JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville man died after being stabbed while serving time at a Florida corrections facility and his mother believes if staff had called 911, as he lay bleeding in the yard, her son would still be alive.
Joshua Williams, 20, died Oct. 23, 2013 after being stabbed by two other inmates at the Hardee Correctional Institution.
Now, his family is asking a grand jury to decide if the staff and correctional officers at the facility should be charged in his death.
“If they just would have got my baby some help. I understand he was in prison, but he’s still human,” said Carolyn Green, mother of Williams. “He still have loved ones out here who love him. That miss him very much.”
Green and her attorneys said more than 15 minutes went by from the time staff first heard her son had been stabbed, to the time they called an ambulance. Now they are asking State and Federal law enforcement to step in.
Williams grew up in Jacksonville, and his family knows nothing can bring him back. But, they believe more could have been done to save his life, and the staff and officers at that facility chose not to do it.
“They just didn't care. Not at all,” Green said. “They just let him bleed to death really.”
A video of Williams’ last moments shows him lying on the grass after being stabbed at the Hardee Correctional Institution. You can also see staff trying to help him, but up until that point, no one had called 911.
“Who cannot care? It doesn't have to be your loved one, is just who cannot care? Who can just act like this person just don't exist? You know?” Green asked.
According to the Inspector General’s report, at 9:45 a.m. staff got a call saying Williams had been involved in some type of incident and had collapsed while walking with an officer to the medical center.
The physician’s assistant was notified at 9:50 a.m. and began treating Williams two minutes later.
Staff eventually took him inside the correction facility’s emergency room where nurses perform CPR and apply pressure to his wounds. At 10:02 a.m. the staff decided to call 911.
The ambulance arrived at 10:16 a.m., and Williams finally left for the hospital at 10:41 a.m., almost an hour after staff first got word he’d been injured.
“If it would have been the guard or someone they would've life-flighted him out of there immediately,” Green said. “So what was different from my son? His name is Joshua Williams whether he had a number or not.”
Williams died at the hospital, something his family’s attorney, Robert Slama said could have been prevented if medical staff had done the work taxpayers are paying them to do.
“This isn't about the extent of quality care, whether it was good enough, the issue here is basic care,” Slama said.
Now, Green hopes her son’s death will bring change.
“In order to get my blessing from God, I had to forgive the ones that did that to my baby,” Green said. “But I want justice done from the system. Because they just didn't care.”
In addition to civil action, the family wants criminal action to be taken against those involved.
Williams’ family is planning to set up a Go Fund Me account to raise money for medical experts to review the State of Florida health care system.