Timothy Carlton (Full Name: Timothy Aaron Carlton) Died After Being Found Unresponsive In Cell At San Diego Central Jail

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA (July 23, 2023) – An inmate identified as Timothy Carlton has tragically died after being found unresponsive in his cell at the San Diego Central Jail.

San Diego County officials are saying that the incident took place on Thursday. Correctional officers passed by the cell containing Timothy Carlton and noticed that he was unresponsive.

Jail and medical staff entered his cell and began life-saving measures. They performed CPR and used an automated external defibrillator. The inmate was also given at least one round of Naloxone, which is commonly used for patients going through an opioid overdose.

Despite life-saving measures, Timothy Carlton was pronounced dead at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday. A full investigation into his death remains ongoing at this time.


Liability For San Diego County Inmate Deaths

San Diego County has a particularly poor track record for its treatment of inmates. Family members of inmates have said that their loved ones were not getting adequate mental health treatment. Their mental health conditions are often exacerbated by the toxic environment around them. The county has faced numerous lawsuits for failing to provide inmates with adequate medical care for their chronic health conditions. Many in-custody deaths have also been linked to drug overdoses. There are a number of steps that jails should take in order to prevent inmates from overdosing in their care.

  • Inmates should get a proper health screening when they are admitted.
  • Inmates who may have recently taken opioids or other illicit drugs should be carefully monitored.
  • Correctional officers should be trained to identify when an inmate is in medical distress.
  • Correctional officers and medical staff should typically give inmates Naloxone when an opioid overdose is suspected.

Jails have a legal obligation to provide inmates with reasonably adequate healthcare. Failing to give inmates proper care is a deprivation of their rights afforded by the constitution. This includes instances when an inmate is in the midst of a potential overdose. There are a number of ways that a jail may have failed to give an inmate proper care in this circumstance. Correctional officers may simply ignore the directions given to them by nurses and other medical staff. Instead of giving inmates additional care, they may simply put an inmate in a cell by themselves. What follows are a few other ways an inmate may not have received proper care.

  • Inmates may not get the medication that they need in order to stay healthy.
  • Correctional officers may have failed to intervene when an inmate showed signs of deteriorating health.
  • Correctional officers may have failed to perform welfare checks on the inmates in their care.

When a jail is deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs  of an inmate, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim. The family of any inmate that dies in custody may have legal recourse. Jails are not above the law and can be held liable for those that die or are injured in their custody. It is important that evidence is properly preserved after any incident. Evidence is what will ultimately be used to demonstrate liability.

Investigating Inmate Deaths At The San Diego Central Jail

We at the Sehat Law Firm extend our deepest condolences to the family of Timothy Carlton. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to investigators. There have been so many in-custody deaths in recent weeks in San Diego County. It is our sincere hope that steps are taken to make jails across the county safer.

Do you need more information about a San Diego County inmate death? Our team of civil rights advocates are here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that inmates and their families are aware of their constitutional rights. In fact, we focus on instances of medical neglect within jails. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into any in-custody death we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (949) 825-5200.


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