Robert Vaughan Died In Custody At Will County Adult Detention Facility In Joliet
Wrongful Death - March 19, 2022
Robert Vaughan Died In Police Custody At Will County Adult Detention Facility In Joliet
WILL COUNTY, ILLINOIS (March 19, 2022) – A man identified as Robert Vaughan has died in police custody at Will County Adult Detention Facility in Joliet.
Will County police officials are saying that the incident took place on Sunday after the suspect was arrested. Robert Vaughan was booked into a cell and later found unresponsive.
Despite life-saving measures, he died due to the severity of his injuries. Investigators suspect that Robert Vaughan may have died by suicide.
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 24 hours a day at 800-273-8255.
Liability In Illinois In Custody Police Deaths
Sadly, suicides are one of the leading causes of death at jails and detention facilities. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, almost 700 people died by suicide in local jails and state and federal prisons in 2019 alone. Inmates who are at the greatest risk of dying by suicide are non-Hispanic white men ages 55 and older who were in custody on suspicion of committing a violent crime. More than 3/4 of the deaths involved suspects who were not convicted. There are a number of steps that detention centers can take in order to prevent suicides.
- Correctional officers and institutions should understand who is at a heightened risk of suicide. Factors associated with suicide include depression, substance abuse, and mental illness.
- Correctional officers should be able to recognize the warning signs of an inmate who is at a critical risk of suicide.
- Correctional officers should remove any objects that could be used for suicide for suspects who are at a heightened risk of suicide.
- Suspects should receive adequate mental health screenings and compassionate healthcare.
- Suspects that are at a heightened risk of suicide should be properly monitored.
Depending on the facts of any case, a police department or correctional institution could face civil liability if an inmate died by suicide in their care. All jails have a legal obligation by statute to take steps to prevent suicide. Pursuant to Illinois Administrative Code Section 701.90 Medical and Mental Health Care, correctional officers should be trained on suicide prevention and mental health issues. Moreover, there must be a 100% suicide prevention screening for all new jail arrivals. When a jail is deliberately indifferent to the risk of an inmate’s suicide, this could form the basis of a negligence claim if they do die by suicide. Deliberate indifference could come in many forms.
- A jail may properly fail to screen suspects for suicide risk.
- A jail may fail to remove items, such as bedsheets, from an inmate that could be used in a suicide if they are at a heightened risk.
- A jail may fail to properly treat an inmate with mental health problems.
The family of any suspect that dies by suicide in police custody may have legal recourse through a wrongful death claim. Damages in a civil claim can help cover lost wages, medical bills, loss of love and funeral expenses. Sadly, though, police departments and jails will typically fight hard to deny any responsibility for a suspect’s death. It is important that evidence is properly preserved after any incident. An Illinois wrongful death attorney can examine all of the facts of your case and let you know what your legal options are.
Investigating An Illinois In Custody Death
We at Horwitz Horwitz & Associates extend our deepest condolences to the family of Robert Vaughan. It is our sincere hope that there is a thorough investigation into what happened. Every single human life is precious and should be treated as such by our legal system. No matter what a person is accused of doing, they are someone’s brother, sister, mother, father, daughter or son. They deserve fairness and compassion and to have their constitutional rights protected. Sadly, this is not the way that many suspects or inmates are treated.
Do you need more information into a Will County in-custody death? Our team of experienced and compassionate inmate advocates are here to answer any legal questions that you may have. We care deeply that victims are aware of their rights and that our correctional systems are treating everyone with fairness and decency. 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.