A 53-year-old Santa Clara County inmate was pronounced dead at 7:33pm on this past Sunday at the Main Jail in San Jose. According to the Sheriff’s Office, officials found the man unresponsive in his cell at about 7:20pm that day while deputies and medical staff were making the rounds administering medication to inmates.
By the time the San Jose Fire Department arrived, the man was already dead. The inmate—whose name is being withheld until officials notify his family about the death—had been locked up since May 18, when he was booked on several warrants for alleged assault and battery, battery and vandalism.
Sheriff’s officials said the inmate was held in a one-man cell and undergoing “several health issues,” although, citing privacy laws, they declined to provide further information about his conditions and the treatment he was receiving while in custody.
“The Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office will release the name when next of kin have been notified,” Sgt. Richard Glennon said.
Activist Jose Valle, who works for civil rights nonprofit Silicon Valley De-Bug, said that while he has no further details about the decedent, he believes the jail needs to improve its medical care for inmates overall.
“I think unfortunately between the jail staff, the inmate request form agreement system and medical, it just sort of works at a very [slow] pace,” he said. “If medical care is not their priority then there are some staff that may tell the inmate one thing and they have the inmate not knowing how things work in a jail, then they are just believing whatever the officer is telling them.”