Inmate Jonathan Hurtado (Full Name: Jonathan DeJesus Hurtado) Died Following Medical Emergency at Shasta County Jail

SHASTA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA (December 17, 2023) – A 24-year-old inmate identified as Jonathan Hurtado has tragically died following a suspected fentanyl overdose at a Shasta County Jail.

Shasta County officials are saying that the inmate had been in custody since October 15. Correctional officers noticed that Jonathan Hurtado was going through some type of medical emergency.

Medical staff began life-saving measures in order to help him. Sadly, Jonathan Hurtado was later pronounce dead.

Investigators believe that he may have died due to a fentanyl overdose. In just the last week alone, there have been four suspected overdoses among jail inmates.

A full investigation remains ongoing at this time.


Liability For Shasta County Inmate Deaths 

Fentanyl is an incredibly powerful opioid that has proven to be particularly deadly. 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.” There are a number of common signs that an inmate is going through a fentanyl overdose.

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Blue or pale skin

All jails have a legal responsibility to protect inmates from reasonably foreseeable sources of harm. This includes preventing inmates from going through drug overdoses. To that end, jails should do everything that they can to prevent illicit substances from entering the prison system. When an inmate is going through an overdose, they must be given prompt medical attention. This will typically include administering Narcan, which can reverse the effects of an overdose. There are a number of ways that a jail may have contributed to an inmate’s overdose death.

  • A jail may have failed to provide an inmate with routine welfare checks.
  • A jail may have failed to get an inmate prompt medical care as they were going through an overdose.
  • A jail may have failed to give an inmate Narcan.
  • A jail may have failed to prevent illicit drugs from entering the prison system.

When a jail is deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of an inmate, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim. The vast majority of inmate overdose deaths are completely preventable. They are much more likely to occur at jails that are overcrowded. The family of any person that died in-custody may have legal recourse through a civil claim. A civil rights attorney can examine the unique facts of your case and let you know if any inmate death was due to neglect.


Investigating Shasta County Inmate Deaths

We at the Sehat Law Firm extend our deepest condolences to the family of Jonathan Hurtado. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to police. There have been so many overdoses at this jail in the last week alone. It is our sincere hope that steps are taken to prevent similar tragedies.

Do you need more information about a Shasta County inmate death? Our team of civil rights attorneys are here for you. In fact, we focus entirely on helping people who have been harmed by police abuses of power and jail neglect. 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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