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Polk County Jail is Cited by TCJS for Non-Compliance

Front of Jail Cell

After an annual jail inspection at Polk County Jail on May 20, 2024, the Texas Commission on Jail Standards (TCJS) sent the Burnet, Texas, jail a notice of non-compliance. TCJS inspectors found that Polk County Jail violated three minimum jail standards. Two of the standards violated involved supervision. Inmates in restraints are supposed to be observed face-to-face every 15 minutes, but the observations exceeded the quarter-hour requirement by 20 to 45 minutes. In addition, a TCJS inspector discovered in staffing records that the minimum standard of 1 jailer to 48 detainees was unmet.

The address of Polk County Jail is 1601 East Polk Street in Burnet, Texas 78611. Polk County Jail has an inmate capacity of 587.

How Might Breaches in Supervision Harm Detainees?

It’s easy to conclude that the supervision of detainees in jails is a critical issue. All that’s needed is to consider the many minimum jail standards requiring the strict supervision of inmates. In recent months and years, after several Texas jail deaths and follow-up jail inspections occurred, it was discovered that some of the deceased inmates had not been observed as required in the hours leading up to their deaths. The following is an example:

  • A special jail inspection at Moore County Jail in Dumas, Texas, revealed that before the 2022 custodial death of an inmate occurred, the deceased had not been observed on multiple occasions over several hours before his death. He had been in a holding cell, where observations were required in increments not to exceed every 30 minutes.

Supervision and Jail Suicides

Suicide is a critical issue for county and municipal jails because it is the leading cause of death among inmates. One of the questions to be determined as detainees are booked into a jail is whether he or she is suicidal. The first two weeks in jail are known to be the timeframe in which most suicides take place. However, due to the nature of the jail environment, jailers are trained to remember that all detainees are at risk for a suicide attempt at any given time.

Supervision is recognized as the most effective deterrent to suicide. So, when jails fail to provide required supervision, it is a cause for concern. The following happened in 2023:

  • After a custodial suicide occurred in one of the largest Texas county jails, it was discovered that the deceased had been unobserved for 88 minutes before being discovered hanging. Altogether, he had been in the jail for less than 5 hours when he was pronounced deceased.

Has a Loved One Died in Jail and You Suspect Jail Medical Neglect?

Don’t hesitate to call the Law Offices of Dean Malone if you suspect that a loved one who was in the custody of a Texas jail died due to jail neglect. In jail death cases, it helps to begin investigations as soon as possible. Our team dedicated to jail death cases is working on several tragic deaths now that involve possible jail neglect. We might also be able to help if you were formerly detained in a local Texas jail and suffered life-altering injuries. Contact us today for your free case review. We are available 24/7, whether you want to reach out via phone, text, or our online form.

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smchugh

Baylor County Jail is Cited for Non-Compliance

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On May 28, 2024, Baylor County Jail in Seymour, Texas, underwent its annual jail inspection. Two days later, the Texas Commission on Jail Standards (TCJS) sent a notice of non-compliance to the jail. Baylor County Jail was cited for allegedly violating 3 minimum jail standards. Texas jails are rarely cited for the first of the three rule violations, and all are shown below.

According to TCJS inspectors, Baylor County Jail is using cells at the county courthouse to temporarily house inmates waiting to transfer to other counties. In the non-compliance notice, it states that the jail shall immediately cease using court-holding cells for new detainees. In another section about holding cells, the jail is cited for placing detainees in cells at the courthouse in which the toilet/lavatory combo had been removed due to corrosion.

Thirdly, it was discovered that the last official fire inspection was conducted in February 2022, making it 15 months late. A similar situation happened in April 2017, when it was discovered that the last fire prevention inspection was conducted in December 2015.

The address of Baylor County Jail is 101 South Washington Street, Seymour, Texas 76380. Baylor County Jail has an inmate capacity of 111.

Are Custodial Deaths in County Jails Common?

