Inmate Richard Aguirre  Died In Suspected Homicide At Kern Valley State Prison In Delano

DELANO, CALIFORNIA (October 8, 2023) – An inmate identified as Richard Aguirre has tragically died in a suspected attack at the Kern Valley State Prison in Delano.

Kern County officials are saying that the incident began around 6:37 p.m. on October 6. Two inmates allegedly stabbed Richard Aguirre multiple times with an inmate manufactured weapon.

Paramedics were called to the scene in order to help the victim. He was transported to Kern Medical with critical injuries. Despite life-saving measures, Richard Aguirre died due to his injuries.

Two inmates aged 46 and 52 are the primary suspects in the attack. A full investigation remains ongoing at this time.


Liability For Kern County Inmate Deaths

Violence is unfortunately commonplace in jails across the United States. According to Mother Jones, “Safety is an issue in all prisons, but accurate data on violence in prisons can be hard to come by. 19% of all male inmates in US prisons say they’ve been physically assaulted by other inmates. 21% say they’ve been assaulted by prison staff.”  Jails should take a number of measures in order to protect inmates from attacks by other inmates.

  • Jails should be classified based on their risk level and criminal history.
  • Staff should be trained to de-escalate altercations between inmates.
  • Inmates should have access to mental healthcare and counseling.

Depending on the facts of any case, a jail could be liable for the death of an inmate killed by another inmate. Certain inmates are at greater risk of violence than other inmates. This includes people who identify as LGBTQ. When a jail is deliberately indifferent to a known risk of harm, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim. If a jail is aware that other inmates are planning to attack a certain individual, they must take action to prevent the harm. It is important that evidence is properly preserved after any inmate death.

  • The source of any weapon used in an attack should be understood.
  • The classification of all inmates involved should be known.
  • Medical records related to the attack should be preserved.
  • A thorough investigation should be conducted.

Jails should do their best to prevent inmates from gaining access to weapons. But far too often this does not happen. Many inmate attacks can be prevented. The family of any inmate that died in an attack within a jail may be able to seek some measure of accountability through a constitutional claim. Sadly, though, it is common for jails to deny responsibility if an inmate is killed in their care.

Investigating Inmate Deaths At Kern Valley State Prison

We at the Sehat Law Firm extend our deepest condolences to the family of Richard Aguirre. There needs to be a thorough investigation into what happened for the sake of the victim’s family. It is our sincere hope that measures are taken to make this jail safer. Going to jail should never amount to a death sentence.

Do you need more information about an inmate death at the Kern Valley State Prison? Our team of civil rights advocates are here to help. We are committed to making sure that inmates are aware of their rights and holding jails accountable for their neglect. Whether you just have legal questions or need any type of support after an inmate death we are here to help. You can reach out to us anytime at  (949) 825-5200.


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