Inmate Joseph Altamirano Died At Monterey County Jail Following Altercation With Correctional Officers


SOLEDAD, CALIFORNIA (March 23, 2024) – An inmate identified as Joseph Altamirano has tragically died while in custody at the Correctional Training Facility in Soledad.

Monterey County officials are saying that the incident began around 11:00 a.m. on Thursday. Jail officials claim that Joseph Altamirano hit another officer.

Jail staff then sprayed the inmate with pepper spray and put him in restraints to stop the attack. Not long after being placed in restraints, Joseph Altamirano began having difficulty breathing.

He was taken to an outside medical facility, where he later died. A full investigation into the in-custody death remains ongoing at this time.


Liability For Monterey County Inmate Deaths

Thousands of inmates die in custody each year. According to the New York Times, “Altogether, at least 6,182 people died in American prisons in 2020, compared with 4,240 the previous year, even as the country’s prison population declined to about 1.3 million from more than 1.4 million.” There are a number of common causes of inmate death.

  • Homicide
  • Suicide
  • Drug overdoses
  • Respiratory illnesses

A large number of inmate deaths involve correctional officers who use excessive force. A jail could be liable for the excessive force of one of its officers. Pursuant to 42 U.S. Code § 1983, every person who, under the color of any statute, law or ordinance, causes a citizen of the United States to be deprived of their rights secured by the constitution, shall be liable to the injured party in an action at law. Many inmate deaths are due to restraints.

  • Correctional officers may have put an inmate in an illegal chokehold.
  • Correctional officers may have left an inmate in a restraint chair.
  • Correctional officers may have used their body weight to cut off the breathing of an inmate.

Correctional officers are trained to limit the amount of time that an inmate is placed in a restraint. There are also a number of situations where people should not be placed under restraint. This includes situations where suspects or inmates may be suffering from a drug overdose. The family of any person who died in a Monterey County jail may have legal recourse through a civil claim.


Investigating Monterey County Inmate Deaths

We at the Sehat Law Firm extend our deepest condolences to the family of Joseph Altamirano. Any person who may have more information about what happened should reach out to investigators. State officials should do their part and implement greater oversight of this jail.

Do you need more information about an inmate death at the Correctional Training Facility in Soledad? Our team of civil rights attorneys is here for you. We are committed to helping inmates understand their rights and holding jails accountable for their unconstitutional actions. Whether you just have legal questions or need any type of support, we may be able to assist you. You can reach out to us anytime at (949) 825-5200.



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