Inmate Scott Cook Killed In Suspected Homicide At High Desert State Prison In Susanville

pexels-ron-lach-10474996SUSANVILLE, CALIFORNIA (May 9, 2024) – A 49-year-old inmate identified as Scott Cook has died in custody while staying at the High Desert State Prison in Susanville.

Lassen County officials are saying that the incident took place around 9:30 a.m. on May 3. Correctional officers discovered Scott Cook, who was suffering from multiple stab wounds.

He was transported to the jail’s treatment and triage area in order to receive care. Despite life-saving measures, Scott Cook was later pronounced dead just 30 minutes later.

Jail officials believe that two other inmates attacked the victims with some type of manufactured weapon. A full investigation remains ongoing at this time.


Liability For Inmate Deaths At High Desert State Prison

Homicide remains one of the major causes of inmate death in the United States. According to the Prison Policy Initiative, “Violence in prison is commonplace, tied to trauma prior to incarceration as well as mental health stressors inside. The rate of homicide in state prison is 2.5 times greater than in the U.S. population when adjusted for age, sex, and race/ethnicity.” Jails should take a number of measures in order to prevent inmate deaths.

  • Jails should typically separate rival gang members from one another.
  • Jails should make sure that correctional officers are well-trained.
  • Jails should understand what factors contribute to violence in a jail setting.

Jails have a legal obligation to protect inmates from reasonably foreseeable sources of harm. This includes attacks at the hands of other inmates. If a jail has specific knowledge of particular threats and fails to protect an inmate, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim. If, for example, jail officials knew that certain inmates were looking to attack another inmate, this should move them to action. It is important that certain steps are taken after inmate homicides.

  • Surveillance footage should be sought.
  • Medical records should be preserved.
  • Jail records related to the assault should be examined.
  • An experienced civil rights attorney should be contacted.

Inmate deaths are often highly preventable. This is particularly true when a death is due to homicide. Jails are supposed to take measures in order to prevent violence from breaking out. But far too often, this does not take place. The family of any inmate who died in jail may be able to seek some measure of justice through a civil 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 Inmate Deaths At High Desert State Prison

We at the Sehat Law Firm extend our deepest condolences to the family of Scott Cook. Any person who may have more information about what happened should reach out to investigators. Everyone in custody has constitutional rights that must be protected, regardless of what they are charged with.

Have you or someone that you care about been harmed while staying at the High Desert State Prison in Susanville? Our team of civil rights attorneys is here to help you in any way that we can. We care deeply that 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.



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