Inmate Richard Balderas, 34, Died Following Medical Emergency At TDCJ Jail
GALVESTON COUNTY, TEXAS (January 25, 2024) - A 34-year-old inmate identified as Richard Balderas has tragically died after being taken to Hospital Galveston.
TDCJ officials are saying that the incident began on January 15. Richard Balderas was transported to Hospital Galveston in order to receive treatment for a medical condition.
He remained at the hospital for two days. Sadly, though, Richard Balderas was pronounced dead by medical staff on January 17.
A full investigation into the in-custody death remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For Texas Inmate Deaths
Texas has one of the highest instances of inmate death in the United States. Among other things, prisoners in Texas are often subjected to stifling heat during the summer months. According to the Harvard School of Health, “Roughly 13% of Texas prison deaths—271 deaths—may be attributable to extreme heat in prisons without air conditioning, according to the researchers. Not a single heat-related death occurred in climate-controlled prisons, they noted.” Inmates across Texas have been subjected to numerous forms of mistreatment.
- Inmates have been subjected to excessive force by correctional officers.
- Inmates have reportedly been denied medications.
- Inmates have reported not getting adequate mental health treatment.
- Inmates have been subjected to violence at the hands of other inmates.
Heart attacks remain one of the leading causes of inmate death. This is due in part to the fact that many people enter the jail with risk factors for heart disease. Jails have a legal obligation to provide inmates with healthcare for all of their medical conditions. Jail officials should also perform routine wellness checks on inmates. This can help reveal if an inmate may be going through a medical emergency. Jails should take a number of measures to protect inmates at risk of heart attacks.
- Jails may need to give inmates certain medications.
- Jail officials must make sure that inmates get routine medical examinations.
- Jail officials should give inmates the opportunity to exercise every day.
Inmate deaths are often highly preventable. This is particularly true when an inmate has a pre-existing medical condition. In many situations, inmates will let jail staff know about their medical symptoms. But jail officials will still fail to act and get them care. The family of any person that died in a 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 Texas Inmate Deaths
We at Scott H. Palmer, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Richard Balderas. There needs to be a thorough investigation into what went wrong. The sheer number of deaths within Texas remains deeply concerning.
Do you need more information about a Texas inmate death? Our team of civil rights advocates are here for you. We have decades of experience helping people who have been harmed by police abuses of power and jail medical 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.