Inmate Isabel Diaz Died In Custody Following Medical Emergency at Galveston County Jail
GALVESTON COUNTY, TEXAS (November 8, 2023) - A 54-year-old man identified as Isabel Diaz has tragically died following a medical emergency at a Galveston County jail.
Galveston County officials are saying that the incident first began on September 18. Isabel Diaz was taken to the hospital in order to receive treatment for a medical condition.
At 9:42 a.m. on November 3, he was pronounced dead by medical staff. The cause of death for Isabel Diaz was listed as “decompensated liver failure.”
A full investigation into the in-custody death remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For Galveston County Inmate Deaths
Inmates enter the prison system with a variety of different health conditions. According to the Office of Justice Programs, “About 51% of state and 43% of federal prisoners reported ever having a chronic condition, while 40% of state and 33% of federal prisoners reported currently having a chronic condition. An estimated 17% of state and 10% of federal prisoners reported ever having an infectious disease.” Liver disease is a major problem within jails. There are a number of steps that jails should take to prevent inmates from going through liver failure.
- All inmates should get a thorough health screening during the intake process.
- Inmates should get regular health checkups during their stay. This checkup should indicate if an inmate has a normally functioning liver.
- Certain inmates may need vaccinations for illnesses that can cause liver damage.
- Inmates should get a balanced diet to support their overall health.
The U.S. Constitution prohibits jails from utilizing cruel and unusual punishment. Courts have long held that denying inmates adequate healthcare for their serious medical needs is a form of cruel and unusual punishment and is therefore prohibited. Jails cannot simply ignore an inmate’s health needs for prolonged periods. Several steps should be taken if any inmate dies in-custody.
- All medical records related to the death should be preserved.
- Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
- The exact cause of any inmate’s death should be understood.
- An experienced civil rights attorney should be contacted.
The reports that jails give when an inmate dies can often be deceiving. They almost never capture the full range of circumstances and causes that could contribute to a person’s death. For example, if someone has heart disease and doesn’t get treatment for months, they could easily have a heart attack. While that person may have died from a heart attack, medical neglect was the root cause of their death. The family of any person that died in a jail may have legal recourse through a civil claim.
Investigating Galveston County Inmate Deaths
We at Scott H. Palmer, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Isabel Diaz. There needs to be a thorough investigation into what went wrong. It is our sincere 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 attorneys are here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that jails are upholding constitutional standards. 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.