Inmate Joel Ramirez Died In Custody After Medical Emergency At Grimes County Jail
GRIMES COUNTY, TEXAS (November 8, 2023) - A 64-year-old inmate identified as Joel Ramirez has tragically died following a medical emergency at a Grimes County jail.
Grimes County officials are saying that the incident began on November 4. Joel Ramirez was in some type of medical distress before he was transferred to the hospital.
Sadly, his condition continued to decline while he was at the hospital. On November 6, Joel Ramirez was pronounced dead by medical staff.
His cause of death in the in-custody death report was “multiorgan failure.” A full investigation into the death remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For Grimes County Inmate Deaths
Death in prisons across the United States are unfortunately very common. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, “In 2019, there were 1,200 deaths in local jails, a more than 5% increase from 2018 (1,138 deaths). The local jail mortality rate in 2019 was 167 deaths per 100,000 inmates, up 11% from 2000 (151 per 100,000).” Jail deaths are typically the result of systemic failures within any jail system.
- Inmate deaths are more likely when jails lack mental health resources.
- Inmate deaths are more likely when jails are overcrowded.
- Inmate deaths are more likely when correctional officers are poorly trained.
All jails have a legal obligation to provide inmates with care for their medical needs. This begins when inmates are first admitted. They should get a thorough health screening. Inmates who have pre-existing medical conditions should typically get more extensive care. They may also need to be monitored more closely. When a jail is deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of an inmate, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim. There are many ways a jail may have failed to properly care for an inmate.
- A jail may have failed to take an inmate to the hospital when they needed more extensive care.
- A jail may have failed to provide an inmate with Narcan if they were going through a drug overdose.
- A jail may have failed to provide an inmate with the medication that they required.
Texas has one of the highest instances of in-custody death. Jail officials will regularly describe these deaths as “natural.” But that description can often be highly misleading. Many supposedly natural deaths involve inmates in their 20’s and 30’s. When you peel back the curtain, it becomes clear that a large portion of in-custody deaths involve medical neglect. The family of any person that died in a jail may have legal recourse through a constitutional claim.
Investigating A Grimes County Inmate Death
We at Scott H. Palmer, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Joel Ramirez. There needs to be a thorough investigation into what went wrong. It is our sincere hope that there is greater oversight of this jail so that similar tragedies can be prevented.
Do you need more information about a Grimes County inmate death? Our team of civil rights attorneys are here to help in any way that we can. We care deeply that jails are upholding constitutional standards and that they are held accountable for their negligence. 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.