Inmate Nicholas Koclanes (Full Name: Nicholas George Koclanes) Died After Medical Emergency At Texas Department of Criminal Justice Hodge Unit In Rusk
CHEROKEE COUNTY, TEXAS (January 19, 2024) - An inmate identified as Nicholas Koclanes has tragically died after a medical emergency at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Hodge Unit in Rusk.
TDCJ Hodge Unit officials are saying that the incident began on January 14. Correctional officers noticed that Nicholas Koclanes was unresponsive in his jail cell.
Security staff began life-saving measures before the inmate was admitted to the hospital. Despite those efforts, Nicholas Koclanes was pronounced deceased at the hospital less than an hour after being admitted.
His medical cause of death was listed as cardiac arrest. A full investigation remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For TDCJ Hodge Unit Inmate Deaths
Thousands of inmates die in custody each year. According to Prison Legal News, “A total of 301 federal prisoners died in 2001. In 2015, the deaths hit a maximum of 455.They declined to 378 by 2018. 2,869 state prisoners died in 2001. The number of state prisoner deaths stayed between 3,300 and 3,500 per year between 2008 and 2014, then steadily rose to 4,135, its highest level, in 2018.” An inmate may die in-custody for many different reasons.
- Heart disease
- Drug/ alcohol intoxication
- Respiratory disease
The Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits jails from utilizing cruel and unusual punishment. Depriving inmates of healthcare for their medical conditions is considered a form of cruel and unusual punishment and therefore prohibited. When a jail is aware that an inmate has a serious medical need, they must act. This begins by giving them care at the jail. But most jails are not designed to care for the complex medical needs of all inmates. Instead, they will often need to be taken to the hospital. Inmates across Texas have been subjected to various forms of abuse and mistreatment.
- Inmates have been denied access to mental healthcare.
- Inmates have been kept in solitary confinement for extended periods.
- Inmates have been deprived of the medications that they need.
- Inmates may not have been checked on regularly by jail staff.
Inmate deaths are typically not the result of the poor decisions of one person. Rather, inmate deaths are usually the result of systematic failures within any jail system. This may be due to the negligent actions of jail staff or poor communication between jail staff and medical officials. The family of any person that died at aTDCJ Hodge Unit jail may have legal recourse through a civil claim.
Investigating TDCJ Hodge Unit Inmate Deaths
We at Scott H. Palmer, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Nicholas Koclanes. Any person that may know more about what happened should speak with investigators. Jail officials need to do their part and implement measures so that similar tragedies can be prevented.
Do you need more information about a TDCJ Hodge Unit inmate death? Our team of civil rights attorneys are here to give you the support and information that you are entitled to. We care deeply that jails are upholding constitutional standards and that jail officials are held accountable for their neglect. 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.