Inmate Steven Crawford Died In Indio Jail Cell At John Benoit Detention Center

INDIO, CALIFORNIA (August 16, 2023) – A 70-year-old man identified as Steven Crawford has tragically died in-custody in his Indio jail cell at the John Benoit Detention Center.

Riverside County officials are saying that the incident took place around 12:36 a.m. on Monday. Correctional officers noticed that Steven Crawford was unresponsive in his jail cell.

Custody staff and jail medical personnel began life-saving measures. Paramedics took over those efforts after they arrived. Sadly, Steven Crawford could not be saved and was pronounced dead.

A full investigation into what happened remains ongoing at this time.


Liability For Inmate Deaths In Riverside County

Far too many people are dying each year in Riverside County jails. According to ABC 7, there have been 18 deaths in Riverside County jails in 2022 alone. This makes 2022 one of the deadliest years in record for Riverside County. According to one lawsuit against a county jail, the defendants “deliberately failed to take even modest actions to prevent in custody deaths at the Riverside County correctional facilities.” There have been a number of factors that have contributed to the in-custody deaths.

  • Inmates have allegedly not gotten the medical care they needed for chronic health conditions.
  • Inmates have allegedly not gotten adequate care when they were in the midst of a drug overdose.
  • Inmates with suicidal ideations have allegedly not gotten proper mental health care.
  • Correctional officers have allegedly failed to protect inmates who were attacked and killed by other inmates.

The U.S. constitution affords inmates a number of legal rights. Among these rights, inmates must have access to reasonably adequate healthcare. This is especially true for older inmates or those who may be entering jail with pre-existing medical conditions. When a jail is deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of an inmate who then dies, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim. There are several ways that a jail may have failed to properly care for an inmate.

  • Jail officials may have failed to give an inmate the medication they required.
  • Jail officials may have failed to perform welfare checks on an inmate in their care.
  • Jail officials may have ignored an inmate’s request to receive medical aid.

A large number of inmate deaths are preventable. This is true even when a jail lists an in-custody death as “natural.” It is important that inmates and their families understand that they do have rights. The family of any person that died in-custody may have legal recourse 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 The John Benoit Detention Center

We at the Sehat Law Firm extend our deepest condolences to the family of Steven Crawford. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to investigators. It is our sincere hope that additional scrutiny on this jail will lead to lasting reform.

Do you need more information about an in-custody death at the John Benoit Detention Center? Our team of civil rights advocates are here to assist you in any way that we can. We focus on instances of inmate death due to medical neglect. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into any particular incident we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (949) 825-5200.


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