Inmate (Full Name: John Sheldon Allen) Died In-Custody At Walker County Jail In Huntsville
WALKER COUNTY, TEXAS (October 28, 2023) - An inmate identified as John Allen has tragically died in a Walker County jail after treatment for a medical condition.
Walker County officials are saying that the incident began on September 16. John Allen was admitted to a medical facility within the jail.
His condition inside the medical ward continued to deteriorate. Sadly, John Allen was pronounced dead by medical staff on October 17.
A full investigation into what may have caused the death remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For Walker County Inmate Deaths
Thousands of inmates die in-custody every year. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, “A total of 4,234 persons died in state and federal prisons in 2019, a 6.6% decrease from the 4,515 deaths in 2018 reported to the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ (BJS) Mortality in Correctional Institutions (MCI, formerly the Deaths in Custody Reporting Program) data collection.” Many of these deaths involve inmates that have pre-existing medical conditions. In all, there are many conditions and factors associated with inmate deaths.
- Heart disease
- Liver disease
- Respiratory disease
- Drug or alcohol intoxication
When an inmate does not receive necessary medical, mental health or general care, this can lead to serious consequences. The Eighth Amendment of the Constitution requires that inmates get adequate care. Failing to give them adequate care is considered a form of cruel and unusual punishment. If a jail is deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of an inmate, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim. In addition to federal claims, inmates or their families may also be able to pursue state level tort claims. It is essential that evidence is properly preserved after any in-custody death.
- Medical records related to the death should be preserved.
- Surveillance footage should be sought.
- Body camera footage from all officers involved should be observed.
- An independent autopsy may need to be performed.
Jail deaths due to inadequate care are a serious problem. This highlights the need for reform and increased attention to the well-being of all people in the criminal justice system. In-custody deaths are complex events and often preventable. The family of any person that died in a a Walker County jail may have legal recourse through a civil claim. A civil rights attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case and let you know what your legal options are.
Getting Legal Help After Walker County Inmate Deaths
We at Scott H. Palmer, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of John Allen. It is our sincere hope that steps are taken to prevent similar tragedies. Inmate care should always be a top priority for every jail.
Do you need more information about a Walker 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. 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.