Inmate Carlos Chi-Chi (Full Name: Carlos Alejandro Chi-Chi), of Novato, Died In Custody At Marin County Jail

MARIN COUNTY, CALIFORNIA (November 3, 2023) – An inmate identified as Carlos Chi-Chi has died while in custody at a Marin County Jail.

Marin County officials are saying that the incident took place on Sunday. Correctional officers noticed that Carlos Chi-Chi was unresponsive in his jail cell.

Jail medical staff entered the cell and began life-saving measures. He was sent to a hospital for further treatment.

Carlos Chi-Chi was later pronounced dead at the hospital. It was later determined that he died due to asphyxia by handing.

A full investigation into the incident remains ongoing at this time.


Liability For Marin County Inmate Deaths

Suicide is unfortunately a leading cause of in-custody death in the United States. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, “suicides were the leading cause of jail deaths between 2000 and 2019, totaling 6,217 — 30 percent of all deaths in local jails. In 2019, the suicide rate in jails was over two times that of the general public.” There are a number of signs that an inmate is at greater risk of suicide.

  • Inmates with a history of self-harm are typically at greater risk of suicide and should be carefully monitored.
  • Inmates with a history of mental illness including depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or borderline personality disorder are at greater risk of suicide.
  • Inmates who have endured a recent loss or crisis are more vulnerable.
  • A history of substance abuse is another common risk factor.

Jails have a legal obligation to provide inmates with reasonably adequate healthcare. This includes mental healthcare. Inmates enter the prison system with a lot of trauma. Many inmates have been the victims of physical or sexual abuse. If a jail is deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of an inmate who later dies, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim. There are many steps that jails should take to help protect inmates from suicide.

  • Inmates should receive a suicide risk assessment.
  • Inmates should undergo a mental health screening.
  • Inmates should have access to mental health services.
  • Inmates at greater risk of self-harm should be placed in suicide resistant cells.

The vast majority of inmate suicides are preventable. In that regard, jail staff need to be aware of signs that an inmate is struggling. They should intervene early to prevent inmates from going through a full blown mental health crisis. The family of any person that died in-custody may have legal recourse through a civil claim. A civil rights attorney can examine the unique facts of your case and let you know what your options are.


Investigating Marin County Inmate Deaths

We at the Sehat Law Firm extend our condolences to the family of Carlos Chi-Chi. There needs to be a thorough investigation into what happened. Regardless of what any person is accused of doing, inmates have rights under the constitution that must be respected. There needs to be a level of decency and care in the way every inmate is treated.

Do you need more information about a Marin County in-custody death? Our team of civil rights attorneys are here to answer any questions that you may have. We are committed to helping inmates and their families understand their rights. Whether you just have legal questions or need any support after any incident we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (949) 825-5200.


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