After 2 Deaths At D.C. Jail In 3 Days, Officials Confirm Another Suspected Overdose

There was a further suspected drug overdose on the D.C. Jail on Thursday, May 19, a spokesperson for D.C.’s Department of Corrections confirmed on Wednesday. An individual detained on the jail was given naloxone (generally recognized by the model identify Narcan), a drugs that reverses opioid overdoses, after which handled at a neighborhood hospital earlier than returning to the ability, the spokesperson mentioned. That incident brings the whole variety of suspected drug overdoses on the facility that week to a few.

The incident occurred days after two further jail residents suffered suspected drug overdoses on Sunday, May 15 — together with one resident who died. 37-year-old Sean Lee was discovered unresponsive in his cell that afternoon and pronounced useless half-hour later. DOC staff additionally discovered his cellmate in medical misery on the identical time, however he survived after being administered CPR and a dose of naloxone.

Just days earlier than these incidents, a further jail resident, 28-year-old Ramone O’Neal, died of unknown causes on Friday, May 13.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner couldn’t verify the reason for demise for both O’Neal or Lee. A spokesperson for the company says their course of for figuring out and disclosing explanation for demise sometimes takes about 90 days. In each instances, DOC mentioned, there have been no indicators of trauma and there was no proof pointing to suicide as a trigger. DOC and OCME additionally couldn’t verify which particular substances have been concerned within the suspected overdoses.

The DOC spokesperson mentioned the 4 incidents, all of which occurred within the span of per week, stay beneath investigation. They have led D.C.’s Department of Corrections to extend its facility-wide searches for contraband, use its K9 unit to seek for banned substances, and enhance drug schooling for individuals detained on the jail, the spokesperson mentioned.

The spokesperson additionally mentioned DOC is trying into utilizing a third-party safety agency to reinforce entry screening on the D.C. Jail and “assessing additional technologies” for narcotic detection.

All of the incidents occurred within the Central Detention Facility, the higher-security facet of the D.C. Jail. The DOC spokesperson mentioned they may not disclose which models the incidents occurred on for safety causes.

The further overdose comes amid ongoing and longstanding considerations about situations on the D.C. Jail — together with however not restricted to the presence of medication within the facility.

A D.C. Corrections officer was arrested in February for allegedly smuggling knives, medicine, and cellphones into the jail in alternate for cash. A standing listening to in that case is scheduled for Friday.

Concerns about drug use within the jail additionally have been a part of a litany of complaints highlighted in a memo the U.S. Marshals Service issued final 12 months after it carried out a shock inspection of the jail. (The Marshals Service has custody of some individuals held within the jail, together with people who find themselves awaiting court docket appearances in federal instances, people who find themselves awaiting assignments to federal prisons after sentencing, and people who find themselves within the D.C. Jail as they undergo sure authorized processes or make court docket appearances.)

The memo mentioned that it appeared individuals detained on the jail have been being denied meals and water “for punitive causes.” (DOC has denied this assertion). It additionally described an overwhelming odor of urine and feces within the jail, attributable to massive quantities of standing human sewage within the bathrooms of a number of occupied cells, and mentioned that residents of the jail have been being served chilly and congealed meals. People detained on the jail, advocates, and public defenders have mentioned repeatedly that the Marshals Service memo highlighted deplorable situations they’d skilled or heard about for years.

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