In November, not long after 52-year-old Shane Haynes arrived at the Winfield Correctional Facility, he began experiencing headaches and numbness on his left side. He was taken to the Winfield Hospital where staff found a blood clot on the right side of his brain.

Shane, incarcerated for a nonviolent drug offense, did not immediately receive a necessary injection to dissolve the clot, and although his condition had not significantly improved, he was moved back to the prison where he then suffered a stroke.

Shane is scheduled for release in October of 2024, but needs to be released now to get the critical, rehabilitative care he needs and to avoid any permanent stroke damage.

Prison officials returned Shane to the hospital where he received two weeks of daily rehabilitative care, but was then transferred to the El Dorado Correctional Facility. They already have once denied him functional incapacitation release.

He has not been receiving rehabilitation, which is significant because the first 3 months following a stroke are the most crucial for rehabilitation and for protection against development of any new medical problems, such as pneumonia, injuries, or other clots.

But Shane made a great, early release candidate before his medical crisis.

He served as head cook, was active in church, mentored younger inmates, and refurbished bikes that were gifted to children.

If released, Shane plans to live with his sister and her family in Oklahoma. There, he’d have access to an Oxford House, where he could maintain sobriety.

But he’s now experiencing left-side paralysis, slurred speech and cognitive deficits. The longer he remains incarcerated, the less likely it will be that he can recover the use of his left side and be able to work and support himself.

Why should the state continue to incarcerate someone so thoroughly incapacitated?