Christopher Cunico Died In Custody at LaSalle County Jail
Wrongful Death - March 26, 2022
Inmate Christopher Cunico, of Ottawa, Died In Custody Inside LaSalle County Jail Cell
LASALLE COUNTY, ILLINOIS (March 26, 2022) – An inmate identified as Christopher Cunico has tragically died in custody at a LaSalle County jail.
LaSalle County police officials are saying that the incident occured around 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday. Jail staff found Christopher Cunico inside of his cell and began life-saving measures.
The inmate was transported to a hospital for further treatment. Sadly, Christopher Cunico was beyond medical care and died due to his injuries.
Investigators believe that the inmate may have attempted suicide prior to his death. A full investigation remains ongoing at this time.
If you or someone that you love has contemplated suicide, there is help available. You can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline anytime night or day at 800-273-8255.
Liability For Inmate Suicides In Lasalle County Jails
Sadly, suicide is one of the leading causes of inmate death at state and federal prisons. Being incarcerated is the most difficult and traumatic occurrence that most people will ever go through. According to the National Institute of Corrections, “The rates of inmate suicide are far higher than the national averages, and even higher still for special populations (including juvenile and LGBTI inmates), even corrections officers have a much greater occupational suicide rate.” There are many steps that can be taken in order to prevent inmate suicides.
- Jail staff should be properly trained to deal with inmates experiencing a mental health crisis.
- Jails should be properly staffed and inmates should be adequately monitored.
- Correctional officers should be trained to recognize the signs that an inmate is at a heightened risk of suicide.
Depending on the specific facts of any incident, a jail could face civil liability if any inmate dies by suicide in their care. All jails and prisons must take reasonable measures to protect inmates from suicide. Pursuant to Illinois Administrative Code Section 701.90 Medical and Mental Health Care, jail officers should be properly trained in mental health issues and suicide prevention. All new jail inmates must also go through suicide prevention screenings.
When a jail is deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of an inmate, this could form the basis of a negligence claim. For example, a jail must properly monitor inmates at a heightened risk of suicide. Officers must also remove items such as bedsheets that could potentially be used for suicide for an at risk inmate. St. Clair County was sued after an inmate died by hanging from a bedsheet – despite several recent suicide attempts. There are a number of steps that should be taken after any inmate death.
- Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
- Jail manuals should be examined.
- Surveillance footage should be sought.
- Medical records should be preserved.
- A thorough, independent investigation should be conducted.
The family of any inmate that dies in custody may be able to seek some measure of justice through a wrongful death claim. Damages in a civil claim can help cover many of the unexpected expenses that can come with the sudden loss of a loved one. A wrongful death attorney can investigate the unique facts of your case free of cost and get to the bottom of any incident. There are, however, statute of limitations associated with all civil claims.
Investigating An Inmate Suicide At A LaSalle County Jail
We at Horwitz Horwitz & Associates extend our deepest condolences to the family of Christopher Cunico. Inmates are particularly vulnerable and must be treated with compassion and love no matter what they are accused of. Every single life is precious and should be treated as such. Anyone that may have more information about what happened should reach out to investigators. There needs to be a thorough investigation for the sake of all who have lost so much.
Do you need more information about an inmate death? Our team of inmate advocates can answer any legal questions that you may have. We care deeply that inmates and their families are aware of their constitutional rights and that those rights are being protected. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into an incident we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (312) 564-4256.