Inmate Michael Chaffin (Full Name: Michael Wayne Chaffin) Died At Texas Department of Criminal Justice Ellis Unit In Huntsville
HUNTSVILLE, TEXAS (February 2, 2024) - A 38-year-old inmate identified as Michael Chaffin has tragically died while in custody at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Ellis Unit in Huntsville.
TDCJ Ellis Unit officials are saying that the incident took place in January. Jail staff noticed that Michael Chaffin was unresponsive in his jail cell.
He was removed from the cell and CPR was initiated. Emergency Medical Services were called and continued CPR.
Despite life-saving measures, Michael Chaffin was later pronounced dead. A full investigation remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For TDCJ Ellis Unit Inmate Deaths
Texas has one of the highest instances of inmate death. A high portion of these deaths are concentrated within certain parts of the state. According to 12 News Now, an estimated 30% of Texas inmate deaths occurred within Southeast Texas prisons. Jails within that region have also come under scrutiny for a sharp rise in inmate homicides. There are a number of steps that jails should take in order to prevent inmate deaths.
- Inmates should be given a health screening when they are first admitted into the jail.
- Jails should be equipped with Narcan, which can be used to reverse the effects of an overdose.
- Jails should perform routine wellness checks on all of the inmates in their care.
Jails have a legal obligation to take reasonable measures in order to protect inmates from foreseeable sources of harm. To that end, jails must provide all inmates with reasonably adequate healthcare. This includes care for acute health conditions that an inmate may have as they are incarcerated. In particular, many inmates enter the jail system in need of treatment for substance abuse. It is important that evidence is properly preserved after any inmate death.
- The circumstances surrounding any inmate death should be understood.
- The number of wellness checks an inmate received before they died should be known.
- The medical records related to the death should be reviewed.
Jails are supposed to be places of rehabilitation. But far too often, they are where inmates go to be neglected and abused. In many situations, inmates will let prison officials know that they need more care. Sadly, though, jail officials may only bother to intervene when an inmate is already in medical distress. By this time it may be too late. The family of any person that died in a jail may have legal recourse through a civil claim.
Investigating TDCJ Ellis Unit Inmate Deaths
We at Scott H. Palmer, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Michael Chaffin. There have been so many deaths across jails in Huntsville in recent months. State officials need to do the right thing and implement greater oversight so that similar tragedies can be prevented.
Do you need more information about an inmate death at TDCJ Ellis Unit? Our team of civil rights attorneys are here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that inmates are aware of their rights and that jails are held accountable for their unconstitutional actions. 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.