A watchdog group, Texas Justice Initiative (TJI), has statistics on all custodial deaths in Texas since 2005 when the vital information started being made available. TJI shows that there have been 1,937 deaths in county jails since that time.

There have been significant increases since 2021. The average number of detainee deaths per year in Texas counties was 92 through 2020. With just the figures from the past three years, the average number of inmate deaths from 2005 to 2023 jumps to 102 per year. Only three years through 2020 saw 100 or more custodial deaths. But in 2021, 2022, and 2023 respectively, 160, 150, and 150 deaths were reported.

What is the Most Common Cause of County Jail Deaths?

In Texas county jails, the most common cause of detainee deaths is suicide. Of the 419 incidents of suicide since 2005, 90% of them were carried out by means of hanging/strangulation. Jails are required to implement suicide prevention plans.

Are You Seeking Help Regarding Jail Neglect or Abuse?

Being placed in a county or municipal jail does not mean that an individual has lost fundamental rights. Jails should be held responsible when they abuse detainees or fail to provide necessary medical attention.

Have you lost a loved one who was held in a local Texas jail, and do you suspect the death was caused by neglect? Or were you previously incarcerated in a county or municipal jail and suffered life-altering injuries as a result of neglect? We are interested in helping in either of these scenarios. At the Law Offices of Dean Malone, we have an experienced team dedicated to custodial death cases. Our years of experience help in providing diligent representation.

Call us 24/7 by phone, text, or our online form to schedule your free case review.

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smchugh

Steven Hildebrand Died the Day He Entered Howard County Jail

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3d interior Jail

Steven Glen Hildebrand was booked into Howard County Jail in Big Springs, Texas, at 10:15 a.m. on March 10, 2024. He died on the same day approximately 9 hours later at 7:00 p.m. The custodial death report (CDR) about Mr. Hildebrand was due to be filed within 30 days. However, the Howard County Sheriff’s Office filed the CDR on June 6, 2024. Mr. Hildebrand’s medical cause of death is shown as acute methamphetamine intoxication.

There is No Mention That Steven Hildebrand Was Given Medical Attention

In the summary of how Mr. Hildebrand’s death occurred, it states that detention officers were unable to get answers to the intake questionnaires from him successfully. He was placed in detox cell 143 at 10:33 a.m. Mr. Hildebrand, according to the CDR, was not given medical attention, though he was seen rolling around and slapping the floor and sometimes on his knees or his feet—all the while grunting. This behavior was observed through “the duration of shifts.”

At 7:07 p.m. Officer Valentin Garcia noticed that Mr. Hildebrand was no longer moving. Officer Raul Guerra was called over to assist and confirm Officer Garcia’s observation. Next, they entered the cell and tried to get Mr. Hildebrand to respond, but he was unresponsive. They “notified chain” and cardiopulmonary resuscitation began and continued until emergency medical services (EMS) arrived on the scene. It was established that Mr. Hildebrand was deceased, and the scene was secured. Mr. Hildebrand was only 55 years old.

The address of Howard County Jail is 3611 Hwy 80 in Big Spring, Texas 79720. The jail has a bed capacity of 96.

When Inmates Experience a Drug Overdose or Alcohol Withdrawal, Can They Be Saved?

Overdose deaths have been occurring in the U.S. in record-breaking numbers in recent years, including in jails. In 2021, more than 100,000 people died from opioids and other drugs. Medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) can often save individuals experiencing an overdose. NARCAN® is a nasal spray that rapidly reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. If administered quickly enough, it revives someone during an overdose of many pain medications and street drugs, such as heroin and fentanyl.

Certain treatments, if administered, can save detainees in local jails. CPR alone could save many lives. Tragically, inmates experiencing a drug overdose are sometimes victims of jail medical neglect. There have been times when detainees going through alcohol withdrawal were severely dehydrated and would have survived with nothing more than an intravenous line (IV) supplying fluids, but the fluids weren’t provided.

