Inmate Dennis Pickens (Full Name: Dennis Earl Pickens) Died At Texas Department of Criminal Justice Wynne Unit In Huntsville
HUNTSVILLE, TEXAS (January 30, 2024) - An inmate identified as Dennis Pickens has tragically died following a medical emergency at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Wynne Unit In Huntsville.
TDCJ officials are saying that the incident took place in December. Dennis Pickens was transported to the jail infirmary after he reported feeling unwell.
He became unresponsive in the infirmary and jail medical officials began life-saving measures. Despite those efforts, Dennis Pickens was later pronounced dead.
A full investigation remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For Texas Inmate Deaths
Jails are supposed to be places of rehabilitation, but far too often they are where people go to be mistreated and neglected. According to the Vera Institute of Justice, “In state facilities, more than 20 percent of incarcerated people with a persistent medical condition go without care. That number jumps to more than 68 percent in local jails. Among a population more likely to suffer from chronic health conditions like heart disease and diabetes, that inadequate care can be deadly.” There are a number of common causes of inmate death.
- Heart attacks
When the state assumes control of a person’s autonomy through incarceration, certain constitutional standards will apply. Among other things, jail officials must get medical care for all of their medical conditions. A disproportionate number of inmate deaths involve instances where jail officials were indifferent to the serious medical needs of prisoners. Inmates across Texas have reported being subjected to numerous forms of mistreatment.
- Inmates have reportedly been denied access to mental healthcare.
- Inmates have been subjected to stifling heat in prisons that lack air conditioning.
- Inmates have been subjected to excessive force at the hands of correctional officers.
It can be hard to know where to begin after any inmate death. To make matters worse, jails are rarely transparent about what happened. They will often claim that an inmate die due to natural causes. But this label can be highly misleading. Many supposedly natural deaths involve some amount of jail medical neglect. The family of any person that died in a Texas jail may have legal recourse through a civil claim.
Investigating Texas Inmate Deaths
We at Scott H. Palmer, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Dennis Pickens. 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 Texas inmate death? Our team of civil rights attorneys are here for you. We care deeply that inmates are aware of their rights and that jails are upholding constitutional standards. We understand how difficult it can be to get information about an in-custody death. 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.