Inmate Warren Morgan, 52, Died Following Medical Emergency While Staying At The Federal Correctional Institute (FCI) Englewood in Jefferson County
LITTLETON, COLORADO (September 25, 2023) - An inmate identified as Warren Morgan has tragically died after being found unresponsive at the Federal Correctional Institute (FCI) Englewood.
Jefferson County officials are saying that the incident took place on Saturday. Warren Morgan was found unresponsive in his cell.
Jail medical staff entered the cell and began life-saving measures. Paramedics were called to the scene and took over those efforts.
Despite those efforts, Warren Morgan was later pronounced dead. A second inmate was also found unresponsive and taken to the hospital. But that inmate is expected to survive.
A full investigation remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For Jefferson County Inmate Deaths
Jails are supposed to be places of rehabilitation. But far too often, inmates are neglected and their health is allowed to deteriorate. In particular, many inmates die in custody due to drug overdoses. The odds of an overdose increase sharply after a person is released from jail. According to the Vera Institute of Justice, “A seminal study in Washington State found that, in the two weeks following their release, people who had been incarcerated in state prisons were 129 times more likely to die from an overdose compared to the general public.” There are a number of steps that jails should take to prevent in-custody deaths.
- Inmates should get a medical screening before they are admitted.
- The medical history of every inmate that enters a jail should be well understood.
- Correctional officers and jail staff should do their best to prevent illicit substances from entering the jail.
Every inmate has a constitutional right to get healthcare for their medical needs. In the Supreme Court case Estelle v. Gamble, it was established that a prison staff’s deliberate indifference to the serious medical needs of an inmate constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, which is forbidden by the Eighth Amendment. For example, a jail may have failed to intervene to help an inmate in the midst of a medical emergency. Prompt medical care can often mean the difference between life and death.
Consider, for example, The Estate of Bernard Victorianne v. County of San Diego. A man was arrested for allegedly driving under the influence. As he was being booked into jail, he informed a nurse that he had recently ingested methamphetamine. If left untreated, this drug could cause a lethal overdose. The nurse told jail staff that he needed immediate medical care at the hospital. However, he was placed into a jail cell where he later died. Family members eventually settled with the county. Several steps should be taken after any in-custody death.
- Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
- Jail medical records should be sought.
- An independent autopsy may need to be performed.
- A thorough investigation should be conducted.
- An experienced civil rights attorney should be contacted.
Inmate deaths can often be very complex. Factors that contribute to a death could include overcrowding and poor training of staff. Jails are supposed to be proactive about keeping inmates healthy. But in far too many situations, jails won’t intervene to help any inmate until they are in medical distress. The family of any inmate that died in custody may be able to seek some measure of justice through a constitutional claim.
Investigating Jefferson County Inmate Deaths
We at Scott H. Palmer, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Warren Morgan. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to police. There needs to be a thorough investigation into what happened. It is our sincere hope that steps are taken to prevent other tragedies like this.
Do you need more information about an inmate death at the Federal Correctional Institute (FCI) Englewood in Jefferson County? Our team of civil rights advocates 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 to account for their negligence. 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.