Contact The Law Offices of Dean Malone About Jail Neglect Resulting in a Death

Suppose you suspect that your loved one died in a Texas jail because of jail neglect. In that case, contacting an attorney with years of experience representing families in custodial death cases is important. Attorney Dean Malone works with a team in his law office dedicated to helping families in that tragic situation. We also hope to help former Texas county and municipal jail detainees who suffered abuse or neglect to the extent that they are, as a result, suffering life-altering injuries.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us.  It is best to begin investigations as soon as possible. Contact us 24/7 via phone call, text, or our online form for a free case review.

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smchugh

Grayson County Jail Detainee James P. Brown Dies

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James Paul Brown was 51 years old when he was booked into Grayson County Jail on April 10, 2024. The custodial death report (CDR) that the Grayson County Sheriff’s Department filed about Mr. Brown on May 23, 2024, indicates that he appeared intoxicated on drugs or alcohol when he went through intake. There is also an indication that Mr. Brown received medical treatment for the medical condition that caused his death 16 days after he arrived at the jail on 200 South Crockett Street in Sherman, Texas 75090. However, the cause of his death is unknown.

Mr. Brown was discovered moaning and in a lethargic state at 5:58 am on the day of his death. He had to communicate using hand gestures. He was transported to Sherman Medical Center, where he was under emergency room (ER) supervision until being moved to room 298. Hospital staff found Mr. Brown in an unresponsive state at 11:13 am. Lifesaving measures began, but he could not be revived. Mr. Brown was pronounced deceased at 11:41 am on April 25, 2024.

The Death of Another Grayson County Jail Detainee

It was two years ago, almost exactly to the day, that a 63-year-old detainee died after incarceration in Grayson County Jail. The woman entered the jail at 10:06 pm on April 20, 2022, and was pronounced deceased less than 51 hours later at 12:30 am on April 23. Between her arrival and her death, fellow inmates informed jail staff, including medical staff, that the deceased had said she swallowed drugs just before being arrested.

The inmates had called for the medical staff at 5:15 am on April 22 because the woman was vomiting blood. The medical staff discovered that she was unresponsive, and they transferred her to a local hospital via ambulance.

What If Jails Don’t Provide Medical Treatments for Overdoses?

A watchdog publication has suggested in various articles that many deaths in U.S. jails are the result of jail medical neglect. A woman who was booked into an Alabama jail, for example, died 14 hours after her arrival. A coroner ruled that an apparent multiple drug overdose caused her death. Experts say that her life may have been saved if various treatments had been applied. The drug Naloxone counters methadone, for example. Other potential lifesaving treatments include intubation, ventilation, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Are You Possibly a Victim of Jail Neglect?

Jails have responsibilities toward all detainees placed in the care of the jail staff. If you were an inmate in a Texas jail and suffered life-altering injuries due to jail neglect, such as medical neglect, contact Law Offices of Dean Malone. We have been fighting for inmates’ rights, gaining years of experience. If you are a family member of an inmate in a Texas jail who you think died because of jail neglect, such as medical neglect, we may be able to help you, as well. We have a team that works almost exclusively on jail death cases.

Contact us as soon as possible. We are available 24/7, whether you call, text, or fill out our online form.

 

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smchugh

Edwards County Jail Fails to Make Timely Checks on Inmates in Detox

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On April 25, 2024, a special jail inspection was conducted at Edwards County Jail in Rocksprings, Texas. Subsequently, the Texas Commission on Jail Standards (TCJS) sent the jail a notice of non-compliance. Edwards County was cited for allegedly violating 2 minimum jail standards. One revealed that a fire official had last inspected the facility on December 5, 2021, though such inspections are required annually. The supervision of inmates was the other area of non-compliance. Rather than checking inmates in detox and holding cells every 30 minutes, as required, the jail staff routinely conducted them in 45-minute intervals.

The address of Edwards County Jail is 404 West Austin Street in Rocksprings, Texas 78880. Edwards County Jail has an inmate capacity of 25.

