Inmate Edward Bergman, 53, Died At California State Prison, Sacramento (Also Known as New Folsom) After Suspected Attack By Fellow Inmate

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA (July 13, 2023) – An inmate identified as Edward Bergman has tragically died after being found unresponsive in his jail cell at California State Prison, Sacramento.

Sacramento County officials are saying that the incident began around 11:40 p.m. on Monday. Correctional officers found Edward Bergman unresponsive in his jail cell.

He was transported to an on-site medical facility in order to get care. Despite life-saving measures, Edward Bergman died due to his injuries. His death is being investigated as a possible homicide.

Correctional officers have identified a 27-year-old inmate as a suspect. That inmate has since been moved to a restricted housing unit.

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


Liability For Sacramento County In-Custody Deaths

Inmates being attacked by other inmates is unfortunately extremely common. 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. […] the rate of inmate-on-inmate assaults was 38 percent higher at private prisons than at public prisons.” There are a number of factors that could contribute to prison violence.

  • Gang rivalries
  • Overcrowding
  • Minor disputes
  • Prison design
  • Inattentive prison guards

Prisons are places with many people who are prone to violence. Many inmates have a criminal history of assaults, murder or other violent crime. To the greatest extent reasonable, prisons must adequately protect prisoners from assaults by each other. While no correctional facility can ensure that violence will never take place, they must protect inmates when they have specific knowledge of particular threats. The deliberate indifference of jail officials to known threats could form the basis of  a constitutional claim.

When there are known threats by one particular inmate against another inmate, prison officials must act. Similarly, there could be other facts which make it clear to correctional officers one inmate is likely to attack another. When jail officials fail to act in these situations, this could be viewed as deliberate indifference. For example, if one inmate has said that he intends to kill his cellmate, correctional officers must intervene and separate the two of them. There are a number of steps that should be taken after any inmate is killed by another inmate.

  • Jail records of both inmates should be sought.
  • The actions or in-actions of correctional officers should be understood.
  • An independent autopsy may need to be performed.
  • If a weapon was used, the origin of that weapon should be determined.
  • An experienced civil rights attorney should be contacted.

It can be hard to know where to begin after any inmate death. To make matters much worse, it is rare for jails to be transparent about what happened. They will typically withhold as much information as possible lest they be held accountable through a legal action. The family of any person that died in prison may be able to seek accountability through a constitutional claim. It is important that evidence is properly preserved after any incident.


Investigating Inmate Deaths At California State Prison, Sacramento

We at the Sehat Law Firm extend our deepest condolences to the family of Edward Bergman. Any person that may have more information about what happened should speak with investigators. There are so many questions that need to be answered. Were jail officials aware of any threats being made against the victim? Did they take reasonable actions to protect him.

Do you need more information about an inmate death at New Folsom? Our team of civil rights advocates are here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that inmates are aware of their rights and that jails are upholding the constitution. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation  into any incident we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (949) 825-5200.


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