action lawsuit is the biggest scam to the public. i think most people who get into them wind up with nothing and the lawyers walk away in limousines with their trunks full of cash. >> they were planning a wedding reception when he got out. >> the families who are suing wexford, jamie and jenna brown are the wife and daughter of tony brown. >> he was a gentleman, he held
your door and he was nice, and funny. we laughed and laughed. >> brown was serving a ten year sentence for aggravated assault and was due to be released this year. jenna says she was looking forward to having her dad back. >> they were supposed to come down for thanksgiving this year. they were going to come. he never got to meet my husband and he wasn't there when i got married so they were going to visit. >> brown was diagnosed with esophageal cancer when he was in prison. his medical records indicate he was in remission and he was diagnosed with morphine for the pain. but in october of 2012, the prison ran out of morphine. they switched him to lortab, a weaker form of morphine. america tonight obtained shid yoa, shot by prison
guards, showing tony brown after he was put on that new medication. guards told nurses his condition was worsening, clearly seen in the second video shot less than a day later. >> brown, can you full yourself up onto the bed? >> but there's no record of medical staff examining him. >> brown, spoke with your wife earlier today, can you communicate with me today? >> the prison chaplain does see him though the next day only after janie asked him to talk to her husband. >> i would like to talk to your wife later on today, is it something i can tell her? >> two days after brown first started complaining of pain, medical staff have still not examined him. so the guards intervene.
medical staff finally enter brown's cell but 40 minutes pass before they realize no one has called an ambulance. >> anybody? anybody? >> when the ambulance arrives-- . >> 1-2-3. >> -- brown is immediately taken to the hospital where a day later, he suffers a heart attack and dies. the county medical officer found that brown died from complications from cancer. >> he may have been a prison inmate but my dad was no different than you or me or your dad. he did have a wife and he did have plans. >> two days after tony's death jamie says she finally received a call back from that private health care provider wexford. >> my husband passed away on
monday and i got a call from wexford melon wednesday, wanted to make sure he was seen. i was pretty upset because i was like what are you talking about? he's dead! >> wexford's attorneys said they acted appropriately and further investigation will prove there was no wrongdoing. there are signs that the company was aware there were problems with the care they were providing. al jazeera america was provided with a powerpoint, that warns that the care is not compliant with constitutional requirements and that the current class action lawsuits are accurate. it recommends an overall operational treatment, staffing, and four months later, arizona
severed ties with wexford. the contract was awarded to corizon, the largest health care company in the country. >> corizon realizes the differences between resources and resourcefulness. >> in the last five years this company has been sued for malpractice 660 times according to the miami herald. >> we've seen time and time again abuses of money, abuses of power. >> arizona democratic house minority leader chad campbell says the legislature did not properly vette the company before signing the contract. >> didn't those lawsuits in other states raise some red flags, maybe we need to take a look at this company? >> you would think it would have. but what actually happened, the current company that got the contract didn't even have to go through a public process of any kind to get this contract. >> no bid? >> no bid, nothing. it was deemed an emergency situation by department of
corrections so they didn't have to go through the normal process. but more interesting than that was, this company that got the contract had just hired the former head of department of corrections who was the mentor of the current head of the department of corrections. >> campbell said that was not the only time that members of arizona department of corrections have to private prisons. former campaign strategist charles coughlin runs a large company, representing one of the highest prison companies, the governor's office declined a request for an interview and instead referred united states to john cavanaugh. >> there are allegations that governor jan brewer went ahead and accepted these bids because of personal relationships. how do you respond to those allegations?
>> i think they're baseless, propaganda. people say i've gotten campaign contribution from private prison people. yeah, i got from a lobbyist who representatives them but also he represents 40 other industries. smoke and mirrors. >> they are profiting on taxpayer dollars. and to me, if i'm going ohand out money to a private entity. i want to make sure it's being spent wisely. >> should there be an investigation? >> there should be and we're trying to figure out how to initiate that. >> corizon told america tonight, it's increased staff and doubled the amount of infirmary beds all while saving taxpayers money.
oord to afc, tested positive for you the berk lows is in august. but the report says corizon didn't test, even those out in the community doing community service. as for reagan, she still has six months left in prison. >> separation has been tough on the family. but what's worse is their fear that for reagan, prison health care could be a death sentence. >> all right, i'm going to lose you so just -- i love you honey. >> are you coming on saturday? >> i'm coming on saturday for rylan. i love you honey, bye-bye. it's so frustrating when you can't finish talking. >> it's got to be tough when you hang up. >> yes. it's even tougher leaving. my husband held rylan, she could
see her big blue eyes and she started running and grabbed her and held her as tight as she could. it's been very hard. we all miss her very much. >> very scary for that family. now just recently the aclu lawsuit there in arizona got class action status. some legal experts say it's an early sign that the court thinks the case has some merits. in addition to the aclu case there are countless private lawsuits against both of the private companies mentioned in our report. including several, 70 cases against wex ford. >> you say this has gone to other states not just arizona. >> 28 states have gone to private companies. the lawsuits when you look at the details they're really quite chilling.
