Jonathan Lancaster was a healthy, 38 year old young man who had been incarcerated for roughly 6 years on a robbery charge in the state of Michigan, his sentence was winding down with three years remaining. Jon was not perfect and made his fair share of bad decisions in life, however things were looking up as he made plans to return home to his family.
Jon was a father, a new grandfather, a son and a brother; he belongs to a large family who loves him greatly and anticipated his return home. He called almost weekly to his family, phone calls with "what's new' and stories of the inside.
Jon's latest years in the MDOC he trained dogs to be adopted out from a level two facility (low security level), this brought him alot of Joy- he loved dogs!
JON IS MOVED
My final visit with him near the end of December of 2019 Jon began to express to me concerns of a corrections officer and his recent comments to Jon, but all else had been fine. After my visit, I did not recieve my weekly call, neither had any of the family.
What we didn't know at the time is that Jon had been in an altercation where he had to defend himself and was moved to the Alger Max Correctional facility in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It is here, Jon would remain in Solitary confinement for over 60 days, tortured and die horrificly.
JON'S HEALTH CHANGES
After over a month in solitary (February) in Jon would finally be given paper to write his sister and let her know he was in solitary, there was a fight and he would call when he could. During this time he remained in lock down 24 hours a day with no calls or human contact, food through a slot in the door and showers twice a week. Jon began to experience ringing of the ears, blood pressure issues and headaches. He consistently reached out for medical attention for his issues(per the MDOC records) and was quickly labeled "attention seeking".
Jon's health issues escalated and the Alger & Corizon staff continued to be annoyed, document his mental illness and label him attention seeking and provide him no real medical assistance. This is often the case with inmates in solitary confinement.
Along comes March and finally a few family members recieve a call from Jon and immediately are alarmed at what they hear.
Jon's own mother didn't recognize his voice and was extremely alarmed at the things he was saying, he spoke of officers trying to kill him, gas being pumped into his cell and his food being poisoned. These calls to his family prompted the family to call the facility as we knew something was very, very wrong. Little did we know, these disturbing calls would be the last time we spoke with him or his voice.
The officers we spoke to said that Jon was "fine physically", the desk officer repeated this several times. We called multiple times to request that Jon recieve medical treatment and nothing was done for him.
On March 11th, 2019 I made one more call to check on Jon and hope for new info, good info. That call was placed at 9:38 AM and once again I was told that "physically he was fine". At 12:40pm the same day I recieved a call from the facility and was hopeful they were returning my call to tell me good news, I answered and the voice spoke " Danielle Dunn, are you the emergency contact for Jonathan Lancaster"? I answered, yes I am. The officer proceeded to tell me Jon died.
THE FACTS (Info from MDOC reports) GRAPHIC DETAILS
Jon stopped eating and drinking due to auditory and visual hallucinations and lost 26% of his body weight, thats 51 lbs. He began to exhibit behaviors that the CO's labeled bizarre, this would cause Jon to be extracted from the cell. At the time Jon was unresponsive and force as well as an entire can of pepper spray was used on him when he could not respond to remove him from the cell.
Jon was moved into an observation cell where he should have been under 24 hour watch and medical care provided. He was place in restraints and a hospital gown and left alone. During this time, Jon was not given water to drink, and although he was being documented that his condition was deteriorating rapidly, officers and nursing staff continue to do absolutely nothing. While he mumbled and could not respond to their questions, laying in his own urine NO ONE decided to get him medical treatment. Finally, 5 days in this condition with no food or water, Jon is placed in a restraint chair to be transported to the hospital and left for hours unattended where he died of dehydration (per the autposy and medical examiner).
Jon suffered and died alone, no family, no help, and certainly no compassion. The nurse who completed Jon's intake, Barbara Bedient, is the same nurse who took Jon's vitals the morning he died. How does a nurse with Hospice background miss that somone is actively dying? The Psychologist who listened to Jon's calls to family before he died reported that Jon "gave each family member a tale of woe". The staff are all still employed at this facility and free to torture others and must be held accountable for their inhumane inactions and what they have done.