Inmate Jessica Guerrero, 38, Died In Custody After Being Booked Into Los Angeles County Jail
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (November 16, 2023) – A 38-year-old female inmate identified as Jessica Guerrero has tragically died in-custody at a Los Angeles County jail.
Los Angeles County officials are saying that the incident took place on September 9. Correctional officers noticed that Jessica Guerrero was in some type of medical distress.
She was taken to a hospital in order to receive further care. Despite life-saving measures, Jessica Guerrero was pronounced dead by medical staff.
The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner listed her cause of death as “methamphetamine effects.” A full investigation remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For Los Angeles County Inmate Deaths
Drug intoxication remains one of the leading causes of in-custody death in the United States. According to National Public Radio, “From 2001 to 2018, the number of people who have died of drug or alcohol intoxication in state prisons rose more than 600%, according to an analysis of newly-released data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. In county jails, overdose deaths increased by more than 200%.” Inmates have died both from drug intoxication as well as drug withdrawal. There are a number of steps that jails should take to prevent inmate deaths due to illicit drugs.
- Jails should conduct a thorough screening process when inmates are first admitted.
- Jails should put any inmate addicted to drugs through medical detoxification.
- Jails should regularly monitor inmates during their incarceration.
The Eighth Amendment to the constitution prohibits jails from utilizing cruel and unusual punishment. The Supreme Court has long held that denying prisoners access to care for their medical needs is a form of cruel and unusual punishment and is therefore prohibited. If a jail is deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of an inmate, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim. A jail may have neglected the needs of an inmate in a number of ways.
- A jail may have failed to performed required welfare checks.
- A jail may have failed to give an inmate Nalaxone if they were overdosing on opioids.
- A jail may have failed to put an inmate through medical detoxification.
- A jail may have failed to listen to the advice of nurses or doctors.
Jails and prisons across Los Angeles have been inundated with dangerous drugs such as fentanyl. This is a health concern both for the inmates affected and everyone who works in a LA County jail. The family of any person that died in custody may have legal recourse through a constitutional claim. A civil rights attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case and let you know if any in-custody death was due to neglect.
Investigating Los Angeles County Inmate Deaths
We at the Sehat Law Firm extend our deepest condolences to the family of Jessica Guerrero. There needs to be a thorough investigation into what happened for the sake of the victim’s family. It is our sincere hope that greater oversight of jails across LA County will help prevent similar tragedies.
Do you need more information about a Los Angeles County inmate death? There are many laws designed to help you. Our team of civil rights attorneys are here to assist you in any way that we can. We care deeply inmates are aware of their rights and that jails are upholding constitutional standards. 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.