The Denial of Medical Care for Inmates in Detox

Tragically, local jail detainees in withdrawal often die within hours or days of their incarceration due to the denial of medical care. The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) published a brief about managing substance withdrawal in jails, and it includes examples of alleged wrongful deaths, as follows:

  • A woman going through opiate withdrawal while in a county jail in Washington state died from severe electrolyte imbalance. It was found to be a genuine issue of material fact that the jail failed to adhere to a policy for treating detainees undergoing opioid withdrawal.
  • A woman jailed in a state outside Texas exhibited profound physical distress from the time she was booked into a Utah county jail. She also begged for medical attention from the start. Yet, no help was provided, and she died after 3.5 days. For many inmates experiencing alcohol or drug withdrawal, the jail allegedly failed to perform the required withdrawal protocol assessments. An investigation uncovered a far-reaching accepted, customary, and cultural practice of ignoring symptoms exhibited by inmates in withdrawal as well as their health complaints. It was also found that the jail often failed to perform the required withdrawal protocol assessments for numerous inmates.
  • Another woman lived 2.5 days after going through intake in a Georgia county jail. The jail denied the woman access to prescribed medications, including oxycodone. Her symptoms before dying (diarrhea, nausea, and fever) were consistent with acute benzodiazepine withdrawal, though the cause of death was ruled hypertensive cardiovascular disease. It was discovered that a jailer who had not been provided with adequate medication training was authorized to make the decision whether emergency medical attention was warranted. Prior to the woman’s tragic death, the jailer decided against providing her with medical care.

Has Jail Neglect Deprived You of the Life of a Loved One?

Investigations have shown that many individuals die unnecessarily while held in a county or municipal jail in Texas. If one of your family members was in a jail when he or she died and you believe there is evidence of jail medical neglect, contact the Law Offices of Dean Malone. For years, we’ve made it a practice to represent families of deceased inmates and people who were formerly incarcerated and suffered a life-altering injury due to jail neglect while there. Reach out 24/7 by calling, texting, or filling out our online form to schedule your free case evaluation.

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smchugh

Milton Kaiser Dies in DeWitt County, Texas Jail

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Milton Wilson Kaiser III was only 34 years old when he was booked into Dewitt County Jail at 8:50 PM on April 12, 2024. Tragically, he was pronounced deceased less than 32 hours later on April 14, 2024. The Dewitt County Sheriff’s Office under the direction of Chief Deputy John Garoni filed a custodial death report (CDR) about Mr. Kaiser on April 30, 2024. The CDR indicates that, during intake, Mr. Kaiser appeared to be intoxicated with drugs or alcohol.

In the summary of how the death occurred, a jailer discovered Mr. Kaiser without a pulse on the floor of his cell. He was stiff and cold. His right arm was extended upwards and his fist was closed. Within minutes, he was pronounced deceased in the holding cell where he had been temporarily housed.

The Dewitt County Jail facility where Mr. Kaiser was placed is at 208 East Live Oak Street Suite C in Cuero, TX 77954. The bed capacity of the Cuero jail is 161.

What are the Symptoms of Severe Withdrawal Resulting in Death?

Deaths from withdrawal are preventable. Tragically, there are many occasions when detainees in local jails appear to have died from withdrawal within hours of being booked. In every instance, according to medical experts, withdrawal death can be prevented by providing appropriate treatment. Due to the symptoms of withdrawal, coroners usually list dehydration as the cause of death.

In a 2015 withdrawal death in a state outside Texas, the coroner ruled that the cause of the dehydration death of a 25-year-old man was “drug withdrawal.” The following are among the symptoms that the man exhibited, including severe withdrawal, as seen in video evidence:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Low blood pressure
  • Too dehydrated to provide a urine sample
  • No longer able to walk
  • No longer able to unclench his fingers
  • He fell to the ground, trembling

The detainee begged for an IV, saying he knew from a previous detox that withdrawing from the combination of drugs in his system was especially risky. Those drugs were heroin and Xanax, an opioid and benzodiazepine, respectively.

