Inmate Raul Ortiz Jr Died While In Custody At Larimer County Jail
LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO (January 11, 2024) - An inmate identified as Raul Ortiz Jr has tragically died at a Larimer County jail.
Larimer County officials are saying that the incident took place at the end of November. Raul Ortiz Jr was being booked into the jail when he began to show signs of an overdose.
He was transported back to the hospital in order to receive care. Around noon on November 25, correctional officers noticed that Raul Ortiz Jr was unresponsive in his cell during a routine status check.
Medical staff entered the cell in order to help him. But he could not be revived and was later pronounce dead. A full investigation remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For Larimer County Inmate Deaths
Drug overdoses remain one of the leading causes of inmate death in the United States. According to National Public Radio, “From 2001 to 2018, the number of people who have died of drug or alcohol intoxication in state prisons rose more than 600%, according to an analysis of newly-released data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. In county jails, overdose deaths increased by more than 200%.” There are a number of steps that jails should take in order to prevent overdose deaths.
- Inmates should get a thorough health screening when they are first admitted.
- Jail staff should be trained to recognize the signs of a drug overdose.
- Jails should be equipped with Narcan, which can be used to reverse the effects of an overdose.
- Jail staff should have clear guidelines on what to do in the event of a medical emergency.
Jails have a legal obligation to provide the inmates in their care with reasonably adequate healthcare for all of their medical conditions. This includes care for acute health conditions such as drug overdoses. If a jail is deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of an inmate, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim. There are a number of signs which could indicate an inmate is going through a drug overdose.
- Irregular or slowed breathing
- Blue or pale skin, lips or fingers
- Seizures or convulsions
Inmate deaths are often highly preventable. This is particularly true when any death is due to a drug overdose. A jail may have failed to prevent illicit substances from entering the jail. Jail officials may have failed to perform routine wellness checks on the inmates in their care. The family of any person that died in a county jail may have legal recourse through a civil claim. A civil rights attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case and let you know what your legal options are.
Investigating Larimer County Inmate Deaths
We at Scott H. Palmer, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Raul Ortiz Jr. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to investigators. There needs to be a thorough investigation for the sake of the victim’s family.
Do you need more information about a Larimer County inmate death? Our team of civil rights advocates 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.