Inmate Damien Calhoun (Full Name: Damien Natha Calhoun) Died While In Custody At Galveston Jail
GALVESTON COUNTY, TEXAS (December 30, 2023) - An inmate identified as Damien Calhoun has tragically died at a Texas Department of Criminal Justice jail in Galveston.
Galveston County officials are saying that the incident began in October. Prison guards tended to Damien Calhoun following some type of medical issue.
He was taken to the Hospital Galveston due to his medical condition. However, his condition continued to decline at the hospital. On December 26, Damien Calhoun was pronounced dead by medical staff.
His cause of death was listed as Acute-Hypoxemic Respiratory Failure. A full investigation into the in-custody death remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For Galveston Inmate Deaths
Jails can be terrible places to live even in the very best of circumstances. Inmates are at a greater risk of numerous medical conditions including respiratory failure. According to the National Institutes of Health, "Respiratory failure is a serious condition that makes it difficult to breathe on your own. Respiratory failure develops when the lungs can't get enough oxygen into the blood. We breathe oxygen from the air into our lungs, and we breathe out carbon dioxide, which is a waste gas made in the body's cells." There are number of common conditions that could lead to respiratory failure.
- Muscular dystrophy
- Septic shock
Every inmate has a legal right to receive reasonably adequate care for their medical conditions. To that end, all inmates should have a thorough health screening when they are first admitted. When an inmate is showing any signs of medical distress, they should be evaluated and treated by trained medical professionals. When a jail is deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of an inmate, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim. It is important that evidence is properly preserved after any inmate death.
- Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
- Medical records should be preserved.
- The actions of correctional officers leading up to a death should be understood.
- An independent autopsy may need to be performed.
Jail deaths are rarely the result of the poor or negligent decisions of one person. Rather, they tend to be the result of faulty and incomplete systems of care. For example, poor infection treatment practices across a jail medical ward could lead to the spread of disease and death. It is important for inmates and their families to understand that they do have rights guaranteed by the constitution. The family of any person that died in a county jail may have legal recourse through a civil claim.
Investigating Galveston Inmate Deaths
We at Scott H. Palmer, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Damien Calhoun. It is important that there is a thorough investigation into what went wrong. Far too many people have died at Galveston County jails this year.
Do you need more information about a Galveston County inmate death? Our team of civil rights attorneys are here to answer any questions that you may have. We are committed to helping inmates understand their rights and holding jails accountable for their unconstitutional actions. Whether you just have legal questions or need any type of support we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at 214-987-4100.