Inmate Antonio Harris Died Following A Suspected Attack at Centinela State Prison In Imperial

IMPERIAL, CALIFORNIA (July 19, 2023) – An inmate identified as Antonio Harris has tragically died after a suspected attack by another inmate at Centinela State Prison in Imperial.

Imperial County officials are saying that the incident took place around 10:36 a.m. on June 27. Correctional officers suspect that Antonio Harris was attacked and stabbed multiple times by another inmate.

He was taken to an on-site medical facility in order to receive care. Despite life-saving measures, Antonio Harris was pronounce dead by a paramedic around 11:09 a.m. that same day.

A full investigation into the suspected homicide at Centinela State Prison  remains ongoing at this time.


Liability For Inmate Assaults In Imperial County

Jails can be very violent and dangerous places. According to Mother Jones, “19% of all male inmates in US prisons say they’ve been physically assaulted by other inmates. 21% say they’ve been assaulted by prison staff.” It is estimated that incidents of physical and sexual violence in prison are vastly under-reported. There are a number of measures that jails should take in order to curb violence between inmates.

  • Generally speaking, violent inmates should be segregated away from less violent offenders.
  • Correctional officers must do their best to reduce the presence of homemade weapons in prisons.
  • Jails should adequately monitor both inmates as well as correctional officers.

Jails must protect inmates from foreseeable sources of harm. This includes instances where inmates attack one another. When a jail is deliberately indifferent to specific knowledge of particular threats, this could form the basis of a negligence claim. For example, an inmate may have threatened to kill another inmate and correctional officers may have failed to separate the two of them. There are a number of steps that should be taken after any suspected in custody homicide.

  • Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
  • Surveillance footage of the assault should be sought.
  • Jail records for all parties involved should be reviewed.
  • The history between the two inmates should be understood.
  • An experienced civil rights advocate should be contacted.

Attacks in jail are not always random occurrences. They are often predictable. Two inmates may have a history of fighting. It is important for inmates and their families to understand that they do have rights afforded by the constitution. The family of any person that died in custody may be able to seek some measure of justice through a constitutional claim. No person or institution is above the rule of law. Sadly, though, many jails will fight hard to deny any responsibility if an inmate dies in their care.

Investigating Inmate Attacks At Centinela State Prison

We at the Sehat Law Firm extend our deepest condolences to the family of Antonio Harris. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to investigators. It is our sincere hope that measures are taken to prevent other tragedies like this.

Do you need more information about an in custody death at Centinela State Prison? Our team of civil rights advocates are committed to helping inmates and their families understand their constitutional rights. In fact, we focus entirely on police abuses and jail neglect. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into any particular incident we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at  (949) 825-5200.


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