The following is from CL, a woman who was detained in Santa Rita on Saturday, January 28, and was one of many people denied her medications.
The first person I notified about my need for medication was my arresting officer (Hazelwood). I believe he noted it somewhere in my paperwork. He told me that I would be able to see a nurse at Santa Rita, and that they have several antidepressants available there.
Before being put in a holding cell (around 12:30AM Sunday morning), an officer reading from a form asked me if I had any medical/mental health issues. When I answered in the affirmative, he had a nurse come over to finish the form. I told the nurse that I have severe depression and panic disorders, and that I had not had my medication (Celexa, which I’m supposed to take 2x/day) in the past 24 hours. The nurse signed the form to indicate that I was cleared to be put into a holding cell. Several times over the course of the night and next day, I and a few others in my cell told guards outside that we needed medication, but were ignored.
At some point on Sunday afternoon I had a mild but prolonged panic attack, where I had difficulty breathing and controlling my muscles. Around 5PM on Sunday, a guard asked for the women who needed medication to come out of the holding cell, and said we would be processed and seen by a nurse. We were then fingerprinted and had mug shots taken. I again asked if I could see a nurse and explained my condition. I was told that I would not be able to see a nurse unless I wanted to stay in jail. The officer also stated that I would be getting out the following morning (Monday).
Around midnight, we were released.
Also – I know this is secondhand, but of the other women I was with who needed medical attention, M needed anxiety meds (Lexapro), which she had with her on being taken to jail, but were removed and denied to her; L was supposed to have 3 antidepressants/anti-anxiety prescriptions (Effexor, Wellbutrin, and Lorazepam); and C needed Prilosec, an anti-acid, in order to eat (she has a systemic bacterial
infection and ulcers – if she generates acid while eating, it can cause ulcers to burst and go septic). None of us were allowed to see a nurse after being put in a holding cell, and none of us were given medication.