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How Corrections Officers can Prevent Jail Deaths

Despite many efforts to prevent jail deaths in metro Detroit, several have occurred in the Macomb County Jail in Mount Clemens, Oakland County Jail in Pontiac, and Wayne County Jail in Detroit.

Posted 4 years ago by Jim Titus

A 28-year-old St. Clair Shores man died Dec. 19 in the Macomb County Jail in Mount Clemens after snorting a substance he obtained from another inmate. This is only one of many stories about deaths of inmates that occur in metro Detroit jails. It’s a problem that law enforcement agencies take very seriously. Many steps are taken to prevent jail deaths, but unforeseen issues still occur.

Deaths in Metro Detroit Jails

This most recent incident is the 20th time an inmate has died while in the Macomb County Jail since 2012, and families are now calling for answers and solutions.

Macomb County has been sued for inmate deaths, including that of a 37-year-old woman who died in 2013 from sepsis, which generally is defined as the infection of a wound. Another was in relation to a 32-year-old Roseville man who died in 2014. He had lost 50 pounds while in jail after withdrawal from prescription drugs.

Despite law enforcement officers' efforts to prevent jail deaths, unforeseen circumstances have led to several in metro Detroit jails.The Macomb County facility is far from the only southeast Michigan jail that has experienced these incidents.

A 59-year-old Detroit woman died after cardiac arrest in the Wayne County Jail in May. She had a heart condition and was detoxing from drugs, and her death occurred at the same time that the air conditioning system broke down in the jail.

In Oakland County, a 35-year-old Pontiac man hung himself inside a cell in the Oakland County Jail in November 2017. He had been hours away from being sentenced to life in prison.

How Law Enforcement Work to Prevent Jail Deaths

Whether they occur due to someone’s negligence or an event that couldn’t possibly have been predicted beforehand, law enforcement agents have a responsibility to do whatever they can to prevent jail deaths. Some of the steps they take or should take include:

  • Removing anything from prisoners that they can use to harm themselves or others, including belts and weapons.
  • Continuing to further their education in recognizing dangerous situations.
  • Regularly checking the inmates and cells for contraband.
  • Ensuring there are no disputes or fights between inmates.
  • Making sure inmates cannot or have not escaped.
  • Recognizing when an inmate genuinely needs medical care.

If you are concerned about the health of someone in jail or someone you know was hurt while in a metro Detroit jail, it’s important to seek legal advice.

If you need help obtaining a bail bond to get a loved one out of jail, contact us through our Detroit Bail Bonds website or by phone at (313) 244-0669.

Contact Detroit Bail Bonds for help getting someone out of jail.


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