Mr. Twist is a founder of the conservative Goldwater Institute, and the former assistant attorney general who authored the AZ Victims Bill of Rights, a constitutional amendment passed in the early 90's which explicitly excluded anyone "in custody for an offense" (as well as their survivors, if the crimes perpetrated against them result in death) from the legal definition of victim - and thus from all resource the state allocates to help victims cope with the devastating consequences of assault, rape, murder and other such serious crimes.
Despite Mr. Twist’s assumptions to the contrary, there is a vast low-income segment of society that exists outside of the prison environs. In that segment of society, there are a statistically larger number of individuals suffering from poor health conditions, as compared to more affluent segments of society. This is primarily due to a lack of resources, high unemployment, low education levels, poor diet and nutrition, lack of health insurance and, perhaps, to some degree, genetic predispositions from the continuity of poor health conditions inherited by each successive generation. That does not mean, however, that such individuals do not deserve adequate and effective medical care. Should we deny or delay medical care for such individuals because they are born into and continually exist within a segment of society that renders them more susceptible to healthcare challenges? Why can we not expect the same level of care for prisoners who enter Arizona’s prison systems with existing chronic conditions? It may be true that many prisoners are entering into Arizona’s prisons “suffering from a litany of conditions.” However, that does not mean that such individuals should not expect to receive or are undeserving of quality medical care – care that is delivered when it is needed and when it can make the greatest difference in the life of an inmate. In fact, perhaps addressing the needs of such individuals would go a long way to improving conditions in the medically underserved communities from which these individuals come, as Mr. Twist claims.
For those of you who need further proof of just how inhumane healthcare is in Arizona’s prisons, you can get a first hand glimpse by clicking on the following link: http://www.ireport.com/docs/