Inmate Ana Roybal (Full Name: Ana Weslene Roybal) Died In Custody After Medical Emergency At Galveston County Jail
GALVESTON COUNTY, TEXAS (November 15, 2023) - A 59-year-old woman identified as Ana Roybal has tragically died in-custody at a Galveston County Jail.
Galveston County officials are saying that the incident began on September 22. Correctional officers noticed that Ana Roybal was in medical distress.
She was transported to the Carole Young Medical Facility in order to receive additional care. Despite life-saving efforts, Ana Roybal was pronounced dead on November 13 by medical staff.
Her in-custody death report listed kidney failure as her medical cause of death. A full investigation remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For Galveston County Inmate Deaths
Inmates enter prison with a variety of different medical needs and conditions. This includes chronic kidney disease (CKD). According to the Clinical Journal of American Society of Nephrology, “Many men and women entering the criminal justice system bring with them chronic health problems as well as biobehavioral conditions that put them at risk of developing CKD, a progressive pathologic syndrome that, left untreated, may lead to permanent kidney failure and the need for KRT or death.” There are many steps that jails should take in order to prevent inmate death.
- Correctional officers should be trained to recognize the signs an inmate is having a medical emergency.
- Jails should ensure that medical professionals are involved in the screening process.
- Jails should be well equipped to handle the chronic and acute medical needs that an inmate may have.
All jails have a legal obligation to provide inmates with adequate care for their health needs. Most of the health problems that inmates have are treatable. But there are two major problems that inmates must contend with. The stressors of being incarcerated can substantially worsen any inmate’s health conditions. Jails are often ill equipped to treat the chronic medical conditions that inmates have. If a jail is deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of an inmate, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim. Many steps should be taken after any in-custody death.
- The coroner report for the inmate that died should be reviewed.
- The health profile of the inmate that died should be known.
- The actions of prison guards leading up to an inmate’s hospitalization should be understood.
- In some circumstances, an independent autopsy may need to be performed.
Inmates are much more likely to die from their chronic health conditions than people who are not incarcerated. Jails are supposed to be proactive about keeping inmates healthy, but far too often this does not take place. Prison guards will often only intervene to help inmates until they are going through a medical emergency. The family of any person that died in-custody may have legal recourse through a constitutional claim. A civil rights attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case and let you know if a jail death was due to medical neglect.
Investigating Galveston County Inmate Deaths
We at Scott H. Palmer, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Ana Roybal. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to investigators. It is our hope that steps are taken to prevent other tragedies like this.
Do you need more information about a Galveston County inmate death? Our team of civil rights advocates are here to help in any way that we can. 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 a free, independent investigation into any in-custody death we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at 214-987-4100.