Paul Thibodeaux (Full Name: Paul Dewayne Thibodeaux), 42, Died In Custody at Bowie County Jail
BOWIE COUNTY, TEXAS (November 9, 2023) - A 42-year-old inmate identified as Paul Thibodeaux has tragically died after being found unresponsive in his cell at the Telford Unit at a Bowie County Jail.
Bowie County officials are saying that the incident took place on October 14. Correctional officers noticed that Paul Thibodeaux was unresponsive in his jail cell.
Jail and medical staff entered the cell and began CPR. He was transported to the jail infirmary in order to receive additional care.
Despite life-saving measures, Paul Thibodeaux was pronounced dead around 30 minutes after he was first discovered unresponsive. A full investigation into the death remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For Bowie County Inmate Deaths
Incarceration can be a major catalyst for an inmate’s worsening health condition. According to Health and Justice, “Research suggests that certain types of facilities such as maximum-security prisons, where deprivations are the most extreme, have greater negative health effects (Daniel and Fleming 2006; Huey and McNulty 2005; Way et al. 2005). Way et al. (2005) reported that 83% of all suicides between 1993 and 2001 in the New York Department of Corrections took place in maximum-security prisons.” There are many steps that state agencies should take in order to help prevent in-custody deaths.
- State agencies should seek alternative measures to incarceration in order to prevent overcrowding.
- State agencies should study and understand the root causes of all of the in-custody deaths in their care.
- State agencies should ensure that jails have adequate medical services to help inmates with all of their health challenges.
Jails are supposed to keep the inmates in their care safe and healthy. This requires jails to properly assess the health needs of each inmate in their care. From that point, every inmate should get the healthcare required for their specific needs. Some inmates may only need occasional checkups. Other inmates may need long-term care for chronic health conditions. 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 signs that an inmate should be transferred out of their cell and into a hospital.
- Inmates will typically need hospitalization when they are exhibiting chest pain or difficultly breathing which may be signs of a heart attack.
- Inmates will typically need hospitalization when they show signs of an overdose.
- Inmates will typically need hospitalization when they need any type of specialized treatment.
Jails lack the medical capabilities that larger hospitals have. This is why it is so crucial that inmates are taken to the hospital as quickly as possible when they show signs of serious distress. But sadly this does not always take place. Correctional officers will often wait until an inmate is already unresponsive before they will bother intervening. The family of any person that died in-custody may have legal recourse through a constitutional claim.
Investigating Bowie County Inmate Deaths
We at Scott H. Palmer, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Paul Thibodeaux. There needs to be a thorough investigation into the circumstances leading up to this death. There are so many questions that remain unanswered. Were correctional officers performing regular welfare checks? Was this inmate being properly monitored by medical personnel? Could this tragedy have been prevented?
Do you need more information about a Bowie County inmate death? Our team of civil rights advocates are here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that inmates are aware of their rights and that Texas jails are made safer. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into any incident we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at 214-987-4100.