Sappi Franck (Full Name: Sappi Tchoualack Jeugoum Franck), 21, of Austin, Died In Custody With The Travis County Sheriff's Office
AUSTIN, TEXAS (October 25, 2023) - A 21-year-old inmate identified as Sappi Franck has tragically died in-custody after medical emergency with the Travis County Sheriff's Office.
Travis County officials are saying that the incident began around 9:00 p.m. on Friday, September 8. Correctional officers said that they found Sappi Franck in an "altered state of behavior."
Officers described him as lethargic an verbally unresponsive. Paramedics were called to the scene in order to help him. He was later transported to Dell Seton Medical Center.
Despite life-saving measures, Sappi Franck was pronounced dead five days after being admitted on September 13. A full investigation remains ongoing at this time.
There appears to be some disagreement about the decedent's name. Media reports have consistently referred to him as Sappi Franck.
However, the Office of Attorney General custodial report has listed his name as Franck Sappi. Results are currently pending from the medical examinor.
Liability For Travis County Inmate Deaths
Hundreds of people die each year while in the custody of Texas prisons. Many of these deaths have likely been due to heat, as Texas is just one of a handful of states that don’t require prisons to have air conditioning. According to NPR, “[Julie Skarha’s] study attributed 271 deaths in Texas prisons between 2001 and 2019 likely due to heat, heat-related illnesses and a lack of air conditioning. That prison death rate is 30 times the national average.” There are many other factors that have contributed to in-custody deaths across Texas.
- Texas inmates have been beaten and attacked by other inmates.
- Texas inmates have died after going through drug withdrawal.
- Texas inmates have died after ingesting dangerous opioids such as fentanyl.
- Texas inmates have died after not getting care for medical emergencies.
When the state assumes control of a person by placing them in custody, certain constitutional standards will apply. Inadequate medical care, such as neglecting serious health issues or failing to give inmates needed medications, can contribute to serious injuries or death. Overcrowded jails can result in dangerous and unsanitary conditions that violate the Eighth Amendment. There are many steps that people should take if they have been harmed in-custody.
- Medical records related to any incident should be preserved.
- Surveillance footage should be sought.
- The health screening of any inmate that died should be reviewed.
- An experienced civil rights attorney should be contacted.
Jails are supposed to be doing everything within reason to keep the inmates in their care safe. But in far too many situations, jails mistreat and neglect the inmates that they look after. Physical and psychological abuse are also incredibly common. It is important for inmates and their families to understand that they do have rights. The family of any person that died in-custody may have legal recourse through a civil claim.
Investigating Travis County Inmate Deaths
We at Scott H. Palmer, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Sappi Franck. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to police. There needs to be some accountability for the sake of this man’s family. It is our sincere hope that greater oversight of this jail will lead to lasting reform.
Have you or someone that you care about been harmed while staying at a Travis County jail? 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 jails are held accountable for their neglect. Whether you just have legal questions or need any type of support we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at 214-987-4100.