How FJI Helped Lucy Get a Wheelchair & Peace of Mind

We want to share with you a story of one of the individuals we were able to help through our case helping incarcerated people with physical disabilities.

Meet Lucy*. Lucy, 74, lived her whole life serving others as a registered nurse. She developed painful arthritis that left her with chronic pain and in need of a walker, and eventually a wheelchair. She was forced to retire early. Unfortunately, Lucy was sentenced to prison for a crime stemming from self-defense.

While in prison, Lucy received sad news: she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Thankfully, after radiation and chemotherapy, Lucy beat the disease. She thought she was on the road to recovery, but the prison imposed another hurdle: Lucy’s wheelchair was taken away from her.  Without the wheelchair, she was unable to go to the law library, pill line, and other important areas. She was worried about missing her oncology appointments, and she fell several times.

Lucy contacted Florida Justice Institute for help. Through the monitoring of our disability case, we made an urgent request that ensured she had a wheelchair to attend her oncology appointments.  Through further persistence, she finally received a permanent wheelchair. She can now visit the law library and attend her medical appointments, and is no longer confined to her bed.  Having the wheelchair is like a “difference between night and day” and gives her “peace of mind.”

At Florida Justice Institute, we believe everyone, including incarcerated people and unhoused people, deserve humane and dignified living conditions. For Lucy, that meant a wheelchair, but for others that means access to hearing aids, sign language interpreters, and much more.

* FJI is using the alias “Lucy” to protect this client’s anonymity.

This blog was first published on November 8, 2022.

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