Inmate RachelleMitchell (Full Name: RachelleMoniqueMitchell) Died Following Medical Emergency At Harris County Jail
HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS (November 17, 2023) - A 42-year-old woman identified as Rachelle Mitchell has tragically died after a medical emergency at a Harris County Jail.
Harris County officials are saying that the incident began on November 14. Correctional officers noticed that Rachelle Mitchell was not feeling well.
She was subsequently transported to St Joseph Hospital for respiratory distress. Rachelle Mitchell spent one day at the hospital and was pronounced dead by a medical doctor on November 15.
A full investigation into the in-custody death remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For Harris County Inmate Deaths
Far too many people have died in-custody across Harris County Jails. This has prompted an investigation by federal authorities. According to National Public Radio, “The FBI is launching federal civil rights investigations into the Harris County Jail in Houston following the deaths of dozens of inmates there in the past few years.” Inmates across Harris County have been subjected to numerous forms of mistreatment.
- Inmates have had to endure stifling heat during the summer months because jails across Texas do not have air conditioning.
- Inmates have been denied access to adequate care for their mental health needs.
- Inmates have been subjected to violence at the hands of correctional officers and other inmates.
While no jail can guarantee the health or safety of the inmates that they house, reasonable steps must be taken. This includes providing inmates with healthcare for all of their medical needs. The moment that the state assumes control over a person by placing them under arrest, certain constitutional standards will apply. 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 that a jail may have contributed to an inmate’s death.
- Jails may have failed to get an inmate prompt medical care.
- Jails may have failed to medically screen inmates when they are first admitted.
- Jails may have failed to help an inmate going through a drug overdose or drug withdrawal.
Jails should have a holistic approach when it comes to taking care of inmates. This includes having well-trained staff who are compassionate. Sadly, though, many correctional officers simply do not care about the inmates that they are looking over. There are many reports of inmates asking for medical help only to be denied over and over again. 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 what your legal options are.
Investigating Harris County Inmate Deaths
We at Scott H. Palmer, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Rachelle Mitchell. There needs to be a thorough investigation into what happened for the sake of this woman’s family. The sheer number of deaths across Harris County jails is deeply disturbing. Steps need to be taken to prevent other tragedies like this.
Do you need more information about a Harris County inmate death? Our team of civil rights attorneys are here to help in any way that we can. We care deeply that inmates are aware of their rights and that those rights are being protected. 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.