Delco DA Candidate Blasts Prison Conditions — Beth Stefanide who seeks to unseat Jack Stollsteimer as Delaware County D.A. blistered the management of George W. Hill Correctional Facility where neglect led to the agonizing death of inmate Mustafa Jackson.
Jackson, a 25-year-old paraplegic, was found in his cell on Feb. 12. He was laying face-down in an adult diaper with new and used catheters laying around. His autopsy says he died of urosepsis.
Medical authorities believe the condition is extremely painful and his death was excruciating.
Ms. Stefanide made her remarks at a 1 p.m., today Sept. 21, at a press conference outside the courthouse in Media.
She said that if she should win she would want to be certain that those she sends to the prison are provided safety and get necessary medical treatment.
Since the county took over from GEO Group on April 6, 2022 there have been at least three suicides; a wrong inmate was released, and a man was strangled by his cellmate.
The suicide tally — which occurred in the first 10 months — was the most in the prison in a single year since at least 2015.
The prison went private in 1998.
“These inhuman conditions . . . are going to come back to cost us, the taxpayers,” Ms. Stefanide said.
She said that GEO was on the hook for any lawsuits when it ran things.
“Guess what ladies and gentlemen that’s not the case now,” she said.
Taxpayers can be expected to be shelling out big for the death of Mr. Jackson.
Ms. Stefanide demanded an investigation into his death by the state attorney general, along with a full review of prison policies.
“(Mr. Jackson) deserves justice,” she said. “We need to know what happened.”
The county fought tooth-and-nail the release of Mr. Jackson’s autopsy only surrendering when Commonwealth Court ruled against Allegheny County in July in a similar case.
Warden Laura William
Ms. Stefanide wondered how Laura Williams –who only started her career in corrections in 2014 — became warden.
“I have to question whether Laura Williams is cut out for this job,” she said.
She noted Ms. Williams training is in psychology. As deputy warden at Allegheny County Jail she oversaw health care. The health care manager quit specifically citing Ms. Williams administrative style.
Ms. Stefanide said Ms. Williams is being sued by an Allegheny inmate who had his leg amputated after months of neglect.
Ms. Stefanide said that the county is now spending $60 million to run the prison despite a record low population of 820 inmates.
It held 1900 inmates on a budget of $43 million when the county took over.
She said prison management was a serious matter and cited the turmoil, cost and fear in Chester County and southwest Delco that occurred in the two weeks murderer Danelo Cavalcante was on the lam.
County Council candidate Jeff Jones also spoke noting the culpability council has for what has been occurring.
Jones and Ms. Stefanide are Republicans. The election is Nov. 7. Running with Jones for council are Joy Schwartz and Bill Dennon. Running for Common Pleas Court Judge is Dawn Getty Sutphin.
Delco DA Candidate Blasts Prison Conditions