Inmate Francisco Velez, 46, Died Following Medical Emergency At The West Valley Detention Center In Rancho Cucamonga

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CALIFORNIA (December 2, 2023) – An inmate identified as Francisco Velez has tragically died in custody at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga.

San Bernardino County officials are saying that the incident took place on Thursday. Correctional officers noticed that Francisco Velez was suffering through some type of medical emergency.

He was transported to the hospital in order to receive medical care. Despite life-saving measures, Francisco Velez was pronounce dead at the hospital.

A full investigation remains ongoing at this time.


Liability For Rancho Cucamonga Inmate Deaths

Thousands of inmates die in custody each year in the United States. 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. The number of federal prisoners who died in the custody of a facility operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) increased from 378 in 2018 to 381 in 2019.” There are many steps that jails should take in order to prevent inmate deaths.

  • All inmates should get a thorough medical screening when they are first admitted.
  • Correctional officers should be well trained to understand when an inmate is in a medical emergency.
  • Inmates should get periodic welfare checks to make sure that they are ok.

All inmates have a constitutional right to receive reasonably adequate care. This includes care for pre-existing medical conditions. The level of care that each inmate should get will depend largely on their health profile. When a jail is deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of an inmate, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim. Certain measures should be taken after any in-custody death.

  • All medical records related to the death should be preserved.
  • The record of in-custody deaths at any jail should be sought.
  • An experienced civil rights attorney should be contacted.

Many jail deaths are preventable and due to some amount of medical neglect. For example, correctional officers may have failed to get an inmate to the hospital in a timely manner. It is important that inmates and their families understand that they do have rights. The family of any person that died in-custody may have legal recourse through a civil claim. A civil rights attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case and let you know what your legal options are.


Investigating Rancho Cucamonga Inmate Deaths

We at the Sehat Law Firm extend our deepest condolences to the family of Francisco Velez. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to investigators. It is our sincere hope that steps are taken to prevent similar tragedies in the future.

Do you need more information about an inmate death at the West Valley Detention Center? Our team of civil rights attorneys are here to help in any way that we can. We care deeply that inmates are aware of their rights and that jails are upholding constitutional standards. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into any inmate death we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (949) 825-5200.


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