Sample Complaint to Detention Facility You may use this sample letter as a template to request that a detainee you

are advocating on behalf of obtains adequate medical care. This letter must explain the individual’s particular situation.

[DATE] [Warden Facility Address City, State, Zip]

Dear [Warden]: Re: [Name of Inmate, #, DOB] As the [relationship] of [Name], I am concerned about the medical care he is receiving at [facility]. According to the Eighth Amendment, minimally adequate care in [prison/jail] is required and well defined. [Describe basic serious problems. For example: recurrent seizures, DKA, loss of vision, unhealed wounds]. Outlined below are some of my concerns. [Name] has a serious medical need—to be treated in such a manner that [he stops having seizures]. This need is not being met. [Explain the specific examples of poor care with as much detail as possible, including dates and times.] The [prison/jail] officials obviously know [Name] has a serious medical need and have not addressed this need to prevent reoccurrence of the seizures. [Explain efforts of [Name] to bring his needs to the attention of the facility using appropriate channels, that is, grievances; Explain times when staff witnessed him having a medical emergency; explain efforts of others to bring this to the attention of facility officials. If he has not been able to bring his needs to the attention of the prison because he is too sick to communicate, explain that this is why you are asking for a change in care]. The facility personnel have unreasonably failed to treat his medical condition in a minimally adequate manner. [Explain why the treatment provided is obviously inadequate, even for an average person on the street without much knowledge about diabetes. For example, you could explain the problem of giving insulin without food, or of never testing blood glucose, or not responding to

hypoglycemia.] Continued lack of treatment is causing him serious harm. [For example: seizures caused by low blood sugars, followed by high sugars of over 500 mg/dl as occurred in the last instance are very harmful to the body and can create serious injury. When his blood sugars go over 300 mg/dl, which has happened several times, he is at real risk for diabetic ketoacidosis, an emergency situation. He is also at risk for diabetic retinopathy (loss of vision), neuropathy (nerve damage especially in the hands and feet), and nephropathy (kidney damage).] It is evident that he is being denied basic diabetes care. How can this situation be fixed? I would like to suggest: [What should the prison start doing in order to ensure that he gets adequate care? Think about things that would be simple fixes first. For example, blood glucose tests before insulin, permission to have glucose tabs on body at all times, full eye exam, foot exam, different shoes.] Copies of this letter are being sent to the following individuals to see if we can work together somehow to improve this situation: Thank you for taking the time to review this. I await your prompt response. Continued delay will jeopardize [Name’s] health. I can be reached at [333-3331212]. Sincerely,

[My name and address] Encl: [Relevant Documents] Cc: [Mr. X, Warden Mr. Y, Bureau of Prisons Ms. Z, Other Relevant Officials]