In answer to his request, he was allegedly told that IVs were only used when it was an absolute necessity. He lived only six hours longer. A nurse for the third-party healthcare provider said it was certainly not the policy for them to deny patients indicated, appropriate treatment. Yet, it is considered almost certain that his life could have been saved with a simple IV.

Has a Family Member Died in Jail From Possible Jail Neglect?

It is always important to work with attorneys who concentrate on the type of case you need help with. If you think a family member in a Texas jail died due to neglect, contact the Law Offices of Dean Malone. We may also be able to help if you were severely injured during incarceration in a Texas jail. We have gained years of experience representing inmates and, when there has been a custodial death, the interests of their families.

Contact us today. You can schedule a free case evaluation 24/7 by phone call, text, or our online form.

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smchugh

Tony Beaver Dies After 4 Months in Dallas County Jail

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Inside The Old Idaho State Penitentiary

Sixty-four-year-old Tony Harrison Beaver was booked into Dallas County Jail on December 17, 2023. He was pronounced deceased on April 18, 2024. The Dallas County Sheriff’s Office under the direction of Sheriff Marian Brown filed a custodial death report (CDR) about Mr. Beaver on April 30, 2024.

Three basic questions about Mr. Beaver, such as whether he appeared to be intoxicated on drugs or alcohol, are answered: “Unknown.” During intake, however, it was concluded and reported that he did exhibit medical problems.

Nothing conclusive is known about the cause of death, though there is an indication that Mr. Beaver had a pre-existing medical condition. Also, he was moved to Parkland Memorial Hospital on April 9, when he experienced shortness of breath. A medical procedure was being performed on Mr. Beaver when medical staff at the hospital pronounced him deceased nine days later. His cause of death is awaiting the results of an autopsy.

The Dallas County Jail facility where Mr. Beaver was placed is at 5201 Harry Hines Blvd in Dallas, TX 75235.

Jail Deaths are Often Linked to a Lack of Observation

Whether inmates commit suicide or care isn’t given for inmates’ medical emergencies, a lack of proper jail supervision is often linked to custodial deaths. Those facts are frequently made apparent as a result of the special jail inspections conducted after jail deaths.

In April 2023, for example, TCJS inspectors recorded what they found after a 41-year-old inmate accused of Continuous Sexual Assault of a Child hung himself in a Texas jail. He was booked into the jail less than 5 hours before being pronounced deceased. The charges and the timing of the suicide are significant. Such charges are among the risk factors for suicide. Also, a significant number of custodial suicides occur within the first 24 hours of incarceration. These are considerations in preventing jail suicides. Yet, the following is what the inspectors found about the circumstances in this case:

  • A review of video submitted after a custodial suicide revealed that an inmate entered a restroom and remained unobserved for 88 minutes before being discovered.

The following is more information from the CDR:

  • The inmate was found unresponsive with a drawstring from his jacket around his neck and lower extremities. CPR began on the detainee, medical staff arrived, and lifesaving measures continued until the local fire department medics arrived. The inmate was transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital, where a physician pronounced him deceased.

Do You Suspect that a Loved One Died in Jail Due to Neglect?

At the Law Offices of Dean Malone, we have gained years of experience representing the interests of inmates in jail neglect cases. If you suspect that jail neglect caused the death of an incarcerated loved one in Texas, or if you were in a Texas jail and suffered a life-altering injury, we may be able to help. Call today, text, or fill out our online form to schedule a free case evaluation. We are available 24/7.

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smchugh

Leon County, Texas Jail is Cited for 11 Jail Violations

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A jail inspection was conducted at Leon County Jail in Centerville, Texas, on April 12, 2024. Four days later, on April 16, the Texas Commission on Jail Standards (TCJS) sent the jail a 3-page notice of non-compliance. Leon County Jail was cited for allegedly violating 11 minimum jail standards. Compared with the average number of jail standards Texas jails are cited for, 11 violations are excessive. The jail’s address is 606 E Saint Marys St., Centerville TX 75833. Leon County Jail has an inmate capacity of 53.