in oregon there's a man suing claiming he had had an untreated next injury, is a quadriplegic. a woman had to have her feet and fingers amputated. and a 70-year-old was put in solitary confinement without his cancer medication. is this really saving money? the growing trend to try and eliminate state and city workers in an effort to save the state money. they turn these over to the private health care companies, are they saving money? yes, there is a cost savings, but when you start throwing in lawsuits, cost taxpayers more than a million dollars, those lawsuits can start to really add up. >> since we've gone to privatization weren't there
always problems with health care? >> there were problems, problems that were documented. there are problems with prison health care now. prison health care has been a long ongoing issue in this country but the statistics are quite certain. when you look at what happened there, particularly in arizona, the number of deaths since privatization have gone way up. also the number of suicides have gone way up. that's because these private companies are cutting back for services for mental health. >> i think there are a lot of people who with all due respect will say, these people have been put in prison for a reason. how much does the system actually owe them? >> well that is autoquestion that people ask. but as you saw there in our report when you have a powerpoint presentation from one of those companies saying what we're providing may not be unconstitutional, everyone has a constitutional right in this country regardless of whether you're a prisoner or not.
>> so there's, there, adam may, our america tonight correspondent. thanks very much for being here. coming up next. the debate of deadly force. did kelly thomas have to die the way he did. california police officer charged in his death, we'll talk with his father coming up next. >> start with one issue ad guests on all sides of the debate. and a host willing to ask the tough questions and you'll get... the inside story ray suarez hosts inside story weekdays at 5pm et / 2pm pt only on al jazeera america
>> evey sunday night, join us for exclusive, revealing, and suprizing talks with the most interesting people of our time. this sunday, >> i spent my whole life thinking about themes and thinking about how to structure movies, so this is highly unusual. >> the director of the sixth sense, says there are five things we can do to fix education in america >> the united states has education apartheid, that's
the facts... >> talk to al jazeera with m. night shayamalan sunday at 7et / 4pt on al jazeera america determining using some sort of subjective interpretation of their policy as to whether or not your particular report was actually abusive, because if it doesn't contain language that specifically threatens you directly or is targeted towards you specifically, they may not consider it abuse. they may consider it offensive. and in that case they just recommend that you block that person. >> i don't want to minimise this, because i mean, there's some really horrible things that are on line, and it's not - it's not just twitter, what has happened through social media and the anonymity of the net is that you see websites, hate-filled websites targetting all sorts of groups, popping up. there has been a huge number of
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of an old east-west tug of war. at the latter of it is ukraine and while the cold war is over the economic pull between moscow and the west has led to a new standoff. ukrainians by the thousands have are demand he the stepping down of viktor president. >> in the city center, it does feel like a revolution is underway. the city hall has become a headquarters for protestors. to take a look, enjoy food and hot drimption or even catch a -- drinks or even catch a nap. a city workers removes the carpet so it won't get damaged
in these extraordinary times. how do they turn from here, turn occupation into political victory. >> translator: the way to resolve this crisis is through early presidential and parliamentary elections. this government should resign. >> pictures have emerged from sunday night that show the police were at times brutal in their treatment of protest ors and journalists. anton is a photographer, one of dozens who were beaten by riot police. he pleaded to them to stop. this is what is left of his camera. but the police were also on the receiving end. officials say 35 were hurt by protesters, some in hospital. away from city hall there are no protests, just the grim life of
wirpt. tatiana is very much in favor of political change. >> we were on our knees for a long time. now it's time to wake up. i'm grateful for the protestors, i want my children and grandchildren to have better lives. >> they put guards on the barricades. they control the center of kiev. but they will have to convince the rest of the country to follow them. >> that's al jazeera's barnaby phillips. just returned from protest in kiev last week, now with us in chicago. appreciate both of you being with us. again i'll talk with you for a moment, ask you, you were at the protest, what did you see? pavlo? >> good evening. i he spent four days in kiev,
from friday, to monday. and we saw waves of people coming out to the independent square, to the uromidan. we had students from the different universities, people from eastern ukraine, lohansk, western ukraine, people who live in and around kiev. the next few days were filled by people who traveled, by train or bus, however they could get there to the join in what's going on. >> why is it so important, you have a pretty significant ukrainian population in chicago correct? >> we've got a significant population here fm we've got well in excess of several hundred,000 ukrainians living in chicago.
many have relatives here, my parents were born and emigrated from ukraine. very concerned about the future of democracy and the future of the country itself. very concerned about the force he of the kremlin that are influencing ukrainian policies these days. >> i want to talk to urena about this. it may be puzzling to many americans that the source of all this acts starts with the president saying -- the angst with the president saying he's not going to be enrolled in the european union. >> the president became president because he said he wanted to bring ukraine closer to europe. decided ukraine wasn't going to pursue those routes but always decided that his platform was european rootsd.
