Female Inmate Died In Champaign County Jail After Falling
Wrongful Death - October 16, 2022
Woman Died In Custody After Being Found Unresponsive At Champaign County Jail
CHAMPAIGN, ILLINOIS (October 16, 2022) – A female inmate died in custody at the Champaign County Jail after falling on the floor of her jail cell.
Champaign County officials are saying that the incident began on Thursday morning. Correctional officers found a woman unresponsive in her jail cell after she fell to the floor.
Paramedics were called to the scene of the accident in order to help the woman. She was taken to the hospital in an ambulance where she was pronounced dead.
A full investigation into the inmate death at the Champaign County Jail remains ongoing.
Liability For Champaign County Jail Deaths
Far too many inmates die in custody every year. According to the Prison Policy Initiative, “In 2018, state prisons reported 4,135 deaths (not including the 25 people executed in state prisons); this is the highest number on record since BJS began collecting mortality data in 2001.” Many of these deaths are totally preventable and due to inadequate care. There are a number of steps that jails should take in order to keep inmate safe.
- Correctional officers should be properly trained.
- Correctional officers should be able to identify when an inmate is in medical distress.
- Jails should be adequately staffed.
- Jails should be kept in a reasonably safe condition.
Jails must keep their premises in a reasonably safe condition for the safety of all inmates. For that matter, all property owners in Illinois have a legal obligation to maintain their premises adequately. When a property owner has actual or constructive notice of a dangerous condition on their property, this could form the basis of a negligence claim. For example, a poorly maintained jail cell could cause an inmate to fall. However, many falls may also be caused by medical conditions.
Jails have a constitutional duty to provide inmates with reasonably adequate healthcare. Inmates should get health screenings before being admitted. 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 may have failed to give inmates care before, during or after a medical emergency. There are a number of steps that should be taken after any inmate death.
- Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
- Medical records should be preserved.
- Autopsy records should be reviewed.
- An independent investigation should be conducted.
It can be difficult to know where to begin after any inmate dies in custody. But it is important to remember that inmates and their families have rights. The family of any inmate that dies in custody is able to file a civil claim if that is something that they choose. Unfortunately, jails will often fight hard to deny liability for any death in their custody. This is why it is so important that all evidence is properly preserved after any incident.
Investigating An Illinois Jail Death
We at Horwitz Horwitz & Associates extend our deepest condolences to the family of the woman that died at the Champaign County Jail. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to investigators. It is our sincere hope that steps are taken to make this jail a safer place that respects the constitutional rights of all inmates.
Do you need more information about an in custody death in Champaign County? Our team of inmate’s rights advocates are here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that inmates are aware of their rights and that those rights are being protected. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into any incident, we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (312) 564-4256.