“Innocent until proven guilty”. This is a saying that is widely used in the criminal justice system but is hardly practiced. An inmate is not stripped of their civil rights just because they are behind bars. Law enforcement officials owe a citizen who is taken into custody a certain duty of care. When this care is not met or is absolutely not present, an inmate or their families can seek help from an experienced Miami inmate mistreatment or suicide attorney.
The lawyers at Percy Martinez Law Firm believe in the rights of every individual who is negligently harmed by another, even the rights of incarcerated people. The option of “plea bargaining” has increased the number of innocent people who plead guilty just to get a lesser sentence. Inmates are humans and should be treated as such. They are already being punished by being locked up.
Mistreatment in jail or prison occurs on a daily basis. A lack of medical care or supervision are two factors that can lead to an inmate’s injuries and or death.
Lack of Medical Care in Jail/Prison
When inadequate medical treatment is provided to an inmate, it increases their chances of become severely injured or potentially causing their deaths. The truth is that inmates fight on a large scale. Inmates can get beat up or raped while they are incarcerated. The Lawyers specialized in Inmate mistreatment located in Miami file lawsuits when the following medical negligences have been displayed:
- A delay or withholding of medical treatment and care
- When a person interferes with the medical treatment of an inmate like correctional officers, medical professionals, or other individuals
The only way prison or jail staff, along with police officials can be held liable for an injury is when “deliberate indifference” took place. This means that they intentionally did not provide care or treatment to an inmate that was seriously ill or injured.
When Suicide Occurs in Prison
How does suicide occur in jails or prisons? It is vital to investigate whether the inmate who committed suicide was adequately supervised and received proper care for any mental illness they may have had. Was the guard watching the inmate take their medication? Was there a fast response time to an altercation? When a person has suicidal thoughts, they exhibit many clues of which law enforcement officials should be trained to notice. Often time, support for these suicidal inmates is not provided by law enforcement officials.
Losing a loved one to suicide in an environment where there should be constant supervision is infuriating. The Miami Inmate suicide lawyers comprehend how hard this can be which is why they fight for the inmate’s rights.
Factors Attributed in a Wrongful Death Case
The following factors must be considered when an inmate is a victim of a wrongful death:
Was the inmate in prison or jail?
This is the first thing that needs to be figured out. Was the inmate in jail or prisons? These two institutions house different inmates off the different crimes they have performed. A prison houses inmates that committed a felony that is subject to a year or more incarcerated, while a jail is for misdemeanor offenses and people who are still awaiting trial.
Was the inmate housed in a federal or state penitentiary?
Criminal acts can be either both federal and state, while others can be solely federal offenses.
Did the wrongful death occur in public or private facility?
The majority of American prisons are handled by private companies. Finding out whether the inmate died in a public of private facility is essential when filing a wrongful death claim. Law enforcement is required to ensure that a person they arrest is kept safe while in custody. The federal government, state, county, or city can be held accountable when an inmate is killed while in their custody.
Did the inmate die by neglect or abuse?
Neglect occurs when authorities do not provide adequate care or ensure the protection of the inmate. The institution is responsible for keep an inmate safe from themselves and even other inmates, which is why suicide can constitute a claim because there may have been a lack of monitoring. Abuse is when the correctional officer performs excessive force.
Inmate Incarceration Statistics
These following statistics have been provided by the Federal Bureau of Prisons:
- 6% of the incarcerated inmates are between the ages of 36-40
- 4% of incarcerated inmates are between the ages of 22-25
- As of April 20th, 2017, there are 188,722 federal inmates
- 3% of inmates are male, while 6.7% are female
- The leading offense for incarceration is drug offenses; 81, 847 inmates (46.3%). The second being Weapons, Explosives, Arson: 29,782 (16.9%)
- 6% of the prison population are white, 37.8% are black, 1.5% are Asians, and 2.1% are Native Americans
Inmate Mistreatment or Suicide Verdicts
The estate of a man was awarded $10.25 million after he was found dead in Tulsa County Jail. He was naked and paralyzed. His civil rights were violated by the Sheriff’s office.
The family of an inmate in Pennsylvania was awarded $11.8 million after his suicide while in custody. The jury found that the health care provider, physician, and nurses of the prison were deliberately indifferent with the inmate and medically negligent to his needs. This led to his suicide. $8 million was awarded for punitive damages, $2.8 million was awarded for medical negligence, and $1 million for deliberate indifference.
Lack of Medical Attention
In 2009, an inmate was incarcerated in Brooks County Detention Center. His wife brought the facility a supply of clonazepam, and anti-anxiety medication that was prescribed to him over the years. The facility did not give the inmate his medication despite receiving it. They stated that no prisoner was allowed to take any controlled substances. He died from a seizure from the lack of medication. The facility was found 100% at fault. The family was awarded $2.25 million.
Miami Inmate Suicide and Mistreatment Lawyers
Being mistreated or dying in jail or prison can never be justified. At the end of the day, an inmate is a human being too. The lawyers at Percy Martinez Law firm are dedicating in fighting for the rights of those who had lost their freedom.
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