Orange County Inmate Tasha Woods (Full Name: Tasha Monique Woods), of Arizona, Died In Custody At Santa Ana Detention Facility
SANTA ANA, CALIFORNIA (October 22, 2023) – A 41-year-old female inmate from Arizona identified as Tasha Woods has tragically died in-custody at the Santa Ana Detention Facility.
Orange County officials are saying that the incident began around 8:18 p.m. on Thursday. Correctional officers noticed that Tasha Woods was in some type of medical distress in her jail cell.
Medical staff began life-saving measures, and Orange County Fire Authority medics took over those efforts after they arrived. Tasha Woods was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead at 9:11 p.m. that same day.
A full investigation into the incident remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For Santa Ana Jail Inmate Deaths
In-custody deaths are increasingly common in California and across the United States. Many of these deaths are related to the lack of proper care that inmates receive. According to the Vera Institute of Justice, “In state facilities, more than 20 percent of incarcerated people with a persistent medical condition go without care. That number jumps to more than 68 percent in local jails. Among a population more likely to suffer from chronic health conditions like heart disease and diabetes, that inadequate care can be deadly.” There are many steps that jails should take in order to prevent inmate deaths.
- Health Screenings: Inmates should get a thorough health screening in order to identify any pre-existing health conditions or mental health issues.
- Suicide Prevention: Inmates at risk of self-harm should be carefully monitored and be put in suicide prevention cells.
- Staff Training: Correctional officers should be well-trained in first aid, CPR and crisis intervention.
- Wellness Checks: Inmates should receive periodic wellness checks to make sure that they are alright.
It is possible that jail or private healthcare facilities could face liability if an inmate dies in their care. Inmates have a constitutional right to receive adequate healthcare. Failing to provide inmates with proper care is a violation of the constitution’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. When a jail is deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of an inmate, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim. Deliberate indifference could come in many different forms.
- Jail officials may have failed to timely intervene to help an inmate in the midst of a medical emergency.
- Jail officials may have failed to follow the advice of medical professionals.
- Jail officials may have failed to monitor an inmate at risk of self-harm.
Jails are supposed to be proactive about keeping inmates in their care safe. But far too often this does not happen. Jails will often wait for an inmate to go into medical distress before they will bother helping any inmate. It is always best to get a second opinion after any person dies in custody. A civil rights attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case free of cost and let you know if your loved one’s death was due to jail neglect.
Investigating Inmate Deaths At The Santa Ana Detention Facility
We at the Sehat Law Firm extend our deepest condolences to the family of Tasha Woods. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to investigators. It is our sincere hope that measures are taken to prevent other tragedies like this. There needs to be greater oversight and accountability at this jail.
Do you need more information about an in-custody death at the Santa Ana Detention Facility? Our team of civil rights advocates are here to help in any way that we can. 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 a a free, independent investigation into any incident we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (949) 825-5200.