Tehama County Sheriff’s Office Officials Investigating Suspected Fentanyl Overdose of Two Inmates At Tehama County Jail

pexels-rdne-stock-project-6069522TEHAMA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA (February 14, 2024) – Two inmates were injured in a suspected fentanyl overdose while staying at the Tehama County Jail.

Tehama County officials are saying that the incident took place around 10:46 p.m. on February 5. Correctional officers noticed that an inmate was unresponsive in their jail cell.

That inmate was treated by staff for a suspected fentanyl overdose. About an hour later, jail staff helped a second inmate who was also unresponsive.

Officials believe that the second inmate was also suffering from a fentanyl overdose. Both inmates were taken to a local area hospital in order to receive additional care.

The second inmate was listed in critical condition. Officials for the sheriff’s office said that both incidents involved unintentional overdoses.


Liability For Tehama County Inmate Overdoses

Drug overdoses are one of the leading causes of preventable injury and death for inmates in the United States. According to Health and Justice, “Fentanyl and related compounds have recently saturated the illicit drug supply in the United States, leading to unprecedented rates of fatal overdose. Individuals who are incarcerated are particularly vulnerable, as the burden of opioid use disorder is disproportionately higher in this population, and tolerance generally decreases during incarceration.” There are a number of symptoms of a fentanyl overdose that jail officials should look for.

  • Slow, shallow breathing
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Seizures
  • Cold or clammy skin
  • Unconsciousness

Jails have a legal obligation to provide inmates with adequate care for all of their medical conditions. This includes acute care for medical conditions brought on by a drug overdose. There are many ways an inmate may accidentally overdose on fentanyl in a jail. Medical providers may have given an inmate an incorrect dosage of the drug. An inmate may have taken a drug laced with fentanyl. When a jail is deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of an inmate, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim. It is important that certain steps are taken after an overdose in a county jail.

  • Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
  • The source of the drugs involved in the overdose should be determined.
  • Medical records should be preserved.
  • An experienced civil rights attorney should be contacted.

Inmate overdoses are typically never the result of the wrongful actions of a single person. It is more common that they are facilitated by faulty procedures and processes within a jail system. For example, numerous jails in LA County have been notorious for the amounts of fentanyl and other illicit drugs that are let into the facilities. Sometimes these drugs are smuggled in by people who visit with inmates. Any person that is injured in a county jail from a drug overdose may be able to seek aid through a civil claim.


Investigating Tehama County Inmate Overdoses

We at the Sehat Law Firm extend our best wishes to the two inmates harmed at the Tehama County Jail. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to investigators. It is our sincere hope that steps are taken to prevent similar incidents.

Have you or someone that you care about been harmed while staying at the Tehama County Jail? You may have legal recourse. Our team of civil rights attorneys are here for you. 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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