Female Inmate At Santa Clara County Jail Died After Stay at Valley Medical Center (VMC)

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA (August 5, 2023) – A female inmate at the Santa Clara County Jail in San Jose has tragically died after multiple visits to Valley Medical Center.

Santa Clara County officials are saying that the incident first began on June 6. A woman was arrested and had a medical condition that required her to be transported to the Valley Medical Center.

After spending four days at the hospital, she was taken to the Santa Clara County Jail. However, she was rejected by jail medical staff and taken back to the Valley Medical Center.

At some point during that visit, she was pronounced dead. A full investigation into the in-custody death remains ongoing at this time.


Liability For Santa Clara County Inmate Deaths

Deaths within the U.S. prison system have continued to rise. According to the Prison Policy Initiative, “In 2018, state prisons reported 4,135 deaths (not including the 25 people executed in state prisons); this is the highest number on record since BJS began collecting mortality data in 2001.” There are many steps that jails should take in order to reduce in-custody deaths.

  • Inmates should get a medical screening when they are first admitted.
  • All jail staff should have easy access to naloxone in the event of an overdose.
  • Inmates should receive regular medical checks to make sure that they are alright.

All inmates have a legal right to receive reasonably adequate healthcare. This includes care for chronic health conditions. It also includes mental healthcare. When a jail is deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of an inmate, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim. For example, correctional officers may have failed to follow the medical advice of doctors or nurses. Several measures should be taken after any in-custody death.

  • All medical records related to the death should be sought.
  • Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
  • An independent autopsy may need to be performed.
  • An experienced civil rights attorney should be contacted.

There are many different reasons that an inmate may die in custody. It may have been due to the excessive force of officers. Or it may have involved an inmate getting inadequate medical care for their conditions. It is important for inmates and their families to remember that they do have rights. The family of any person that died in-custody may have legal recourse through a constitutional claim.


Investigating Santa Clara County Jail Inmate Deaths

We at the Sehat Law Firm extend our deepest condolences to the family of the woman that died after being taken to the Santa Clara County Jail. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to investigators. There are so many questions that still need to be answered.

Do you need more information about an in-custody death at the Santa Clara County Jail? Our team of civil rights advocates are here to help in any way that we can. We focus on helping people who have been the victims of jail medical neglect. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into any accident we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (949) 825-5200.


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