Inmate Eric Henstenberg (Full Name: Eric Joseph Henstenberg) Died After Medical Emergency At Texas Department of Criminal Justice Skyview Unit In Rusk
CHEROKEE COUNTY, TEXAS (January 19, 2024) - A 52-year-old inmate identified as Eric Henstenberg has tragically died while in custody at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Skyview Unit in Rusk.
TDCJ officials are saying that the incident began around 2:30 a.m. on January 17. Skyview security staff noticed that Eric Henstenberg was unresponsive in his cell.
Jail medical staff began life-saving measures which were taken over by paramedics. The inmate was transported to the hospital in order to receive further care.
Despite these efforts, Eric Henstenberg was pronounced dead around 3:26 a.m. that same day. A full investigation remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For TDCJ Skyview Unit Inmate Deaths
Thousands of inmates die in prisons and jails across the United States each year. Over the last 20 years in particular, there has been a sharp rise in inmate deaths. According to Health Affairs, “Between 2000 and 2019, jail mortality rose by approximately 11 percent. Although incarceration is widely viewed as a health hazard, relationships between jail conditions and jail deaths are understudied.” There are a number of factors that may contribute to inmates having poor health outcomes during their stay.
- Inmates often enter the jail system with a wide variety of pre-existing medical conditions.
- Jails have a high turnover rate meaning that many jail officers may not have that much training.
- Jails are often overcrowded which can lead to many inmates not getting medical care.
Jails have to take a number of measures in order to keep inmates safe. This includes providing them with adequate healthcare. The level of care that an inmate may need will depend largely on their unique health profile. Some inmates may need only periodic care while others may need care for chronic health conditions. There are many different ways a jail may have failed to properly care for an inmate.
- Jail officials may have failed to control inmate violence.
- Jail officials may have failed to acknowledge or address health complaints.
- Jail officials may have ignored serious injuries or illnesses.
- Jail officials may not have given an inmate adequate mental healthcare.
When jails assume control of an inmate’s autonomy, certain constitutional standards apply. When a jail is deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of an inmate, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim. Jails are often quick to label inmate deaths as “natural.” But in many situations this label is misleading. It is important that all inmate deaths are thoroughly investigated. At the end of the day, evidence is what will ultimately reveal if a death was due to medical neglect regardless of what jail officials may claim.
Investigating TDCJ Skyview Unit Inmate Deaths
We at Scott H. Palmer, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Eric Henstenberg. 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. Going to jail should never become a death sentence due to neglect.
Do you need more information about a TDCJ Skyview Unit inmate death? Our team of civil rights attorneys are here to answer any questions that you may have. We are committed to helping inmates understand their rights and holding jail officials accountable for their 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.