Inmate Scott Powers, 61, Tragically Died After Fall From Second Floor of Santa Barbara County Jail

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA (January 1, 2024) – A 61-year-old inmate identified as Scott Powers has tragically died after possibly jumping from the second floor of Santa Barbara County Jail.

Santa Barbara County officials are saying that the incident began around 8:00 a.m. on Sunday. Jail staff said that Scott Powers may have jumped from the second floor of the jail.

However, jail officials said that they are still investigating the circumstances of the incident. Paramedics were called to the scene in order to help the man. Scott Powers was transported in an ambulance to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

Sadly, he was later pronounced dead by medical staff. A full investigation remains ongoing at this time.

 

Liability For California Inmate Deaths

Jails remain incredibly dangerous and violent places. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, “In 2019, a total of 3,853 prisoners died in state prisons or private prison facilities under a state contract, a decrease of 284 deaths from 2018.  The number of federal prisoners who died in the custody of a facility operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) increased from 378 in 2018 to 381 in 2019.” There are a number of steps that jails should take in order to prevent inmate deaths.

  • Jails should ensure that all inmates have health screenings.
  • Jails should separate inmates on certain occasions.
  • Jails should provide inmates with proper mental healthcare.

All jails have a legal obligation to provide inmates with adequate healthcare for their medical needs. This includes giving them mental healthcare. Prison places a great deal of mental strain on inmates who are already predisposed to having mental health issues. When a jail is deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of an inmate in their care, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim. There are a number of ways that a jail may have contributed to an in-custody death.

  • Jail officials may have failed to regularly check on the inmate’s in their care.
  • Jail officials may have failed to take steps to prevent an inmate from harming themselves.
  • Jail officials may have failed to get an inmate prompt medical care in the event of a medical emergency.

Many inmate deaths are preventable. This is particularly true when any death is due to suicide or homicide. In many situations, these deaths are due in part to jail officials that failed to follow medical guidelines. The family of any person that died in custody may have legal recourse through a constitutional claim. A civil rights attorney can examine the unique facts of your case free of cost and let you know if jail officials contributed to a death by acting improperly.

 

Investigating Santa Barbara County Inmate Deaths

We at the Sehat Law Firm extend our deepest condolences to the family of Scott Powers. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to authorities. There needs to be some accountability for the sake of this man’s family.

Do you need more information about a Santa Barbara County inmate death? Our team of civil rights advocates are here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that inmates are aware of their rights and that those rights are being protected. 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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