Inmate Cruz Montes Jr, 66, Died After Medical Emergency At Texas Department of Criminal Justice Montford Unit In Lubbock
LUBBOCK COUNTY, TEXAS (January 15, 2024) - A 66-year-old inmate identified as Cruz Montes Jr has tragically died following a health emergency at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Montford Unit in Lubbock.
TDCJ Montford Unit officials are saying that the incident took place on December 21. Jail medical staff noticed that Cruz Montes Jr was in medical distress.
Medical officials began life-saving measures which were taken over by paramedics. Despite those efforts, Cruz Montes Jr was later pronounced dead by medical staff.
A full investigation remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For TDCJ Montford Unit Inmate Deaths
Inmate deaths remain alarmingly high across Texas and the United States more broadly. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Almost 87% of the 65,027 state prisoners and 89% of the 7,125 federal prisoners who died in custody from 2001 to 2019 died of illness. The number of deaths in state prisons due to drug or alcohol intoxication increased from 35 in 2001 to 253 in 2019.” Jails should do a number of things in order to prevent inmate deaths.
- Jail officials should make sure that all of the inmates in their care are routinely monitored.
- Jail officials should consult with doctors and other healthcare providers.
- Jails should be stocked with Narcan, which can be used to reverse the effects of an overdose.
Jails must provide inmates with adequate healthcare for all of their medical conditions. Because jails are in control of the inmates that reside there, inmates are unable to seek medical care elsewhere, as a free person would be able to. In Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520 (1979), the Supreme Court held that the obligation to provide inmates with medical care arises from the Fourteenth Amendment. Failure to give inmates medical care could constitute a form of cruel and unusual punishment. It is important that certain measures are taken after any inmate death.
- Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
- Medical records should be preserved.
- An independent autopsy may need to be performed.
- The actions of jail officials leading up to any death should be understood.
Inmate deaths are typically not the result of the inaction or failures of a single person. Rather, they are often an indictment of faulty systems and procedures within any jail system. This could stem from overcrowding at the jail or any other number of issues. The family of any person that died in a TDCJ Montford Unit jail may have legal recourse through a civil claim. A civil rights attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case free of cost and let you know if any death was due to neglect.
Investigating TDCJ Montford Unit Inmate Deaths
We at Scott H. Palmer, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Cruz Montes Jr. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to investigators. It is our sincere hope that steps are taken to prevent other tragedies like this.
Do you need more information about a TDCJ Montford Unit inmate death? Our team of civil rights advocates are here for you. You may have legal recourse if jail officials acted negligently. We care deeply that inmates are aware of their rights and that jails are held accountable for their illegal 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.