Lawsuit Claims Illinois Jail Denied Man HIV Drugs
CHICAGO (AP) - A Chicago man filed a federal lawsuit Monday claiming an Illinois jail prevented him from taking his prescribed HIV medications for a week, harming his health and violating his constitutional rights.
Arick Buckles, 40, asked for his medications repeatedly while in the Bureau County jail in Princeton, according to his lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Peoria. His partner offered to bring the pills to the jail, but that request was rebuffed, the lawsuit claims.
The county was more worried about the cost of providing Buckles’ HIV drugs than about his health, said American Civil Liberties Union attorney John Knight, who is helping represent Buckles. The drugs, a three-pill combination, cost more than $2,000 a month, according to Buckles’ jail medical notes released to him by the county and shared by him with The Associated Press.
Buckles’ own pills from home were barred because he kept them in a day-by-day organizer, not in their original containers, he told the AP last year.
Bureau County Sheriff John Thompson, a defendant in the lawsuit, didn’t immediately return a phone call seeking comment from The Associated Press. County board chairman Dale Anderson said he couldn’t comment because he hadn’t seen the lawsuit. The Illinois Department of Corrections looked into the matter last year and found "no violations of the county jail and detention standards," said department spokeswoman Stacey Solano.
The case is an example of the inadequate health care inmates with HIV frequently face, said Knight, who is part of a national AIDS project for the ACLU. Similar complaints have come from Colorado, California, Ohio, Nevada and Missouri, he said.