The mother of a prison inmate who died at a New Richmond penitentiary in June has filed a wrongful-death civil suit against the Wisconsin Department of Corrections.
Kimberly Gray of Sun Prairie filed the suit, alleging her son Franklin D. Homesly died of an asthma attack after being forced to participate in physical training, collapsing during an evening run in 93-degree weather.
Homesly, 30, suffered an asthma attack and had difficulty breathing for 30 minutes before being transported by ambulance to Holy Family Hospital in New Richmond, approximately 65 miles west of Eau Claire, where efforts to resuscitate him failed.
Neither of Gray’s attorneys, Keith Clifford and Michael Bohrnstedt, both of Madison, could be reached for comment.
Homesly was placed on probation in April earlier this year after February convictions for resisting arrest and possession of marijuana, his third drug offense.
After violating his probation, Homesly volunteered to take part in the four-month “boot-camp” program in lieu of a potentially lengthy prison-term.
Homesly’s death comes in the midst of widespread criticism of Wisconsin’s Department of Corrections, including the Dane County jail system, which has come under fire from inmates who say they are provided with inadequate health care.
Sept. 27, Dane County sheriff Gary Hamblin and County Executive Kathleen M. Falk announced a new health-care provider, Prison Health Services, would provide health-care services to inmates until at least Nov. 30.
“I am confident that, under this agreement, we will be providing better health-care services to inmates in our jail system,” Hamblin said.
One of the reasons cited by Sheriff Hamblin for the poor health-care standards in the jail during the last decade is the rising level of jail populations.
The issue of prison funding has played a key role in the gubernatorial race between the Republican incumbent Scott McCallum and his challenger, Democrat Jim Doyle.