Overcrowding is Among the Areas of Noncompliance at Leon County Jail

A TCJS inspector notes an overcrowding issue at Leon County Jail, as follows:

  • Leon County Jail has an approved capacity of 53 inmates. Jail records reviewed show that Leon County exceeded their limit a total of 14 times between January 1, 2024, and April 12, 2024. The population at Leon County Jail reached as much as 60 inmates during the same period.

Another issue that can be serious in carceral settings is a lack of supervision. There is a greater likelihood of inmate-on-inmate assaults, sexual assaults, and suicides occurring when jailers don’t provide supervision as required. Inmates in restraints at Leon County Jail were not observed every 15 minutes as required partly for their safety. When inmates are in restraints, observations include ensuring that the blood circulation to major limbs hasn’t been cut off. The TCJS inspector indicated the following:

  • One restraint log that was reviewed shows that jail staff exceeded the required 15-minute observations by 11 minutes.

How Does Jail Overcrowding Affect Detainees?

When there are too few jailers to provide adequate supervision, violence increases. Detainees are more likely to act out against jailers and each other when they are continually locked in their cells for long periods. Research shows that staffing shortages in jails contribute to increased assaults against officers.

History shows that when jail staff are overworked and sleep-deprived, there is a greater likelihood that they will use excessive force against detainees. In a January 2024 story by The Marshall Project, a watchdog group, a correctional officers’ union in Nevada blamed the murder of an inmate on the staffing shortage.

Do You Need Help Because a Loved One’s Death Was Possibly Caused by Jail Neglect?

It is an unmitigated tragedy when an individual dies after being booked into a local municipal or county jail. Whether a death was caused by jail medical neglect or neglect stemming from a complete indifference toward an inmate’s mental or physical condition, jails can be held accountable. It isn’t right, for instance, if a person known to have attempted suicide several times is placed among the general population of detainees with no protection against themself.

Perhaps a loved one of yours died in a Texas jail and you believe it was caused by jail neglect. If so, contact us at the Law Offices of Dean Malone. We can work with increased efficiency because we have a team that focuses on custodial deaths. Contact us 24/7. You can reach us by phone call, text, or our online form to schedule a free case evaluation.

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smchugh

Upton County Jail is Found Noncompliant Re Prescriptions for Inmates

Silhouette of barbed wires and watchtower of prison.

A jail inspection was conducted at Upton County Jail in Rankin, Texas, on April 10, 2024. On the same day, the Texas Commission on Jail Standards (TCJS) sent the jail a notice of non-compliance, although there is a typo on the notice, showing “Upon” instead of “Upton.” Upton County Jail was cited for allegedly violating two minimum jail standards.

The TCJS inspector’s notes reveal where Upton County Jail failed to comply with minimum requirements:

  • The documentation from the jail indicated that prescribed medications are not being administered to detainees as ordered by the physician.
  • Inmates are not receiving 1 hour of supervised physical activity 3 times per week as required, per the documentation from the jail.

Upton County Jail’s address is 1106 Grand Street in Rankin, Texas 79778. The bed capacity at the Rankin jail is 54.

Have Jail Inmates Died When Prescription Medications Weren’t Distributed Properly?

Families of deceased detainees in U.S. jails often voice their concerns that their loved ones did not receive their prescribed medications or other necessary care. If, for instance, a jail was provided insulin for an inmate, it could be considered jail medical neglect if the insulin is not administered.

Without insulin, the body begins to break down fat and muscle. This can result in a medical emergency such as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). DKA is a condition in which your body produces ketones at a dangerous level. Untreated, DKA can result in loss of consciousness and, eventually, death. When treated appropriately with timely treatment, however, the survival rate of diabetic ketoacidosis is upwards of 95%.

When custodial deaths due to natural causes occur, autopsies cannot always prove whether jail medical negligence was a factor. Sometimes, this happens because an inmate suffered from multiple health conditions.

Is Sepsis a Condition Linked to Evidence of Jail Medical Neglect?

