Inmate Died Following Suspected Overdose While Staying At The Mendocino County Jail In Ukiah

pexels-pixabay-236380UKIAH, CALIFORNIA (March 2, 2024) – An inmate has tragically died following a suspected overdose while staying at the Mendocino County Jail in Ukiah.

Mendocino County officials are saying that the incident began around noon. A deputy noticed that an inmate was unresponsive in his cell. While responding to that person, jail officials noticed that multiple other inmates were showing signs of an overdose.

Deputies administered multiple doses of Narcan to the inmates in distress. A total of five inmates were taken to the hospital in order to receive treatment.

One of those inmates later died at the hospital. A full investigation into all of the overdoses at the Mendocino County Jail remains ongoing.


Liability For Ukiah Inmate Deaths

Overdoses are one of the leading causes of inmate deaths in the United States. Fentanyl has proven to be particularly dangerous in jails. According to Health and Justice, “Fentanyl and related compounds have recently saturated the illicit drug supply in the United States, leading to unprecedented rates of fatal overdose. Individuals who are incarcerated are particularly vulnerable, as the burden of opioid use disorder is disproportionately higher in this population, and tolerance generally decreases during incarceration.” Jail officials should look for a number of signs that an inmate may be overdosing.

  • People who are overdosing on opioids may appear extremely drowsy or unresponsive.
  • People who are overdosing on opioids may have slow or erratic breathing.
  • People who are overdosing on opioids may have pinpoint pupils.
  • People who are overdosing on opioids may have cold or clammy skin.

Jails must protect inmates from reasonably foreseeable sources of harm. This includes protecting inmates who are overdosing. Ideally, this should begin with jails preventing illicit drugs from entering the prison system. If 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 certain steps be taken after any suspected overdose death in jail.

  • The source of the drugs involved in an overdose death should be understood.
  • Surveillance footage from within the jail should be sought.
  • An independent autopsy may need to be performed.
  • An experienced civil rights attorney should be contacted.

Illicit drugs can be deadly in at least two different ways. A person may die from an overdose. But a person entering jail can just as easily die from withdrawal. This is why it is so important that all inmates get a thorough medical screening when they are first admitted. The family of any person who died in a county jail may be able to seek some measure of justice through a civil claim. A civil rights attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case and let you know if any death was due to medical neglect.


Investigating Mendocino County Jail Inmate Deaths

We at the Sehat Law Firm extend our deepest condolences to the family of the inmate who died at the Mendocino County Jail in Ukiah. There needs to be a thorough investigation into the source of all of these overdoses. State officials should do their part and implement greater oversight of this jail.

Do you need more information about a Mendocino County Jail death? Our team of civil rights attorneys is here to help in any way that we can. We are committed to getting inmates the support and justice that they are entitled to under the law. Whether you just have legal questions or need any type of support, we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (949) 825-5200.



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