Take Action: SOA Watch Prisoner of Conscience Denied Long-standing Prescriptions Print

Scott Diehl is a 40-year-old father and human rights advocate for a peace and justice organization, based in Burlington, Iowa, who is currently serving a three-month prison sentence for entering the grounds of Fort Benning in protest of the School of the Americas/WHINSEC. For 15 years his doctors have prescribed a regimen of drugs to treat his cases of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, as well as for a later lower back injury.

Upon entering the Federal Correctional Institution in Waseca, Minnesota, on April 6, Scott was denied his usual regimen by the prison medical staff, which decided to drastically change his prescriptions. Scott now describes having "severe" pain in his lower back and feet, as well as muscle spasms in his left leg. He can no longer sleep through the night. Climbing to his top bunk bed aggravates his condition on a daily basis.

Scott has pursued all the prison's regular channels for appealing his medical care, but has been denied any corrections. Scott's counsel of record wrote to Warden Carol Holinka and Counselor Joel VanRooy on May 6 concerning Scott's treatment. Warden Holinka responded the next day, saying, "While changes have been made in his treatment regimen, attending medical staff feel the alternative treatments that have been offered are adequate to address his concerns."

Scott is unusually lucky to have an advocacy network outside of prison that is willing to fax, call and write on his behalf, unlike thousands of federal inmates in the US. Please help us to support Scott and to do all that we can to ensure that he receives his doctor-prescribed medication as soon as possible. The prison's ignorance of any inmate's prescription medication is totally outrageous and unacceptable. We must hold the prison system accountable for this grave violation of Scott's rights and the rights of all inmates.

To advocate for the immediate renewal of Scott's long-standing prescriptions, please contact the warden as soon as possible:

Warden Carol Holinka
Waseca Federal Correction Institution
PO Box 1731
1000 University Drive, S.W.
Waseca, MN 56093

Fax: 507-837-4581
Phone: 507-835-8972

In all communications, you must include Scott?s full name and inmate number: Scott Diehl #92093-020. Faxes are the quickest and therefore most effective, phone calls are very frustrating because they are unlikely to go through, and letters are very important but take days. That said, please contact the warden in any way(s) as soon as you are able. Scott is scheduled to be released from FCI Waseca on July 2.

For more information on Scott or on School of the Americas Watch, visit www.SOAW.org, call us at 202-234-3440 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Thanks for your support!


June 11, 2004

Re: Scott Diehl #92093-020

Dear Warden Holinka,

I am writing to ask you to make sure that Scott Diehl (BOP #92093-020) is given the regimen of doctor-prescribed medicine for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue recommended in writing by his regular physician, Syed I. Alam, in preparation for his admission into FCI Waseca on April 6, 2004. A copy of that letter was submitted to you by Attorney Robert J. Phares on April 30.

Mr. Diehl has been taking three prescription medications for over 15 years that the FCI Waseca medical staff has now abruptly denied. SOA Watch has reviewed your letter of explanation, dated May 7, but finds it to lack any explanation of how the FCI Waseca medical staff could know Mr. Diehl's needs better than his regular doctors who know his long-term medical history. Mr. Diehl is in much more pain now than he was under his old regimen, suggesting that the FCI Waseca medical staff must reverse the changes it has made.

Sincerely (or something more creative),

[Your Name]