When someone dies in jail from sepsis, it is always a red flag because treatment with antibiotics can prevent death from sepsis from occurring. Those who are at a higher risk for sepsis include adults age 65 or older and anyone with a weakened immune system or a chronic medical condition such as lung disease, kidney disease, or cancer. If medical personnel in a jail know these things plus the symptoms of sepsis, they should take action as necessary. The following are potential signs and symptoms of sepsis:

  • Delirium or confusion
  • A rapid heartbeat
  • Chills
  • Fever or hypothermia (low body temperature)
  • Lightheadedness caused by low blood pressure
  • Warm skin
  • Mottled skin or a skin rash

What if Someone Dies of Jail Medical Neglect?

Do you have a family member who died of possible jail medical neglect while in a U.S. jail? Or were you formerly incarcerated in a Texas jail and suffered a life-altering condition while there? If so, call the Law Offices of Dean Malone. Having gained years of experience representing families after loved ones died in jail, we have a team dedicated to those types of cases. We are available 24/7. Contact us to schedule a free case evaluation. You can reach us by phone call, text, or our online form.

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smchugh

Francisco Salinas Dies After 51 Hours in Bexar County Jail

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Francisco Javier Salinas, age 41, entered Bexar County Jail at 4:20 AM on April 17, 2024. He was pronounced deceased in a holding cell 51 hours later at 7:19 AM on April 19. Under the direction of Sheriff Javier Salazar, the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office filed a custodial death report (CDR) about Mr. Salinas on April 25, 2024. Bexar County Jail is at 200 N. Comal in San Antonio, TX 75142.

It appears that Mr. Salinas may not have gone through the booking process at the time of his death. Answers to questions about his condition when admitted were “unknown,” per the CDR. A deputy discovered him in an unresponsive state, and the deputy indicated that his lips were bluish. He was pronounced deceased in the cell by San Antonio Fire Department Capt. Schott 49 minutes later. His cause of death is unknown.

Fentanyl Smuggled into Jails Threatens Lives

In May 2023 news, the lives of seven inmates in a Washington state county jail were saved in a multiple casualty incident. Deputies had observed inmate behaviors consistent with the symptoms of overdose caused by fentanyl. One after another, the inmates began swaying and falling against a wall.

Narcan was administered to all seven inmates. They were transported to a local hospital and later were returned to the jail. They all survived the incident.

Fentanyl caused approximately 200 deaths daily in the U.S. in 2022. Since 2018, over a quarter of a million people died from fentanyl overdoses in the U.S. alone. When administered in time, Narcan/ naloxone is an effective treatment that saves the lives of people experiencing an opioid overdose.

In the Washington jail, it was believed that an inmate had smuggled fentanyl into the jail. Within days, authorities charged an inmate with possession of a controlled substance inside a correctional facility.

Substance Withdrawal Is Common in U.S. Jails

Detainees in U.S. jails often suffer from withdrawal. If acute withdrawal symptoms aren’t treated, a preventable death can occur. The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) recently released Guidelines for Managing Substance Withdrawal in Jails. The information can help jails avoid deaths from severe alcohol and drug withdrawal.

The attentiveness of jail staff is crucial because detainees may not be able to accurately report what they’ve ingested because unknown contaminants are often mixed with other substances. There are indicators of drug withdrawal, with which jailers should be familiar, and the following are among them:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Appearing withdrawn or severely depressed
  • Agitation
  • Diarrhea
  • Talking about hurting themselves or others
  • Vomiting
  • Increasing panic or anxiety

Has Someone in Your Family Died from Possible Jail Neglect?

Has a loved one died in jail, and do you suspect that jail neglect was the cause of their death? Jails can be held accountable when custodial deaths occur due to jail neglect such as jail medical neglect. At the Law Offices of Dean Malone, we have a team dedicated to custodial death cases. With our years of jail neglect experience, we can also sometimes help when former detainees in a U.S. jail have suffered a life-altering injury during their incarceration.

Call today, text, or fill out our online form. We are available to you 24/7.

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smchugh