Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

By LifeSiteNews.com – May 16, 2024

Citing LifeSiteNews’ reports on the mistreatment of jailed pro-lifers Jean Marshall and Heather Idoni, seven Republicans signed a letter demanding immediate response from the U.S. Marshals Service and the Department of Justice’s Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Citing the recent D.C. FACE Act reports from LifeSiteNews regarding the mistreatment of imprisoned pro-lifers Jean Marshall and Heather Idoni, U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, co-chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission and co-chair of the House Pro-life Caucus, and six fellow Republican representatives signed a letter (published in full below) demanding immediate answers from the U.S. Marshals Service and the Department of Justice’s Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Congressman Chris Smith

Commenting on the letter, LifeSite’s Louis Knuffke said, “This is an answer to prayers for these beautiful Christian pro-life women have suffered far too long while behind bars. Hopefully, their many urgent medical needs will now be met. This letter will tell the Biden regime that Congress is watching and will put the jailers, the DOJ, and Judge (Colleen Kollar-)Kotelly now on the defensive.”

Jean Marshall
Heather Idoni with grandson

See below for the full text of the letter addressed to U.S. Marshals Service Director Ronald L. Davis Director and Federal Bureau of Prisons Director Colette S. Peters:

Director Davis and Director Peters,

We are deeply concerned by reports suggesting that the U.S. Marshal Service did not provide medically necessary health care services to two prisoners in its custody: Ms. Jean Marshall, 74, and Heather Idoni, 59. On May 15, 2024, Ms. Marshall was sentenced to 15 additional months in prison, and Ms. Idoni is scheduled to be sentenced next week.

We ask Director Davis to provide a clear and comprehensive account of the care provided to Ms. Idoni and Ms. Marshall during their time in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. As you know, the U.S. Marshal Services is required to provide appropriate medical care for all prisoners. U.S. Marshals Service Policy Directive – Prisoner Health Care Management states that “All prisoners will receive medically necessary health care services.” (U.S. Marshals Service Policy Directive – Prisoner Health Care Management. Page 2. https://www.usmarshals.gov/sites/default/files/media/document/usms-policy-directive-prisoner-health-care-management.pdf) This is defined as “(n)ecessary to diagnose or treat a medical condition, which, if left untreated, would likely lead to a significant loss of function, deterioration of health, uncontrolled suffering, or death.” (Ibid. Page 9.)

We ask Director Peters to advise us on what actions the Bureau of Prisons has taken to ensure Ms. Marshall is receiving appropriate care. We also ask for information on actions the Bureau of Prisons plans to take to provide appropriate care for Ms. Idoni if she is placed in Bureau of Prison custody. In accordance with Title 28, Part 549 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Federal Bureau of Prisons Program Statement 6031.04, Patient Care, states that the Bureau of Prisons will provide medically necessary health care to inmates. (Bureau of Prisons. “Program Statement 6031.04, Patient Care.” June 3, 2014. https://www.bop.gov/policy/progstat/6031_004.pdf) This includes medical conditions which, without care, could “lead to serious deterioration leading to premature death” and could risk “significant pain or discomfort which impairs the inmate’s participation in activities of daily living.” (Ibid.)

A summary of the medical situations reported in the cases of Ms. Idoni and Ms. Marshall is provided below.

Ms. Heather Idoni

Since at least August 2023, we understand that Ms. Idoni, has been in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. We understand she is being detained at The Central Detention Facility, known as DC Jail, located at 1901 D Street, SE, in Washington DC. Ms. Idoni has stated that she is not receiving appropriate care for a serious heart condition or for her diabetes.

On May 13, 2024, LifeSiteNews reported that Ms. Idoni had suffered a stroke two weeks previously. Following the stroke, Ms. Idoni said that she “had had 3 stents placed above her heart two weeks ago and was told to take daily doses of heart medicine. However, prison officials have not given her a single dose.” (LifeSiteNews. “BREAKING: Jailed pro-lifer denied essential heart medication following stroke.” May 13, 2024. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/breaking-jailed-pro-lifer-denied-essential-heart-medication-following-stroke/?utm_source=featured- news&utm_campaign=usa)) LifeSiteNews reported that Ms. Idoni has repeatedly raised this issue with jail personnel. She says a jail nurse told her, after six days, that jail records indicate she received her daily dose, so Ms. Idoni is concerned that someone at the jail is falsifying her medical records.[1] Ms. Idoni told a reporter that “she was frightened that she might die.” (LifeSiteNews. “BREAKING: Jailed pro-lifer denied essential heart medication following stroke.” May 13, 2024. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/breaking-jailed-pro-lifer-denied-essential-heart-medication-following-stroke/?utm_source=featured- news&utm_campaign=usa))

Ms. Idoni is also reported to suffer from diabetes. She has said that DC Jail did not offer her diabetes medication and she has been without any prescription for her diabetes. LifeSiteNews noted that Ms. Idoni, who has been held at six other jails since her arrest in 2022, had been able to get her diabetes medication at each of the previous jails. Ms. Idoni told the reporter, “So, my blood sugar numbers are a hundred points higher than they normally should be … My numbers have been perfect at all the other jails.” (LifeSiteNews. “Pro-lifer Heather Idoni accuses DC jail of gross medical neglect after recent stroke.” May 13, 2024. (https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pro-lifer-heather-idoni-accuses-dc-jail-of-gross-medical-neglect-after-recent- stroke/?utm_source=most_recent&utm_campaign=usa)

Ms. Jean Marshall

Since at least September 15, 2023, we understand that Ms. Marshall has been in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. Until her sentencing on May 15, 2024, we understand she was being detained at William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center in Alexandria, Virginia.

Ms. Marshall writes that she suffers from pain in her hip and an inability to walk. She reports that she was evaluated for osteoarthritis in both hips by Dr. Talmo of New England Baptist Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. Ms. Marshall explains that she was scheduled for right hip surgery in October 2023 but was not allowed to keep her surgery date. She writes that, currently, “I am afraid to take an anti-inflammatory drug for pain due to the reflux, and today my right knee is stiff, preventing me from bending it, and so I just drag my right leg as I walk.” She also states that “my right leg was growing numb.”

Thank you for your attention to this urgent inquiry. We are seeking the opportunity to speak with you directly about the situations of both individuals by no later than May 17, 2024. Our staff will reach out directly to schedule that conversation.

Sincerely,

Christopher H. Smith
Member of Congress

Andy Biggs
Member of Congress

Harriet M. Hageman
Member of Congress

Chip Roy
Member of Congress

Claudia Tenney
Member of Congress

Debbie Lesko
Member of Congress

Andy Harris, M.D.
Member of Congress

References

↑1LifeSite News. “Pro-lifer Heather Idoni accuses DC jail of gross medical neglect after recent stroke.” May 13, 2024. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pro-lifer-heather-idoni-accuses-dc-jail-of-gross-medical-neglect-after-recent- stroke/?utm_source=most_recent&utm_campaign=usa

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