has been in negotiations with the european union for the last five years. there are visa components that are part of it. so the previous president was involved in it and yanukovych the current president has come out with this, to come out of the clear blue sky and say hu-uh, this is going to hurt too much. it's ridiculous. >> it could affect ukraine's energy source, you are quite dependent on russia for that. does it go back to the cold war difficulty of the sense of who is a satellite of who here? >> for the ukrainians, it's very important to get away from moscow, probably as far as they can. these demonstrations we saw today, the demonstrations in 2004 and 2005 are an indication of that. this ukrainians really want to
already by their choices. they want to live in a free society, they want to live in europe. in. >> in a westernized democracy. >> in a westernized democracy. you live in a european society or the post-soviet economy. nothing injunctions. >> pavlo, the generational sense, is there a sense in chicago, is there any distinction, is it really just about the economics and the future or does this harken back in a sense in your community to having that feeling that look, we let moscow control things for a generation, now we want to move to the west, we want to be thought of in a western democratized way? >> well, unfortunately controlled by russia and moscow in particular, has been more than a generation or two.
our fates have intertwined for well over 400 years when there's bem domination by russia and certain attempts by the ukrainian nation to revolt against it. what we're seeing today is the most recent revolt against the policies of the kremlin. they are happening osh the streets of kiev, on the streets of chicago, on the streets of new york as well in solidarity for what's happening back in our home land. >> why is there not more attention paid in the united states to this particular conflict? >> ask me something easier. i really can't say -- >> you have hundreds of thousands of people coming out in protest. >> well perhaps because we have had the last few years, we've in hundreds of thousands of people on the streets in various cities. in north africa, in the middle east, so i think perhaps people are tired, somewhat jairded of it.
-- jaded of it. perhaps there is not that much interest because the first time ukrainians took to the street it happened in the huge disappointment. i'm speaking of the orange revolution. >> nine years. >> nine years now. those demonstrations and these demonstrations are first and foremost about freedom of choice. the ukrainian people want to be an open european country. they want rule of law, they want democracy, they want their children to grow up in a free society. then, being under the influence of russia means moving back. i'm quoting a favorite ukrainian poet, what's the sense of moving forward if you have to move back. >> urin cmentd and in, thank you for joining us.
pavlo, thank you for joining us. a looming bankruptcy. what's within detroit's ever shrinking fire department. >> at the end of the tunnel there was a light. why don't they turn the light off, say hey, find your way out. >> we spent a day in the dark with the detroit's firefighters as they struggle to keep the city safe. and on our final segment, heaven's gate, where travelers get grounded during the busy holiday season.
>> we wrap up here, if you travel to see family this holiday hopefully you've made it home with just a few delays. lori jane gliha has the story from a little known church providing faith on the go. >> oh thanksgiving. you know the drill. stress of overbooking yourself not to mention overstuffing yourself, and the necessary nap afterwards. when it gets too much, consider
this receipt business in concourse a, just past security. the chapel is open 24 hours a day to people of all faiths. at 9:30 sunday morning it's a protestant service, united nations employees, 12 freight workers and ramp workers. the workers that would not be able to fit worship into their day unless it's right off the flight line. 300 to 400 people visit every day and if you can't get to the chapel, chances are chaplain eugene craybill will get to you. cra raybill is a volunteer chaplain. his parish, anyone who is in need of a prayer.
>> it is an unusual church but it's my community. in a sense it's my neighborhood, people i know, it's not only the employees but anyone we see in the hallways. anyone at the kiosks or the stores, we want to help any way they can. >> the chaplains walk 9600 miles alone. >> they are exasperated, the flight is supposed to be boarding, they don't know what gate it is. >> out on the flight line, the employees are more receptive to craybill's outreach. >> have you been making it to the services, do you still go? >> he praise five times a day. >> five days a week i'm at the airport. >> united express ramp worker balbacar bah also appreciates his fellowship.
>> i believe, probably about 75 people know eugene is a great person. so we thank eugene for his effort to help us and we've been here, we hope we'll be here for a little bit longer. >> how is the workplace, how is the holiday season, is there any area that are stressful that you have anxiety and want prayer for? i pray lord for each one of these guys that they won't notice about busyness of the schedule and the stressfulness. >> craybill is ready for his second shift. he's a pilot for united express. >> i've been here for eight years. many of the rampers have pushed my aircraft back many times but i've had an opportunity to connect with them on a personal check check check
>> hello, welcome to al jazeera america. here are the top stories we are following: investigators say extreme speed was a fact in sunday's deadly train crash in new york. the passenger train took a curve at 82 miles per hour when it derailed. that's nearly three times the speed limit. it is unclear if the speed was due to human error or faulty equipment. four died, dozens injured. >> bangkok police have taken down barriers and barbed wire around the headquarters and allowed anti-government protesters into the government building to ease tension and