A South Shore man claims he was denied HIV medication for a week while he was imprisoned in a downstate jail last year, a case that advocacy groups cited as an example of a hidden problem in correctional facilities.
Arick Buckles, 39, was detained in the Bureau County Jail in Princeton last fall after learning he was the subject of an outstanding arrest warrant for forgery charges.
Buckles said he “stressed to every jailer I came into contact with” that he was HIV-positive and needed to take antiretroviral medication daily. But he did not receive medication or see a doctor during his weeklong stay at the jail, the American Civil Liberties Union wrote in a June 20 letter to Bureau County Sheriff John Thompson.
Buckles, who said he experienced severe diarrhea after his release, described his time behind bars as terrifying, because “I didn’t know what the offset of my not having those medications would be.”
“I often wonder, if I had been a diabetic, would I have been denied medication,” he said.
Jail officials allegedly told Buckles they could not give him his medication because of the cost of the drugs, a justification the ACLU letter called “inappropriate and unconstitutional.”