PRINCIPAL OFFICE: DALLAS, TEXAS: (214) 670-9989 | TOLL FREE: (866) 670-9989

Are Inmates in Texas Protected from Medical Neglect?~Pt.3

DM County Jail

Diabetic ketoacidosis is just one of many medical conditions that need immediate medical attention.

Denton County Jail is Found Noncompliant After a Custodial Death

A special inspection was conducted by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards at Denton County Jail from March 8 through 10, 2022. They were noncompliant with three minimum jail standards. One states that a medical emergency occurred resulting in death. More details follow.

RULE §275.1~Regular Observation by Jailers

This is the rule previously referred to in this series in which inmates must be observed in face-to-face checks either every 30 minutes or every 60 minutes. After an investigation that included checking the accuracy of observation reports, the inspector’s notes on Denton County Jail special jail inspection report follow:

  • Video documentation reviewed shows that staff failed to conduct a proper face-to-face observation of an inmate in Holding 1. Staff merely scanned the electronic tag without actually seeing the inmate in the holding cell. The inmate suffered a medical emergency resulting in death while in the holding cell.

The custodial death report (CDR) for the inmate who had died did not reflect the above statements. The CDR shows that the inmate had been observed 8 minutes before being discovered unresponsive and that observation checks had occurred every 30 minutes or less. They had been checking the inmate’s vital signs but did not seek further medical help by calling an ambulance until she was unresponsive.

Learn more in Part 1 and Part 2 of this continuing series.

Helping inmates now or previously detained in a municipal or county jail in Texas is one of the purposes of this website. There is never any intention of suggesting that any individual or organization was engaged in misdeeds.

–Guest Contributor

Written By: author image smchugh
author image smchugh