Inmate Ronald Simmons, 34, of San Bruno, Died In-Custody At Maguire Correctional Facility in Redwood City

REDWOOD CITY, CALIFORNIA (October 26, 2023) – A 34-year-old inmate identified as Ronald Simmons has tragically died following a medical emergency at the Maguire Correctional Facility in Redwood City.

San Mateo County officials are saying that the incident began on Saturday, October 24. The inmate was being housed alone in the jail’s behavioral health unit.

Jail staff noticed that Ronald Simmons was unresponsive in his jail cell. Medical staff entered the cell and began life-saving measures.

Despite those efforts, Ronald Simmons was later pronounced dead. A preliminary investigation has revealed that his death may have been due to suicide.

This is the second death at the Maguire Correctional Facility in just the last few days.


Liability For San Mateo County Inmate Deaths

Suicide is unfortunately very common in jails and prisons across the United States. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, “From 2001 to 2019, the number of suicides increased 85% in state prisons, 61% in federal prisons, and 13% in local jails. During 2010-19, suffocation, including hanging and self-strangulation, accounted for nearly 90% of suicide deaths in local jails.” There are many signs that jails should look for which indicate an inmate is at a greater risk of suicide.

  • Prior suicide attempts are one of the most significant indicators that an inmate may attempt suicide down the road.
  • An inmate may talk about hopelessness, unbearable emotional pain or say that they want to die.
  • Another clear sign an inmate is at greater risk of suicide may be instances of self-harm including cutting.

Inmates have a constitutional right to receive reasonably adequate healthcare. This includes healthcare for their medical health needs. When a jail is aware that an inmate is at risk of suicide, they must take certain actions. This can include putting them in suicide resistant cells and giving them additional monitoring. If a jail is deliberately indifferent to the prospect an inmate may harm themselves, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim. It is important that evidence is preserved after any in-custody death.

  • Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
  • The actions of jail staff before the death should be understood.
  • Surveillance footage related to the death should be examined.
  • The results of any autopsy that is conducted should be reviewed.

Jails can be awful places under the best of circumstances. People enter the prison system with all sorts of mental health challengers. These are often made worse during their time in prison. The family of any person that dies 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 what your legal options are.


Investigating San Mateo County Inmate Deaths

We at the Sehat Law Firm extend our deepest condolences to the family of Ronald Simmons. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to police. It is our sincere hope that steps are taken to prevent other tragedies like this.

Do you need more information about an inmate death at the Maguire Correctional Facility in Redwood City? Our team of civil rights attorneys are here to help in any way that we can. We are committed to protecting the constitutional rights of inmates across California. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into any in-custody death we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (949) 825-5200.


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