Inmate Willie Banks, 28, Died While Staying At Texas Department of Criminal Justice Clemens Unit In Brazoria
BRAZORIA COUNTY, TEXAS(January 22, 2024) - A 28-year-old inmate identified as Willie Banks has tragically died after being found unresponsive at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Clemens Unit in Brazoria.
TDCJ officials are saying that the incident began around 2:40 p.m. on January 17. Correctional officers noticed that Willie Banks was unresponsive in his jail cell.
It remains unclear if any type of medical emergency preceded their discovery. Emergency Medical Services were called and began life-saving measures.
But those efforts were not successful and Willie Banks was pronounced dead at 3:15 p.m. that same day. A full investigation remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For TDCJ Brazoria Inmate Deaths
Jails are supposed to be places of rehabilitation. But far too often, they are where people go to be neglected and mistreated. According to Reuters, “Unlike state and federal prisons, which hold people convicted of serious crimes, jails are locally run lockups meant to detain people awaiting arraignment or trial, or those serving short sentences. The toll of jail inmates who die without a case resolution subverts a fundamental tenet of the U.S. criminal justice system: innocent until proven guilty.” There are a number of ways that inmates across Texas jails have reported being mistreated.
- Inmates have frequently been subjected to excessive force.
- Inmates have been denied adequate healthcare for their medical conditions.
- Inmates have been subjected to inhumane living conditions and inadequate nutrition.
- Inmates have not gotten care for their mental health issues.
Jails have a legal obligation to provide all inmates with healthcare for their medical conditions. To that end, inmates should get regular wellness checks during their stay. Some inmates with pre-existing medical conditions may need to be more closely monitored. If a jail is deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of an inmate, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim. It is important that evidence related to any inmate death is properly preserved.
- The inmate’s medical records should be retrieved.
- The autopsy report should be reviewed.
- Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
- Surveillance footage should be sought.
Many inmate deaths are preventable. This is particularly true when an inmate has a known medical condition. It is never a good sign when an inmate is found unresponsive or in medical distress in their cell. This often points to a lack of proper medical care. The family of any inmate that died in a county jail may have legal recourse through a civil claim. This is why it is so important to seek the experience of a skilled legal advocate early on.
Investigating TDCJ Brazoria Inmate Deaths
We at Scott H. Palmer, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Willie Banks. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to investigators. There needs to be a thorough investigation into what went wrong. It is our sincere hope that steps are taken to prevent other tragedies like this.
Do you need more information about a Brazoria County inmate death? Our team of civil rights attorneys are here to help in any way that we can. We are committed to helping inmates understand their rights and helping to ensure that jails are held to account for their illegal 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.