Female Inmate Dianna Newton, 34, of Yucca Valley, Died In-Custody At West Valley Detention Center In Rancho Cucamonga

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CALIFORNIA (December 21, 2023) – A 34-year-old inmate identified as Dianna Newton has tragically died while in custody at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga.

San Bernardino County officials are saying that the incident began around 1:09 a.m. on December 19. Correctional officers noticed that Dianna Newton was unresponsive in her cell.

Jail medical staff began life-saving measures before she was transported to the hospital. Despite those efforts, Dianna Newton was later pronounce dead.

During the booking process, it was discovered she had multiple serious medical issues. A full investigation into the in-custody death remains ongoing at this time.


Liability For Rancho Cucamonga Inmate Deaths

Thousands of people die in-custody every year. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, “In 2019, a total of 3,853 prisoners died in state prisons or private prison facilities under a state contract, a decrease of 284 deaths from 2018.” Many of the inmates that died have never been convicted of the crimes that they were being held on. There are a number of common causes of in-custody death.

  • Homicide
  • Suicide
  • Drug overdoses
  • Respiratory illnesses
  • Heart attacks

Every inmate has a constitutional right to receive adequate care for their medical conditions. Inmates with greater health needs will typically need greater levels of care. In general, all inmates should get a health screening before they are admitted into prison. Certain inmates may need to be hospitalized first before their stay. When 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 jails take steps to prevent inmate deaths.

  • All inmates should be evaluated by trained medical professionals.
  • All inmates should get the medications that they need.
  • All inmates should receive mental healthcare.

A large number of inmate deaths are preventable. This is particularly true when an inmate dies due to complications from  a pre-existing health condition. When jails are overcrowded, this can put an enormous strain on the quality of care that all inmates receive. The family of any inmate that died in-custody may have legal recourse through a civil claim.


Investigating San Bernardino County Inmate Deaths

We at the Sehat Law Firm extend our deepest condolences to the family of Dianna Newton. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to investigators. There have been so many deaths across San Bernardino County this year alone.

Have you or someone that you care about been harmed while staying at the West Valley Detention Center? There are a number of laws designed to protect your rights. We focus entirely on helping people who have been harmed by police abuses of power and jail medical neglect. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into any incident we are here for you. You can contact us anytime at (949) 825-5200.


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