Three Years After Inmate Death, No Change at Wildwood

Posted: September 27, 2013 at 12:10 pm

It’s been close to three years since Brandon Sparks died at Wildwood, just two weeks away from finishing his 21-month sentence. His mother Tonia Sparks, and her lawyer, Eric Derleth, says there’s still been no change in a system which was “stunning” negligent.


Sparks: “People take better care of their dogs than they did my son. There have to be changes, there have to be things that are mandated,  and there are protocols. There are mandates and guidelines, but how do you make people follow the rules? How do you make them do their jobs?”


Derleth has recently written a series of articles outlining the case, which he remains passionate about. He says the prison disobeyed a standing court order, which required a medical provider to be on site five days a week, and refused to check Brandon’s vitals, despite 13 requests for medical care in five days. You can download Derleth’s account of the story here.


Sparks: “It may have started out as a cold or a flu or something, we don’t know for sure, but what happened in the end was he had blood poisoning and he died, he cardiac arrested. All four lobes of his lungs were full. He had severe pneumonia.”


Brandon had been serving time for drug charges since just after the birth of his daughter, Savannah. Sparks said her granddaughter is now four, but has no memories of her father apart from what she’s told.


Sparks: “No one was held accountable. People in jobs that are in charge of taking care of other people, like prison systems, they should be held accountable for neglect. They were not held accountable. That needs to change. Because when you make someone accountable for their actions and for their job, they have a tendency to do it better.”


Sparks said Brandon made mistakes, which cost him the ability to seek his own medical care. She hopes his story can bring about changes for others in prisons and mental institutions.

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One Comment to “Three Years After Inmate Death, No Change at Wildwood”

  • Pete says:

    I was wrongfully sent to wildwood once and no one there gave a damn about the fact that I was disabled and injured when I was arrested. I was accused of assault when I was the one assaulted. I now have to have surgery on my neck and back resulting from injuries while I was defending myself against a known meth dealer that was working for the feds. I went to the site of the assault to help my son try to locate and recover his snow machine and as I was leaving the parking lot, I was assaulted. I defended myself and when it was all said and done, he told me to go get a truck and he would have the snow machine ready for me to load up. I got 5 miles down the road headed towards the truck we were going to use and I was all of a sudden surrounded by troopers and local cops. He had called them and told them I had held him at gun point as my son beat him up. Then he said I put the pistol away and grabbed a knife and tried to cut him with it. Not sure why I would have done that but anyway. I was treated by the people in wildwood like I was guilty until proven innocent!!!. The nurse that used to work there was a total JERK ( I won’t say the word I was going to use) and so was sgt. brown. The only nice person in there was sgt. Smith. He tried to get the nurse to co-operate concerning my meds and stuff but she wanted no part of it. I was refused an examination for my busted discs in my neck and low back. I only wish I could have afforded to bring them to court. There’s more to the story and if I can be of any help to the Sparks have Eric contact me at 953-1890. I would love to straighten that place out!!!