Delaware Public Media

Former Connections employee files whistleblower lawsuit over inmate's death

Jul 15, 2019

A former Connections CSP employee has filed a whistle-blower lawsuit over the 2018 death of an inmate.


Tracey Crews supervised the medical unit at Howard Young Correctional Institution. She said inmate Luis Cabrera did not get needed proper medical care and Connections covered that up. Cabrera died of a perforated ulcer last November.

One of Crews’ attorneys, Eric Young, said she was a model employee. But he said Crews was fired in February for speaking out against what she calls inhumane treatment Cabrera received.

“She did everything right in terms of putting management on notice of which she believed to be, in her medical judgment, mistreatment of a prisoner," he said. "And her complaints were ignored and ultimately an inmate died.”

Delaware Attorney Chris Johnson is also representing Crews.

Crews said the Connections nurse practitioner who treated Cabrera declined to give him pain medication or send him to the hospital despite her objections.

“I am the voice for the voiceless," she said. "Unfortunately, Mr. Cabrera’s voice will never be heard again. However, his truth will be told.”

Crews said she’s suffered emotional and psychological trauma, leaving her unable to work.

Cabrera’s family has also filed a lawsuit against Connections. Both lawsuits allege a nurse checked on Cabrera, but moved to other inmates after he was unable to get up from the floor of his cell. He was pronounced dead shortly after. Connections didn’t reply to a request for comment.