Candice Vanburen, Who Went By Cody Vanburen, Died Following Medical Emergency At Santa Rita Jail In Dublin

DUBLIN, CALIFORNIA (July 16, 2023) – A female inmate identified as Candice Vanburen has tragically died after being found unresponsive in her cell at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin.

Alameda County officials are saying that the inmate was first booked into the jail after being transferred from Valley State Prison-Chowchilla. Candice Vanburen  was found breathing but unresponsive in her cell during a wellness check by a jail deputy.

Wellpath custodial staff entered her cell and administered five rounds of Narcan. She was then transported by paramedics to Stanford Health Care Tri-Valley hospital in Pleasanton.

Not long after that transfer she was taken to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley. Sadly, though, Candice Vanburen was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

The circumstances leading up to her death are under investigation.


Liability For Inmate Deaths At Santa Rita Jail

Drug overdoses are a major cause of inmate death in the United States. According to the Vera Institute of Justice, “Research has confirmed that overdose is the leading cause of death among people recently released from prisons, as well as the third leading cause of deaths in custody in U.S. jails.” Synthetic opioids like fentanyl have been especially problematic. Fentanyl is roughly 100 times stronger than morphine and is commonly added to illicit drugs that make their way into jails and prisons. There are a number of steps that jails should take in order to prevent inmate deaths.

  • Inmates should get a thorough health screening when they are first admitted.
  • Jails should do their best to prevent contraband from entering the system.
  • Correctional officers should be trained to identify when an inmate is exhibiting signs of medical distress or an overdose.
  • Jails should have ample supplies of naloxone which can be used to reverse the effects of an overdose.

All inmates have a constitutional right to receive reasonably adequate healthcare. This includes care for any substance abuse issues that they may have. Many inmates may be going through withdrawal when they enter prison. Others might need care to overcome a drug overdose. When 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 ways that jails may have failed to properly care for an inmate.

  • Correctional officers may have ignored the instructions of nurses or medical doctors.
  • Correctional officers may have failed to intervene when an inmate was in the midst of a medical emergency.
  • Correctional officers may have failed to give an inmate proper care prior to any medical emergency.

Jails are supposed to be proactive in keeping inmates safe and healthy. But far too often this is not the case. In far to many situations, jails will only intervene after an inmate is already on the brink of death. The family of any inmate that died in custody may be able to seek some measure of justice through a constitutional claim. A civil rights attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case free of cost and let you know what your legal options are.


Investigating Inmate Deaths At Santa Rita Jail

We at the Sehat Law Firm extend our deepest condolences to the family of Candice Vanburen. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to investigators. There have been so many deaths so far this year at the Santa Rita Jail. It is our sincere hope that measures are taken to ensure that the constitutional rights of inmates are being protected.

Do you need more information about an in-custody death at the Santa Rita Jail? Our team of civil rights advocates are here for you. We care deeply that inmates and their families are aware of their rights and that those rights are being protected. In fact, we focus all of our efforts on holding police departments and jails accountable for their actions. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into any in-custody death we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (949) 825-5200.


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